Sounds And Stories Live

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Knitters from left to right: Tuula Mäki-kamppi, Sirkka Leskinen, Tuulikki Haverinen, Liisa Airaksinen, Pirjo Koponen. Runo singer: Ilona Korhonen. On electronics: Jobina Tinnemans. Photo: Jaime Culebro.

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‘SOUNDS AND STORIES LIVE’ IS PART OF JOBINA’S SURREALIST COLLECTION OF COMPOSITIONS EXTENDING ON THE IDEA OF MUSICAL TIMING. NON-MUSICIANS AND MUSIQUE CONCRÈTE INSTRUMENTS PERFORM PARTS WHERE THE SOUND AND RHYTHMS THESE ACTIVITIES CAUSE IS A INDIRECT, SECONDARY, RESULT OF THEIR MAIN ACTION. TINNEMANS’ WILD AND WONDERFUL EXPLORATIONS IN COMPOSING FOR STOCHASTIC MUSICAL TIMING HAS BROUGHT HER TO WORK WITH PREPARED KNITTING NEEDLES.

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M-Cult commissioned Jobina Tinnemans for a participatory knitted music work to feature on the opening of the new Maunula-talo community centre in a district of Helsinki. Finland has a long history of knitting and their passion for knitting makes very much part of everyday life.

 

Jobina imagined people sitting around the fire knitting while listening to storytelling. A deeply rooted communal experience that dates back to the beginning of knitting and crafts as a whole. Furthering the technique Tinnemans used for the MATA commission, she used the prepared knitting needles to perform field recording instruments she designed from her soundscape recordings made local to the Maunula-talo community centre. She sourced a local folktale by collaborating with Ilona Korhonen, a specialist in Finnish folklore teaching at the Sibelius University in Helsinki and folklore singer. In ‘Sounds And Stories Live’ performing knitters on prepared needles create live a soundtrack to the folk tale, featuring sounds of the natural environment this folktale originates from. The works the performing knitters are knitting are the colourful illustrations to the story.

 

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‘Sounds And Stories Live’ was produced by M-Cult who made this video summarising the community project and a little interview about its development and performance.

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read on about prepared knitting needles

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“Unlike an instrument where the length of string determines pitch, in ‘Killing Time’ the length of string determines time between stitches and therefore the timing of the music.

Jobina’s innovative brainchild features performing knitters who by their knitting action generate the timelessness of sounds of nature in a far more immersive and evocative manner than a mere field recording ever could.”

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posted February 4, 2017

Knitted Illustrations

I imagined the work the performing knitters were creating to be colourful illustrations to the folk tale in colours that would match their field recording instruments: stream, wolves, woods with colourful little birds (finches and wren), walking in snow. This is what they made – gorgeous! Just for us all to admire I draped them off the balcony.

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posted February 3, 2017

‘Sounds And Stories Live’ concert tomorrow

Helsinki friends – tomorrow, Saturday February 4th, is the opening of the new Maunula-talo from 14:00-15:30. Singer Ilona Korhonen will be performing Runo-laulu, a nearly forgotten Finnish singing style, accompanied by manipulated field recording electronics on prepared knitting needles, as the improvised soundtrack to the folk tale. We had our rehearsals today with our performing knitters and I can tell you Ilona’s storytelling singing is fabulous. So powerful. A folk story performance as contemporary as anything. Do come if you can, you won’t regret it. #soundandstorieslive

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posted February 3, 2017

Rehearsal Preview

Lovely thing happening when there is a window next tot the stage! Community spirit.

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posted February 1, 2017

Knitting Illustrations

Performing knitters kindly always ask what I want them to knit. For Sounds And Stories Live I envisioned them to knit illustrations for the folktale and their performing sounds. Very abstract, reminiscent of the illustrations by Jay van Everen, mentioned in early posts. Mixed with traditional Finnish patterns. Something like, errr….. this.

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posted December 14, 2016

Sounds And Stories Live in Helsinki

On February 4th I’ll be performing the results of a one week residency working with the community of Maunula district in Helsinki, Finland, at the opening event of the new ‘Saunabaari‘ centre in Maunula. Produced by M-Cult#soundsandstorieslive

For this recital titled ‘Sounds And Stories Live – Folk Tales and Orchestrated Yarns’ I’ll be using the prepared knitting needles which were developed for my MATA NYC commission. The needles are attached to my custom made interface and when the knitting needles touch, whilst knitting patterns, they trigger sound files from my audio library. These sonic segments are played just as randomly timed as the knitting needles connect, creating murmuring textures of sounds. A fabric of life.

My audio library includes field recordings I’ll be making on location during my stay in and around Maunula. The soundscape sounds will create the musical accompaniment to a folk tale that will be narrated by a storyteller, much in the way that a pianist would live soundtrack a silent movie. Up to eight performing knitters are dedicated instruments forming a musical ensemble, each one associated with a different sound from nature. If a performing knitter hears their ‘trigger’ word, for example ‘the WIND blew’ they will start knitting and a gale will sound as part of the soundtrack experience as the story unfolds.

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The performance is intended to conjure up images and feelings of sitting together around a bonfire, recounting tales of our ancestors and the creatures that live beyond our perception, while the forces of nature whirl around us outside, adding to the stories’ cinematography. The selected field recordings will not only compose the sound of the performance, but also provide a document of the local sonic environment, archiving the sound of the current world this folk tale performance is situated in.

Middle panel of image at the top is a detail taken from an illustration from ‘The Mighty Mikko’ (1922) by Jay van Everen. Outer panels are traditional Scandinavian knitting patterns.

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photo by  Minna Tarkka of M-Cult

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