Commissioner TampereRaw
Opus Number 80
Category Violin Concerto
Year 2021-2022
Duration 25
Orchestration violin solo – 1111-1000-perc-pno-1111
Publisher Gehrmans Musikförlag
I. To the Ozon Layer
II. To Water
III. To the Sun
IV. To the Earth
V. To the Wind
VI. To the Forests
VII. To Life

Program note

Earth Songs is a violin concerto comprising seven movements, commissioned by the ensemble TampereRaw and composed exquisitely for Pekka Kuuisto and the ensemble, with video projections by Marek Pluciennik. Each movement serves as a love song to various facets of our planet and its delicate ecosystem.

The inaugural movement, To the Ozone Layer, pays homage to this vital shield of our atmosphere. While once under dire threat during the 1980s, prudent policy adjustments have safeguarded its integrity.

To Water, the second movement, venerates the lifeblood of our world. This movement mirrors the ceaseless ebb and flow of waves and currents—a timeless dance of vitality.

In the ethereal strains of the third movement, To the Sun, one feels the gentle caress of solar warmth. It is a tribute to the light that bestows upon us the gift of photosynthesis as well as electricity.

The fourth movement, To the Earth, presents a dichotomy: the verdant splendor of burgeoning flora juxtaposed with the stark reality of human exploitation through mining.

In the fifth movement To the Wind the atmosphere is light and buoyant, a testament to the airy embrace of gentle breezes, that simultaneously are strong enough to spin our windmills and give us electricity.

In the sixth movement, akin to its predecessor, we encounter a duality. To the Forest evokes the juxtaposition between the majestic growth of trees and the relentless encroachment of logging.

The final movement, To Life, stands as a poignant “Confession” of humanity’s transgressions against our planet. Drawing inspiration from Psalm 38 and the solemn passages of the Catholic mass, it serves as a solemn reflection on our collective impact on Earth’s fragile balance.

The concerto was mainly composed during my year living at the art residency of Villa Concordia in Bamberg 2021 and feels like among the most light-filled music I have composed so far. I hope to be able to awake compassion towards our planet through music.



2024 September 18 – World premiere by Pekka Kuusisto & TampereRaw conducted by Maria ItkonenMore info