Helsingin kaupunki, kulttuurin ja vapaa-ajan toimiala

Kimmo Pohjonen’s new visual accordion solo – UZone – premiering at Stoa in November

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Accordion virtuoso and composer Kimmo Pohjonen is exploring the new and unknown. In the new solo piece, the accordion is an electronic machine that creates image and light in addition to a real-time layered soundscape. The premiere of the visual accordion solo performance will be at Cultural Centre Stoa on Friday 20 November.

Kimmo Pohjonen communicates with visuality in his accordion solo; the music creates layers of image. Image: Tuomo Manninen.
Kimmo Pohjonen communicates with visuality in his accordion solo; the music creates layers of image. Image: Tuomo Manninen.

“A few years ago, I was frustrated with how I was making music, I was tired of myself and thought I’d rather quit playing than keep this up. Modifying the sound of the accordion and finding new colour has been an important source for both my composing and playing for the last 30 years. I felt I’d used this colour palette up, and I wanted to find something in my instrument that would stimulate my mind and work. I imagined the accordion as a versatile machine to explore the unknown areas of my instrument,” says Pohjonen.

The premise of Pohjonen’s previous solo was looping, i.e. the real-time recording of the music. Now the artist wants to present the accordion as an increasingly electronic machine that creates texture, rhythm and sound masses, controls the synths and effects and moves sound in the space. The accordion produces various levels, melody, harmony and rhythm, simultaneously during live playing. All the layers of the sound are created by playing in real time, here and now. 

During this process, Pohjonen had the idea of also controlling visual elements by playing. The soul of the accordion, the bellows, and the keys also control image and lights. The musician communicates with visuality, and the music creates layers of image.

“UZone is a piece where I explore areas that are unknown to me on the stage. The process has been very frustrating at times because of the connection between electronics and my instrument. Tuomas Norvio’s creative knowledge has been an indispensable help as I’ve explored this new area. I also want to thank Mikko Linnavuori for integrating visuality into my music.” 

“The best thing about this process has been the feeling that I’m at the start of something new.” 

The version to be performed at Stoa is the first phase of UZone. The composition and the rest of the process continue. 

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Kimmo Pohjonen is one of the few artists who have managed to create a genre of their own through their compositions and unique projects. Pohjonen’s way of playing and producing new sounds out of his accordion can be described as quite exceptional, even at a global level.

Pohjonen has been touring the world regularly for the last 25 years with his own projects, performing at noteworthy festivals for world music, jazz, electronic music and art music.

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Composition and performance: Kimmo Pohjonen

Sound design by: Tuomas Norvio

Visual design: Mikko Linnavuori

Duration: approx. 70 min 
Tickets: €15/12

Performance:

Fri 20 November at 19:00 

Stoa, Turunlinnantie 1, Helsinki
www.stoa.fi

Dear journalist, we would love to see you at the performance! You can receive press tickets from Stoa’s Culture Producer Monika Silander, monika.silander@hel.fi.

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Contacts

Culture Producer
Monika Silander-Stolt
+358 (0)50 382 8151, monika.silander@hel.fi
City of Helsinki, Culture and Leisure Division
Cultural Centre Stoa

Project Planner
Terhi Honkio
+358 (0)40 169 9706, terhi.honkio@hel.fi
City of Helsinki, Culture and Leisure Division
Communications and Marketing Services

Images

Kimmo Pohjonen communicates with visuality in his accordion solo; the music creates layers of image. Image: Tuomo Manninen.
Kimmo Pohjonen communicates with visuality in his accordion solo; the music creates layers of image. Image: Tuomo Manninen.
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Kimmo Pohjonen communicates with visuality in his accordion solo; the music creates layers of image. Image: Tuomo Manninen.
Kimmo Pohjonen communicates with visuality in his accordion solo; the music creates layers of image. Image: Tuomo Manninen.
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Helsingin kaupunki, kulttuurin ja vapaa-ajan toimiala
Helsingin kaupunki, kulttuurin ja vapaa-ajan toimiala



https://www.hel.fi/kulttuurin-ja-vapaa-ajan-toimiala/fi/

Helsinki’s cultural centres Annantalo, Caisa, Kanneltalo, Malmitalo, Maunula House, Stoa and Vuosaari House provide residents with cultural events, performances, exhibitions, courses and art education.

Tickets to all performances: Kulttuurihelsinki.fi

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