Skip to main content

Hanna Tuulikki

When Hanna Tuulikki was growing up in Brighton, she spent five years living in a mobile home while her architect father built his family a brand new house. In such cramped confines, the then 11-year old understandably craved the great outdoors, where sea, sand and sky were in abundance. Now 24, the Glasgow based sound artist and singer with off-kilter free folk groups Nalle and Scatter concedes that being at one with nature at such a formative age has maybe influenced her current practice.

This includes a recent residency in Cromarty, recording people imitating the slow but steady inhalations and exhalations of the sea on 100 Breaths, 100 Waves, and a replication of a dawn chorus on Salutations To The Sun. Rather than kooky affectation, however, Tuulikki’s outdoor pursuits were developed on Glasgow School of Art’s Environmental Art course.

“I was very idealistic,” Tuulikki says, “and was interested in how art could provide solutions to a person’s environmental problems. But I felt very vulnerable, because I was wearing my politics on my sleeve, and the most important thing, which was music, was getting lost, and everything was becoming dry and calculated. I basically spent my final year thinking about how I could bring my voice and my singing into my practice.”

An epiphany came via Call and Response, in which Tuulikki sang and played clarinet to feathered occupants of a wildfowl sanctuary, incorporating the resultant birdsong into the ‘performance.’ Tuulikki has since solicited similarly styled invocations on Singing Bowl, a ‘participatory song sculpture,’ and Pollockshaws Song Portrait, which recorded songs chosen and sung by ten participants, then fused them into an overlapping chorale. All are documented on CDs released through Tuulikki’s own Gleaners imprint.

Given such grassroots oral archiving, Tuulikki’s influences unsurprisingly stem from Joseph Beuys’ organic extrapolations by way of New York composer Pauline Oliveros’s notion of Deep Listening.Tuulikki also cites Matt Stokes, whose own Dawn Chorus, involving video projected choir, recently opened at Gateshead’s Baltic Centre.

If Tuulikki has a guru, though, it’s Chris Watson, the former Cabaret Voltaire electronicist turned wildlife recordist for David Attenburgh’s Life On Earth documentaries and soundscape artist for Touch Records. Watson provided Tuulikki with seal recordings for her degree show, a video and sound installation which attempted to achieve with seals what Call and Response had done with birds.

Since Cromarty, Tuulikki has been recording and touring with Nalle. With a name meaning teddy-bear in Finnish, and a cover drawing of a winged grizzly, the band’s debut album, By Chance Upon Waking, is awash with Tuulikki’s wide-eyed predilections with suns, skies, mountains and forests. Tuulikki also contributed to Flight/Vuelo, a multi-media project with Cuban video artists curated by Nicola Atkinson. Davidson. A second collaboration formed part of Atkinson.Davidson’s Hanging By A Thread exhibition at Paisley Museum. Glass Mountain utilised sounds generated from a recycling dump, while Tin Can Telephone had Tuulikki play recordings of herself as an infant as her grown-up self handed out toys.

A further collaboration with Atkinson. Davidson, a public art project in Fife, is scheduled for March 2007, as is a possible screening of Tuulikki’s degree show film at the Royal Scottish Academy, and an already recorded sound library of vocal inflections for an interactive web programme devised by Simon Yuill.

Tuulikki also expresses a long-term desire to create a space solely devoted to sound art. Such ambitions stem from observations that “within gallery spaces the audience are less interested in engaging with sound works than visual. But it’s not just sound that’s problematic. People walk round galleries reading a sheet of paper rather than looking at the paintings. So I guess it’s trying to create a space where you can build an atmosphere that allows the audience to lose themselves a little bit.”

With music and art now no longer separate worlds, she’d “like there to be even more of a synthesis, so that I can play a show that can be an art show at the same time, and people wouldn’t have to ask if I was an artist or a musician. I don’t want to have that distinction,” Tuulikki says, catching her breath, waiting for the next wave.

MAP issue 9, January 2007

ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Clybourne Park

Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy Four Stars
It’s a case of whoops, there goes the neighbourhood twice over in Rapture Theatre’s revival of Bruce Norris’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play, which opens in 1959 in the same Chicago suburb where Lorraine Hansberry’s drama, A Raisin in the Sun, which appeared that year, is set. Here, Robin Kingsland’s Russ and his wife Bev, played by Jackie Morrison, are preparing to move out of their now almost empty des-res following a family tragedy.
Unknown to them, the bargain basement price tag has enabled a black family to move in, with Jack Lord’s uptight Karl a self-appointed spokesperson for the entire ‘hood. Russ and Bev’s black maid Francine (Adelaide Obeng) and her husband Albert (Vinta Morgan), meanwhile, bear witness to a barrage of everyday racism. Fast forward half a century, and a white family are trying to buy the same house, albeit with a heap of proposed changes which the black couple representing the block’s now much more diverse community aren’t…

Michael Rother - Sterntaler at 40

"There's so much to do," says an uncharacteristically flustered Michael Rother. The normally unflappably beatific German guitarist, composer and former member of Neu! and Harmonia, who also had a stint in a nascent Kraftwerk, is packing for live dates in Russia and the UK, including this weekend's show at the Queen Margaret Union in Glasgow.
"It has always been my choice to take care of these things myself and not have a manager," he says. "Somehow for me the independent aspect of doing things is really important, but it has its disadvantages."
As well as playing selections from Neu! and Harmonia, the trio he formed with Dieter Moebius and Hans Joachim Roedelius of Cluster, Rother's Glasgow date will see him play a fortieth anniversary rendering of his second solo album, Sterntaler, in full. Rother will be accompanied by guitarist Franz Bargmann and drummer Hans Lampe, the latter of whose musical involvement with Rother dates back to Neu! days, …

Kieran Hurley – Mouthpiece

Things have changed since Kieran Hurley first began writing the play that would become Mouthpiece, which opens at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh this weekend. At the time, Hurley was, in his own words, “quite new on the scene.” As a writer and performer, he had already scored hits with Beats and Chalk Farm, two pieces that put him on the map with a new generation of theatre-makers steeped in an equally new wave of grassroots opposition that drew from the iconography of revolutions past. Where Beats looked at the politicisation of 1990s club culture, Chalk Farm, co-written with AJ Taudevin, focused on a teenage boy caught up in the 2011 London riots.
More plays followed. Some, like Heads Up used the same solo story-telling aesthetic to look at an everyday apocalypse. More recently, Square Go, written with Gary McNair, dissected toxic masculinity through a school playground fight.
All the while as Hurley developed as a writer, from new kid on the block to established provocateur, this…