Venue: Sibelius Academy

Helsinki Computer Orchestra @ Sibelius Academy, Helsinki

SibA Concert info
Concert information.


The Helsinki Computer Orchestra (HCO/HTO/HDO) is comprised of a rather heterogeneous group of experimental electronic musicians, free improvisers and noise explorers. Their instruments too vary from clumsy 80's game consoles to the aerodynamically designed PowerBooks of the new millennium. The orchestra has been founded to perform "compositions" even if most of the members have never worked with traditional music notation.

The list of the members for this concert
Niko Sirkiä, Christer Nuutinen, Tommi R H Keränen, Antoine Verhaverbeke, Samuli Alapuranen, Satu Karhumaa, Frederik Arana, Sophea Lerner, Ibro Terzic, Emi Maeda, M J Pilvari Pirtola, Shinji Kanki, Joni Lyytikäinen, Juha Vehviläinen, Mikko Hynninen, Cumhur Erkut, Samuli Salonen, Heikki Lintula, Koray Tahiroglu

Performed Pieces

Alphabet 2004
duration ca. 30'

Alphabet is a composition based on a found footage material, the instructions how to pronounce the Finnish alphabet. The score starting with letter "a" and ends with "ö" is a crossword puzzle based on actual words in Finnish language. The horizontal axis of puzzle represents time, and the vertical axis represents different options for sample manipulations. Each of 29 members of the orchestra has one sample out of the recorded alphabet as a source material, which she/he may play with chosen software.

Ænema  2004
duration 7'

The main reason to start gathering people for Helsinki Computer Orchestra (HCO) was the urge to hear things otherwise impossible. With my first composition for the orchestra, I wish to hear something that is beyond my expectations (even if it was utter dullness). As a composition Ænema present certain strict rules for the performers' actions, though the end-result is largely determined by the choices left for the performers. However, this does not mean that the performers are asked to improvise but rather to define their role as instrumentalists within the orchestra and the particular performance. The computer music is often considered as something accurately controlled, something close to science and its methods. Without hesitation I can say that this piece aspires for excess and chaos.

PCM 0355+53  2003
duration ca.30'

HCO boldly took a step towards Academia. After witnessing the orchestra's debut concert, a Japanese contemporary composer Shinji Kanki, a veteran of the computer music studio of the Sibelius Academy, proposed to compose a new piece for their AVANTO performance.

Kanki's PCM 0355+53 can be approached with the concept of music as a language: what happens when a group of some twenty members, each playing in their own "language", start reading a score written in languages foreign to them? As source material for the score Kanki has used text in Morse code, EEG readings, dolphin sounds, and chance determined patterns - all these messages can be heard simultaneously in PCM 0355+35.
For more info, check http://cmt.siba.fi/skanki/pcm/


Playing at the Sibelius Academy was a far cry from our previous gigs. This wasn't a "gig", it was a proper concert and the moods of the orchestra were fitting the situation. According to my recollections, our performance went smoothly, Tommi's piece was fun and hectic to play and Alphabet worked better than at the Kaapelitehdas gig, getting a more mature (if less fun to watch) performance.

HCO practicing PCM 0355+53 at the Sibelius Academy.