Kimmo Pohjonen – organ-accordion, voice
Mikko Helenius – organ, voice
Tuomas Norvio – sound design and live electronics
Otso Vartiainen – visual design, lights
Kimmo Pohjonen’s new 70 min. composition, Ultra Organ, was commissioned by Köln Philharmonie. Co-composer of the piece is Tuomas Norvio with arrangements by Pohjonen, Helenius and Norvio.
Over a process of several years work, Pohjonen’s goal has been to invent a new instrument whereby the organ comes alive electronically through his accordion.
The composition is a modern music and in its narrative, the accordion has its own battle with the official instrument of the church, the organ. The result is 21st century’s electronic organ-accordion music.
Pohjonen’s invention “organ-accordion” is the first accordion to play organ samples that he has programmed into the accordion. The sampling began from the organ of Köln Philharmonie and a few churches in Finland. Numerous trials and tests were required to find the precise sounds that created a natural sound picture for the new instrument. Tuomas Norvio compiled from the organ samples rhythmic and melodic textures which brings strong rhythmic pulse to some parts of the composition. The starting point for the composition then became naturally the synthesis of acoustic and electronic organ. Ultra Organ is a new music of today which reflects the common history of organ and accordion and brings the colours of these instruments to the new century.
The multi-talented organist in the project is church organ player and improvisor Mikko Helenius. The Ultra Organ mother tongue is thereby created by three different musicians each playing organ sounds in their own ways; Kimmo Pohjonen – organ-accordion and voice, Mikko Helenius – church organ and voice, Tuomas Norvio – organ sample rhythms
Ultra Organ premiere was on 15.3.2017 at Köln Philharmonie concert hall.