Northern Connection initiative starts with premieres in March

Northern Connection, a new project connecting contemporary music composers, ensembles and festivals in the northern region, will start in March in the form of the first premiere. The aim of this unique pilot project is to promote the creation of new works and enable more performances for them in partner countries.

The now-starting Northern Connection connects the Nordic countries and Scotland by creating and strengthening connections between composers, ensembles and festivals in contemporary music. In the first phase of the project, the participating countries are Finland, Norway and Scotland, each of which has one contemporary music festival, one ensemble and one composer on board. One new work will be commissioned from a composer representing each country, which will be premiered by the local ensemble at a selected collaboration festival during 2023.

In the pilot phase, the partners of the project are Music Finland, Musica nova Helsinki and defunensemble (pictured) from Finland; Music Norway, Ultima festival and Ensemble Temporum from Norway; and Scottish Music Centre, Sound festival and Red Note Ensemble from Scotland. The initiator and leader of the project is Music Finland.

The composers selected for the project are Lauri Supponen from Finland, Lisa Robertson from Scotland and Tine Surel Lange from Norway. In the first concert, Finnish defunensemble will premiere Lisa Robertson's new work at the Musica nova Helsinki festival concert at G-Livelab in Helsinki on March 1.

“Writing this piece, am fàsach, for defunensemble has been an incredibly exciting process. Learning about the musicians and their previous concerts was very inspiring for me. I am really looking forward to working with them in rehearsals prior to the premiere on the 1st March, which will be the first time my music is played in Finland. I can't wait to hear the wonderful defunensemble bring the music to life, ” says Lisa Robertson.

The second performance of the project will be heard in Norway at the Ultima festival on September 23, when Ensemble Temporum premieres Lauri Supponen's commissioned work. In the third performance, Red Note Ensemble will perform Tine Surel Lange's work at the SOUND Scotland festival in October.

Sustainability and ecology at the heart of Northern Connection

Northern Connection is designed to create opportunities for composers, performers and events of contemporary music without a heavy environmental burden and massive financial investments. The instrumentation of the commissioned works is intentionally small and suitable for all three ensembles participating in Northern Connection, allowing each of them to include all three new works in their repertoire without large instruments or an extended line-up of musicians.

All of Northern Connection's partners are committed to traveling with as little carbon dioxide emissions as possible. Ensembles and composers are created opportunities for more performances and longer working periods and residencies in partner countries during their stay. Project planning and networking between Northern Connection's partners happens in online meetings.

In the coming years, the aim is to include Denmark, Sweden and Iceland in the Northern Connection network.

A separate website has been opened for the project at