Kaija Saariaho is internationally recognized as a leading figure in contemporary music, enjoying a well-deserved reputation for works that are both creatively original and of considerable appeal. Her music communicates with a refreshingly broad audience, and this special achievement deserves careful consideration. In the first symposium book in English to be dedicated exclusively to this single figure, scholars from both the UK and Saariaho's native Finland bring a range of perspectives to her richly varied output. Uncovering the compositional, historical, cultural and sociological issues that have resulted in such critical acclaim lies at the heart of this collection of essays. Saariaho's approach to composition is an interdisciplinary one; it embraces a number of art forms - visual, literary and musical - in works that explore a creative dialogue between image, continuity and time. While such diversity is readily accommodated in a multi-authored collection, the consistency of an underlying compositional identity and integrity is also an important trait. The grouping of these essays into three strands - 'visions', 'narratives' and 'dialogues' - reflects the wide range of Saariaho's creative preoccupations while subscribing to a carefully structured succession of commentaries.
'… a refreshing departure from the norm… carefully edited and interesting…' Finnish Music Quarterly '… the versatile assemblage of perspectives, critiques, and analyses in Kaija Saariaho: Visions, Narratives, Dialogues offers readers the opportunity to make an extensive journey into Saariaho's aesthetic world, or to go only a short way down such a path; to travel directly, or with many fascinating diversions and detours.' International Alliance for Women in Music ’… this volume, as the first substantial engagement in English with Saariaho’s music from an analytic-theoretical point of view, is a welcome and useful one.’ Music and Letters
Contents: Preludes and codas; Part I Visions: Meet the composer: Kaija Saariaho in conversation with Tom Service; From the air to the earth: reading the ashes, Daniel March; Dreams about music, music about dreams, Anni Oskala. Part II Narratives: Stories from the mouth: flautists, bodily presence and intimacy in Saariaho's flute music, Taina Riikonen; Capturing time and giving it form: Nymphéa, Michael Rofe; Whispers from the past: musical topics in Saariaho's operas, Liisamaija Hautsalo. Part III Dialogues: Dualities and dialogues: Saariaho's concertos, Tim Howell; Dichotomies, relationships: timbre and harmony in revolution, Vesa KankaanpÃ¤Ã¤; Networks of communication: (de)crystallization and perceptual zoom in Du Cristal, Jon Hargreaves; Bibliography; Index.