Ever wondered what the northern lights sound like? Well, so did legendary Finnish composer, musician and sound artist Petri Kuljuntausta.
The strange clapping sound emanating from the aurora’s mysterious light spectacle has been part of folk tales throughout the ages, and was the source of inspiration for one of Kuljuntausta’s most exquisite and ambitious composition projects Northern Lights Live – inspired by this, the wondrous soundscapes of the Aurora Borealis and manipulated audio feedback.
A forerunner of the generation of Finnish electronica artists that emerged in the 1990s, Petri Kuljuntausta manoeuvres smoothly around the relatively peripheral sphere that makes up Finland’s experimental electronic music scene, always maintaining a broad international outlook be that as an artist, or as a keen observer.
His work output spans practically everything from digital music for experimental films, video art, visual art and dance projects, to man made media and sound installations in museums, galleries and concert halls
– all this testimony to a highly inquisitive mind and perpetual curiosity for all aspects of the sounding world.
No surprise then that Kuljuntausta is also the author of some massive authoritative volumes on the history Finnish electronic music (‘On/Off – From Ether Sounds to Electronic Music’ and First Wave: A Microhistory of Early Finnish Electronic Music).
Petri Kuljuntausta approach is based composing music made out of sounds material of both the natural and extraordinary. In addition to his Northern Lights project he has in close knit collaboration with natural scientists created underwater installations from underwater sound materials and even made music out of whale calls. Kuljuntausta’s art is founded upon the interplay of scientific research, eccentric playfulness and, close collaboration with other media artist and a profound respect and knowledge of the pioneering work done by previous generations in the field of experimental electronic music.
– Arnbjörg María Danielsen