EMS Proceedings and Other Publications

Electroacoustic concert and happening performances of the ‘60s and early ‘70s in Finland

Mikko Ojanen

Mikko Ojanen, attachement


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In this paper, I explore different examples of how the new means of performing music in concert and happening settings manifested in the early years of electroacoustic music in Finland. No single point when electroacoustic music arrived in Finland can be pointed out. The development was slow and the central-European trends never landed in Finland in their pure form. Experimental concert performances of the radical young generation of musicians played a significant role in the emergence of the electronic medium in the Finnish music scene. The young composers and artists absorbed influences quite freely. Although their work can be seen even as a conscious protest against tradition, influences from the works of Karlheinz Stockhausen and John Cage, for example, were strong.
This paper focuses on the works that expanded the traditional organization of a concert performance, introduced new means to perform electroacoustic music or applied electronic music technology beyond a music concert setting. These include, for example, film music, art exhibitions, happenings and even poem reading events. The examples are gathered from the works of composers Henrik Otto Donner (1939-2013) and Erkki Salmenhaara (1941-2002), avant-garde artist Mauri Antero Numminen (b. 1940), experimental film maker Eino Ruutsalo (1921-2001), as well as their close collaborator, electronic musical instrument designer Erkki Kurenniemi (b. 1941).

EMS14 Proceedings