Last days of a 5-week residency in Finland. I arrived in the snow near the frozen lake of Ahilammentie to compose the music for the show Slap! At the request of choreographer Saku Koistinen.

Music and Dance in the forest

Music and Dance in the forest (©Pasi Autio)

The show was written in the Finnish forest and is designed to be performed among the trees. Saku well knows my affection for sound writing in public spaces and this is probably one of the reasons why he commissioned me to write the music. The other reason may be that Slap! is a burlesque show and Saku first met me when I was performing Tok with Le P’tit Cirk.

The amazing thing about this kind of situation is that you are totally dependent on the weather and in Finland, between April and May, there is a world!

Dancing in the rain...

Dancing in the rain…

If the first week was sunny, and the temperatures were mild, the second and third weeks were freezing with daily temperatures which did not exceed eight degrees. Try to play bandoneon in these conditions!

So I spent most of that time in the cottage, near the masonry heater, composing while my colleagues worked outside covered by five layers of clothing. At the end, it was a blessing in disguise in that it allowed me to create the music in good conditions while being with them from time to time, outside, to play the compositions and check that I was on the right track.

We alternated periods of work, discussion, video viewing in the chalet and work sessions in the forest. Always in an excellent spirit! It is very pleasant to work here.

Then came the last week of creation, with really summery weather and the buds creating an explosion of life! Ideal conditions to start the real work of rehearsal. It is thus a piece already solid, with a welded and professional team, which is presented this week to the public of Pusula, Helsinki and Karkkila.

Dernière répétition avant la première !

Last rehearsal before the premiere.

The Slap!’s creative team :

Slap! is produced by the Free Art Field with the support of the Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation, the Kone Foundation and the Arts Promotion Center.