Suunta combines experimental improvised and composed music with visual material in an exciting new collaboration of three musician-explorers of world music, a live-electronics sound designer and a media artist. Combining acoustic instruments with electronics and the limitless possibilities of the human voice creates the completely new sound of Suunta ensemble. The versality of the electric kantele blends in with the ancient tones of archaic woodwinds and global percussion, giving room for the live electronics to transform the sounds instantaneously from serene landscapes into a furious turmoil. There are a fair amount of traditional/folk music nuances to be found in the music, implicating the musicians’ deep knowledge of the Finnish and Finno Ugric traditions and creating a soundscape of free ethno avant garde with utmost respect to the roots.
The three musicians Timo Väänänen, Anna-Kaisa Liedes and Kristiina Ilmonen all have a long and extensive experience in the Finnish folk/world music scene in various projects, ensembles and solo work ranging from traditional folk music to avant garde expression. They have separately made prominent careers as performers, composers and pedagogues and are now pursuing their new collaboration Suunta since 2008. The new project incorporates also one of the most wanted sound designers/studio engineers of the current Finnish folk scene, Marko Myöhänen, who dives into a more creative role as a fourth musician of the group with his live electronics. As an audiovisual concert option in a suitable occasion/venue, the group can also incorporate the interactive live video performance from one of the most interesting media artists in Finland, Kati Åberg, who improvises with her global images as freely as the musicians do with their sounds.
The original idea for the project was born in a planetarium, under images of the stars, which enabled navigation. From this, the starting point for the first concert series became the Direction (in Finnish “Suunta”) and movement from the deeps of the ocean towards the surface and that thin crust of our planet, where people live their lives, work, create and feel. Movement, the sea, nature and people, their actions and rituals, all leave their marks on the performance.