Sebastian Hilli’s (b. 1990) confluence / divergence (2013–2015), a 30-minute work for solo guitar and small ensemble (flute, percussion, harp, cello), sweeps the listener straight into a breath-taking flow of imaginative sounds, produced through a variety of unconventional playing techniques. The instruments imitate each other and become a deceptive multi-instrument that dissolves the border between the soloist and the ensemble; Petri Kumela and the other musicians do an outstanding work. The deep groans in the second of the three movements are quite extraordinary, whereas the playful third feels somewhat prolonged before the final culmination.
Elogio de la sombra (2015) for string quartet transforms into music nine poems by Argentinian Jorge Luis Borges. Mirrors, darkness, and tigers give rise to a musical whole that is as unpredictable as it is rich in colour, a fascinating play between moments of calm, passion, and feverish activity.
Paraphrase II – ’Giant steps and eden acid’ (2016) for flute, clarinet, piano, violin, viola, and cello was inspired by the bebop of John Coltrane as well as acid house music of the 1980s. The tirelessly energetic music becomes rawer and jerkier towards the end, as if it were shown in a more and more ruthless light. Small irregularities in the pounding beat remind the listener of the fact that it is produced by musicians, not by a machine.
Sebastian Hilli: confluence / divergence
Petri Kumela (guitar), Uusinta Ensemble, cond. József Hárs