We are thrilled to announce that our very own Ian Cook has won MPLS (imPulse)’s first Compose Yourself! Contest. This was our first round in a completely blind submission process.
Ian’s piece was written for imPulse Happy Hour: Tales from the Deep taking place at Lake Monster Brewing. Drawing on the theme of the brewery, the concert is centered around legends and folk tales from the deep. Ian took inspiration from the Finnish story of Kalevala for his piece, Out of the River of Tuoni.
Here’s what Ian had to say when asked about his inspiration for his piece:
"Ever since I first started learning about Finnish culture, I have been fascinated by its language and mythologies. This includes the Kalevala, which is widely considered to be the national epic of Finland, containing many of Finland's most important folktales and mythology. The text used in Out of the River of Tuoni is excerpted from a story arc that is referenced in several other works of art and music, including Jean Sibelius’ Lemminkäinen Suite, most famously the second movement “The Swan of Tuonela” (Tuonela is an alternate form of the word Tuoni).
In Runo XIV of the Kalevala, Lemminkäinen hunts the black swan that lives on the river of Tuoni in the underworld in order to win a daughter of Louhi as his wife. While searching for the swan, he is killed and his body is dumped into the river. In Runo XV, Lemminkäinen’s mother searches all over the world for him before discovering his fate. She fashions a rake and uses it to recover her son’s body from the bottom of the river, then sews his body back together and uses a drop of honey from the god Ukko as an ointment. She uses her magic to restore her son to life.
Out of the River of Tuoni illustrates the story of Lemminkäinen’s mother, from the moment she begins her search until the moment her son has returned to life. The music expresses the transformation she goes through during this process, while also capturing the mysteriousness and the magic of the story."