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Faces of Vainamoinen - The Kantele as Symbol
by The Ovi Team
2008-02-13 09:50:10
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Faces of Väinämöinen is kantele player Timo Väänänen’s Doctor of Arts work for the Folk Music Department of Helsinki’s Sibelius Academy. The project includes a concert, an exhibition and a photographic series. The multi-disciplinary project ponders the symbolism and sexuality of the kantele through the means of music, dance and photography. In the pictorial work, which unifies all the project’s various thematic threads, 144 kantele players unite to form the Faces of Väinämöinen, from the Gallen-Kallela painting The Departure of Väinämöinen.

Concert on 27.02 and 28.02.2008 at 19.00, Vanha Ylioppilastalo, Music room, Helsinki

Photography exhibition: 14.02.2008 - 01.03.2008. Sanomatalo, Helsinki

Exhibition opening: 13.02.2008 at 17.00 Sanomatalo, Helsinki

Faces - images of kantele. A photographic monograph published by Maahenki ( www.maahenki.fi )

The kantele has a strong tradition of soundscaping and meditation, which Timo Väänänen has used as a starting point for the discovery of new tonal worlds for the electric kantele. In his last concert series, Väänänen wanted to bring forth a wilder interpretation of the instrument alongside its more commonly heard minimalistic qualities. His interaction with the instrument takes a significant role in this process. In the Faces of Väinämöinen exhibition, real and imaginary characters related to the kantele can be seen, such as Elias Lönnrot and Larin Paraske. In a unique artistic gesture, Timo Väänänen assumes these various aspects of the instrument and its history in each of the images.

Väänänen describes his working process: “The multi-disciplinary freedom made possible by the doctoral programme is very important to me. It has opened up new perspectives on musicianship and upon the kantele as an instrument. The electric kantele has transformed me as a player; I feel that the instrument is as much a collaborator as it is a tool. Through minimalism I aim to arouse musical imagery. The photographs and Päivi Järvinen's expressive dance deepen the narration. The performance is then allowed to spawn a variety of impressions and images on the part of the audience.”

Timo Väänänen has helped renew and develop Finnish kantele music over the course of his career. Without hesitation, he can be regarded as the most renowned kantele player in the world today. His repertoire includes all the various styles played on the Finnish national instrument. He began playing the kantele at the age of 8, and was taught by the influential performer and Finnish music impresario Martti Pokela. In addition to Finland, Timo has performed in over twenty countries in Europe, Africa and Asia. He has played in various groups, most recently appearing on the Belgian early music ensemble Zefiro Torna’s Piae Cantiones and on Ensiferum’s Victory Songs album. Timo has issued two solo albums of electric kantele and was a guest musician on the Disney film The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

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Faces of Väinämöinen working group:
Timo Väänänen - project manager, music
Ilari Ikävalko - photographs
Päivi Järvinen - choreography and dance
Kaisa Kurki - mask

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ГоГен2009-03-22 17:37:56
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