UNIKO features the Grammy winning Kronos Quartet together with a Finnish duo, accordion adventurer Kimmo Pohjonen and sampling guru Samuli Kosminen. Produced by Iceland's Valgeir Sigurosson, known for his collaboration with Bjork, this album was recorded at Avatar Studios in NYC. UNIKO was commissioned by Kronos in 2003 and premiered live at the Helsinki Festival in 2004. It has subsequently drawn sellout audiences in Moscow, Molde (Norway), and New York at the 2007 BAM NEXT WAVE Festival. UNIKO is highlighted by Pohjonen's electrified and MIDI-fied accordion with Kosminen's electronic percussion devices which reproduce his own accordion samples and his samples of Kronos' instruments. These samples, together with live strings and electric accordion plus effects and manipulations create a new, multi-dimensional sound world.
Uniko is like an ocean tide coming in. Big wawes of sounds build in complexity, animation and sometimes sheet frenzy.The New York Times
Finnish composer Kimmo Hakola was recently portrayed by The New York Times as, "possessed of a joyful, mischievous spirit." The article described his music as "mixing together shapely lyricism, atonality, quirky folkishness and an almost hedonistic approach to timbre and rhythm." - an ideal characterization of the monumental Piano Concerto, which is the main feature on this new CD release in celebration of Hakola's 50th birthday.The 55-minute work is cast in no less than nine stirring movements, which combine scintillating virtuosity with powerful emotions and humoUr.With hints of jazz and folk music, in addition to parodist episodes of serial music, Hakola here produces unorthodox and accessible classical music at its best! Coupled with the Piano Concerto is the Sinfonietta for orchestra, 15-minute work of relentless virtuoso energy.
Mist Season was founded in 2004, in Hämeenlinna (Finland). The desire to play music including a spectrum of emotional and dynamic elements, bordering between progressive rock and fusion was the initiative for the group which consists of five members. Keijo Hakala (bass) has extensive experience as a rock / jazz musician. This holds true for Kimmo Pörsti (drums) as well, who has been involved, for instance, in numerous television music productions. Tommi Varjola (guitar) teaches guitar in a music institute…