top of page

Sea of Tranquility

(Guitar Concerto, 2005)

  • Solo Guitar + Ensemble: Alto Flute, Alto/Baritone Saxophone [optional Clarinet in Bb/Bass Clarinet], Percussion (1 player), Violin, Viola, Cello

  • Duration 24 min.

  • Commissioned by Kantakaupungin kitarakonsertit ry with funds from Luses. Dedicated to Mikko Ikäheimo.

  • First performance on November 1, 2005 in Helsinki, Finland by Mikko Ikäheimo, solo gtr., Hanna Kinnunen, a.fl., Olli-Pekka Tuomisalo, sax, Tuomo Huhdanpää, perc., Anna Hohti, vln, Hanna Korkeakoski, vla, Markus Hohti, vc and Nils Schweckendiek, cond.

  • Recording: Sauna, Ensemble Works, Edition Troy EDTCD 005 (2016), Mikko Ikäheimo, solo guitar, Neue Musik im Ostseeraum, Tomi Räisänen, cond.

The title Sea of Tranquility refers to the economical way of organizing the pitches in this work; carefully chosen tones are fixed to their places for a very long time. All the twelve notes of the tempered system are introduced not before halfway through the work. Changes also do occur, however, very slowly: like the very first note, the guitar’s low E stays steady in its place almost during the whole work. Only in the end, it finally starts to move, although in a surprising direction. Despite the stillness being an essential part of the character of the pitches, Sea of Tranquility also has its surging waves: occasionally, static situations grow into a furious storm. Although this is a concerto, I wanted to avoid the most common concerto clichés. Instead of a large orchestra, only six carefully chosen instruments accompany the soloist. The guitar is not an indisputable solo star; it often merges into the same fusion with the other instruments. Besides some brief soloistic moments, a proper classical solo cadenza does not appear. The only cadenza-like passage turns quickly into a duo for guitar and saxophone. TR, 2005

bottom of page