Outi Tarkiainen, unveiling the music
With music it is possible to touch something that is deep inside us.
Read our interview with Outi Tarkiainen, as she discusses her music inspirations and composing:
What brought you to composing?
OT: I have been composing since early childhood – it has always been an important way of expressing my deepest thoughts and feelings. I actually first learnt to write music and then to write in general! In teenage years I got more serious about it and began aiming for professional studies in composing. Always, composing has felt like building bridges between people for me. With music it is possible to touch something that is deep inside us.
Nature makes us happier and more relaxed, because it connects with the origins of us.
Your source of inspiration seems to stem primarily from the north, nature, and motherhood. Do you see yourself drawing inspiration from other ‘natures’ around the world in the future?
OT: Being a mother myself, and motherhood of nature for us, human beings, have something in common. Mothers develop a sixth sense to care for their little ones, but we as a human race come from nature and are part of it, born from it. The connection with it is something that I think we should preserve – nature makes us happier and more relaxed, because it connects with the origins of us. I'm from Lapland myself and the Northern nature is my mother tongue and childhood home, but Icelandic nature has actually been very inspirational for me as well in the latest years, perhaps because the landscape there is very similar to the Northernmost Lapland's landscape, with tens of kilometres of air all over in the horizon. When I first visited Iceland in 2008, for some reason I felt strongly like coming home. That was very curious feeling that I have not experienced anywhere else.
I think it should be an inevitable part of being a Laplander, trying to help our very own indigenous people preserve their rich and ancient cultural heritage.
What is your relationship to the Sami culture? Why is it important for you to use it in your work?
OT: I grew up surrounded by the presence of the Sámi culture even though I have no Sámi roots myself, and I have seen how difficult it is trying to maintain their minority culture and language surrounded by a society that works in another language. I think Sámi people are one of the very few folks left in the world, that have the very original connection with the nature still untouched. Their conception of time, for example, is very different, and things happen not necessarily now but when the time is right. In general, I think it should be an inevitable part of being a Laplander, trying to help our very own indigenous people preserve their rich and ancient cultural heritage. I find it endlessly fascinating.
Many times, I feel music is already existing, I just have to unveil it.
What does your composing process look like?
OT: I compose in circles, so to speak – begin with sketching the whole work, then go through the material from the beginning to the end again and again, about three or four times, until all the details get clear and music starts to "feel right". Many times, I feel music is already existing, I just have to unveil it. Subconscious and dreams are very important in that process. I'm always interested in the people that will perform my works and might even put pictures of them to my wall. In the end the act of music is very physical and emotional, and I think a whole lot about that how it will feel to play or sing my music. That feeling, I hope, will carry to the audience, and that's the whole point of it.
Listen to Outi Tarkiainen's 2020 album