Minna Leinonen (b. 1977) is a Finnish composer of contemporary music. She is coming to Bodø with the piece Hush, performed by musicians from Esbjerg Ensemble.
The works of Minna Leinonen are ofter inspired by every day, extra-musical phenomena such as environment and folklore or daily objects and sounds.
Leinonens music has been performed by, among others, BBC Philharmonic, The Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the ICE ensemble, defunensemble, Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra, Tapiola Sinfonietta, Tampere Filharmonia, Tampere Chamber Opera and Uusinta Ensemble. She is studying at Doctoral Programme at the Sibelius Academy and at the present is composing Alma! chamber opera based libretto by Hanna Weselius with the help of a grant from Finnish Cultural Foundation´s Pirkanmaa regional fund. Minna Leinonen is a board member of the Society of Finnish Composers.
Minna Leinonen has also been involved in projects in which the music communicates with other artistic genres such as acrobatics, documentary, video or installation.
The festival theme is «truth?». Can music be “true”?
A composer writes music how she/he hears it, what is true to him/herself. Music expresses composer´s inner impulses which are inevitably influenced by the reality surrounding her/him. I think music imitates the truth seen from an individual perspective and also expresses cultural subconsciousness. Oscar Wilde thought that life imitates art even more than art imitates life. Art not only represents reality but also creates it; because of art experience things may become more intense and meaningful. Every artist has her/him own tools for this reflection.
You say you write music like you hear it and that life influences art. Has your music changed a lot through different phases of life?
A few years ago, I thought that my music was inspired not by nature sounds but by sounds of the city. The landscape at Koli, for instance, felt quite an alien inspiration for a modern urban person. But now when I´m living at the root of the world’s largest moraine esker in the proximity of a nature reserve, things have changed. Recently, many of my works have found their initial impulses from changes in the ecosystem. My living environment and my personal life situations influence my compositions – life influences art.
What thoughts do you have about the composer’s role in the further development of the music?
One aim could be to connect art more closely to life again. I think music seems to have its sustainable meaning by expressing and reflecting acute questions of this planet. Music articulates the diversity of the modern society and environment, its richness, hectism and problematics. For example, music could make us realize hyperobjects (things which are too far, too huge or too slow to understand) also emotionally. Because music has ability to affect listener´s initial feelings, it can go deeper when expressing global phenomena even more than news in media. Music can touch and go under your skin. It has a power to make things different.
Art reflects cultural Zeitgeist: it picks, imitates and comments phenomena which are characteristic to our time and culture. Music offers both listener and composer a possibility to experience even extreme feelings safely.
Hush (2015/rev.2017) is a piece for flute and percussion. Norwegian premiere! Hush was commissioned by the Nordic Music Days 2015, Copenhagen and was first performed by ICE ensemble. Hush was composed when Leinonens youngest child was born. Descriptive for the working process at that time was sudden interruptions: abrupt changes from composing to humming a lullaby. At some point this condition became an impulse for this duo.