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Petri Kuljuntausta is a sound artist, composer, musician and researcher. Working in close collaboration with natural scientists he has made music from the sounds of whalesong and the northern lights, put on concerts with birds and the real-time sounds of outer space as well as composed music for aquatic concerts in which the audience listens to music below the water’s surface, experiencing the sounds with their bodies instead of their ears. He has written three books on the history of electronic music and sound art while also producing a number of sound installations, such as Tempus in 2018, which was commissioned by the State Art Commission for Musiikkitalo, the Helsinki Music Center. His discography includes over 100 musical pieces and soundworks on more than 30 record labels from around Europe, Australia, India and the USA.
Kuljuntausta’s performance combines the sounds of the natural world with live playing and electronic music. Environmental sound has long been an inspiration for Kuljuntausta. He uses his recordings to create electroacoustic pieces, soundworks and installations. In concert, environmental sounds are often combined with improvisation as well. Electronic sounds might create a dialogue with, for example, whales, or they twitter among the rapid movement of birdsong. In his latest projects he is particularly interested in creating acoustic balance, in which environmental and natural sounds exist equally alongside the musical content. At present Kuljuntausta is developing the nicephony performance method, which applies the latest research on how animals organize sound to musical performances. A performance using the nicephony method attempts to preserve nature’s acoustic balance. Features of the nicephony method can also be heard in Kuljuntausta’s Hot Box performance.
Photo: Riikka Lammi