Commissioned by Lapland Chamber Orchestra
(…) when they come
they will find this land, us
and we are stones, plants, animals, fishes
water, wind, earth, sky (…)
Nils-Aslak Valkeapää (translated by Ralph Salisbury and Harald Gaski)
The Arctic regions have warmed much faster than the rest of the world as climate change advances. Many endangered Arctic species, such as the freshwater pearl mussel and the snowy owl, are now endangered. A poem by Nils-Aslak Valkeapää views his fellow Sámi – indigenous dwellers of the Arctic zone – as such an inseparable part of their environment that the border between Man and Nature ceases to exist. Eyes are turning more and more towards the indigenous peoples as the environmental destruction caused by climate change proceeds: we are, maybe instinctively, looking to them in our search for a new model as we realise that our lifestyle and overconsumption are destroying not only Nature but us, too.
The Concerto for Chamber Orchestra Polar Pearls is like a bracelet of little character movements – tributes to our unique Arctic Nature and its delicate balance. I have dedicated the concerto to John Storgårds and the Lapland Chamber Orchestra, giving the gems in its ranks each in turn a chance to shine.
- Outi Tarkiainen, 2023