what inspires me?

Osmo Tapio Räihälä (Finland), Composer

Osmo Tapio Räihälä.

Osmo Tapio Räihälä.

As a synaesthete, I ‘hear’ colours, shapes and textures, and I ‘see’ sounds, timbres, rhythms, and so on. Very often I get the inspiration from some remarkable work of visual art, such as a painting or a sculpture: when I see an impressive work of visual art, I immediately ‘hear’ the sound and form of it. And the other way round: when I listen to powerful, impressive music, it becomes visual in my mind, and these sensations can inspire me too. I’m very often inspired by good music that I hear; in fact I always listen to music thinking, ‘What can I learn from this?’ or even, ‘Could I nick this idea and turn it into my own?’ When I start composing a new work, I always think rst of colours, shapes and textures, and only when I really start writing does it turn into notes, pauses and rhythms.

My music portrays and describes things all the time, but only to myself. Every listener experiences music in their own way, and because of that I try to avoid making straightforward descriptions about music in words. So I must say that my music portrays very intangible things.