On a damp, arctic Saturday in September, four accompany aggregate for the autumn at an allocation garden in Helsinki. Then came a surprise.
“We’d been alive calm in Antti and Hanne’s garden,” says Maarit Kytöharju. “Suddenly Markus Hohti appeared with his cello and played us a allocation by Andy Akiho. The moment was perfect.”
In an allocation garden, cellist Markus Hohti plays a pop-up concert as a Helsinki Anniversary Art Gift.Photo: Maarit Kytöharju
She had secretly abiding the appointment through the Helsinki Festival’s Art Gifts, which brought intimate, chargeless performances to burghal residents’ area and courtyards at the appeal of accompany or family. The pop-up performances ranged from balladry readings to bazaar antics, and were a abruptness to both donors and recipients.
“It was aces that we were accustomed an befalling to acquaintance a alive concert, our aboriginal in two years,” says Antti Selkokari.
Hohti is a affiliate of the abreast music accumulation defunensemble, who were appointed to comedy in the Helsinki Festival, Finland’s better anniversary cultural event. Nearly all of the two-week festival’s concerts had to be annulled on abbreviate apprehension due to new restrictions afterwards a abrupt beachcomber of new Covid infections in aboriginal August (that cardinal receded afresh in the consecutive weeks).
People are in the courtyard and on their balconies alert to Lauri Wuolio (right) comedy a Helsinki Anniversary Block Concert calm with beatboxer Felix Zenger.Photo: Petri Anttila/Helsinki Festival
The multigenre anniversary went advanced with those offerings that could be abiding cautiously – including about 1,000 Art Gifts and 50 Block Concerts for bound groups of neighbours.
These featured best performers alignment from Roma accompanist Hilja Grönfors to applesauce saxophonist Timo Lassy, Iraqi-Finnish duo Ali Saad & Sanna Salmenkallio, cord quartet Meta4, kora adept Cheikh Cissokho and bassist Lauri Porra, whose great-grandfather, artisan Jean Sibelius, was the Helsinki Festival’s aboriginal namesake: it started 60 years ago as Sibelius Weeks.
Under the name Kumea Sound, Lauri Wuolio plays a round, melodic, metal apparatus accepted as a cupola or handpan. He calls the Art Gifts “a absolutely advantageous experience.”
Wuolio performed 15 of them, travelling added than 100 kilometres (60 miles) by bike with 15 kilos (30 pounds) of equipment. “It caked rain two out of the three days, so it was a acceptable workout!” he says with a grin.
“After so long, it acquainted appropriate to be able to comedy to addition who was absolutely there in the aforementioned space, reacting in absolute time. I chose the songs on the atom depending on the surroundings.”
Ali Saad (left) and Sanna Salmenkallio accomplish in a Block Concert, allotment of the Helsinki Festival.Photo: Petri Anttila/Helsinki Festival
Wuolio additionally played several Block Concerts with beatboxer Felix Zenger and accordionist Niko Kumpuvaara.
“Those were actual different, as a lot of kids came to watch,” says Wuolio. “It was admirable to see bodies appear from their homes afterwards a continued aeon afterwards concerts, and aback be out on their balconies and courtyards, listening, bedlam and dancing.”
Accordionist Viivi Maria Saarenkylä of the duo Vildá additionally performed both Art Gifts and Block Concerts.
“These were artlessly ability account for the aberrant times we’re experiencing as artists and cultural consumers,” she says. “It was a different acquaintance to abruptness bodies and see how such a abbreviate moment brought joy and beatitude for all of us present.”
Kuwaiti artisan Monira Al Qadiri’s video Divine Memory was on affectation at Kunsthalle Helsinki in the appearance Coming to Our Senses during the Helsinki Festival.Video still photo address of Kunsthalle Helsinki
Other Helsinki Anniversary offerings that went advanced admitting the candelabrum restrictions were Coming to Our Senses, which brought alarming videos, achievement art and carve to the galleries of Kunsthalle Helsinki, and a mesmerising sound-and-vision accession by Brian Eno at Helsinki Music Centre.
“Though it was arresting that our programme couldn’t advance in full, we were able to accompany art afterpiece to Helsinkians with the Art Gifts and courtyard concerts all over the city,” says the festival’s aesthetic director, Marko Ahtisaari. “It’s capital that audiences can already afresh acquaintance art calm and that artists can do allusive work.”
For Helsinki Architecture Week, Pelago Bicycles solicited new, aesthetic bike designs in Build-A-Pelago and showed off the after-effects in their flagship store.Photo: Wif Stenger
Facing agnate challenges in the weeks aloof afterwards the anniversary was addition burghal rite of autumn, Helsinki Architecture Week, which had to abolish its capital area and abounding exhibitions.
Those that went advanced included a affectation of aesthetic custom-designed bikes at the Pelago Bicycles boutique in the Architecture District, and a participatory burghal art activity in Old Church Esplanade alleged Area are you activity to?, area passers-by were arrive to actualize arrows assuming the administration they were branch in.
Green copse amplitude advancement abaft the board artwork of Time of Miracles, which Antia Sanchez and Hannes Aleksi complete for Helsinki Architecture Week.Photo: Wif Stenger
In addition park, abaft the Civic Museum, was Time of Miracles by the Finnish-Spanish duo Hannes Aleksi and Antia Sanchez, a ample accession aggressive by the Kalevala, Finland’s civic epic. The board anatomy and its evocative aromas of ache tar arrive the adolescent at affection to ascend central and curiosity at acutely age-old images of hunting and backwoods spirits.
“Naturally, the communicable had a huge impact,” says Helsinki Architecture Week CEO Kari Korkman. “Some of the agreeable could be angry into agenda anatomy through our Helsinki Architecture Weekly media platform. I’m abiding the communicable has accelerated advance appear online interaction, but it still doesn’t bout the capability of concrete encounters. Let’s achievement we’re aback up abutting and claimed abutting year.”
By Wif Stenger, September 2021
It’s a chat that abounding acquisition difficult to pronounce, but the address and designs of “ryijy” tapestries authority a appropriate abode in Finnish culture. We appointment an all-encompassing ryijy exhibition at Kunsthalle Helsinki to see a acceptable art anatomy that charcoal vibrant.
Exploring identity, interconnectedness and the ecological crisis, the event’s affair and subtitle, “The Aforementioned Sea,” is added accordant than anytime in a apple apparent by a pandemic.
Beach cleaners in the boondocks of Hanko are allowance to accession acquaintance about the perils of artificial and added decay in and about the Baltic.
As bags of gigs get annulled or postponed, relegated to an broad approaching because of Covid-19, abounding musicians and added assuming artists in Finland are extensive their admirers online, either on appointed concert sites or by announcement video material.
The boondocks of Iittala, 125 kilometres (75 miles) arctic of Helsinki, has a attitude of glassblowing and architecture that goes all the way aback to 1881. As the Iittala cast celebrates 140 years of creativity, we attending at its arresting abode in Finnish design.
We allocution to some of the abundant visitors from away at Helsinki’s Flow Festival. What brought them to Flow, and what are their impressions? Also, see our slideshow for a glimpse of anniversary ambiance.
A basic allotment of the acceleration of new Nordic artists are the teams abaft them, abnormally the adolescent armament who accompany new perspectives, account and business models to an ever-changing music industry.
Artificial intelligence isn’t aloof science fiction. These Finnish projects are application AI to break acute problems appropriate now.
The Japanese and the Finns accept a abundant accord in common, including architecture aesthetics and activity for karaoke.
The Helsinki Photo Festival, from July 7 to September 30, 2020, brings the aesthetic average of photography aback assimilate the streets.
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