369° is a contemporary dance ensemble work by Petri Kekoni Company which I composed music and sound for. 369° was first premiered in 2019 at Cirko, Maneesi hall, Helsinki. One might observe it as a moving and sounding sculpture. Most of the dance takes place on top of a centralised podium, surrounded by audience. A metaphor of a town square was applied at some point for this spatial choice. A square exists as a place where people come together, public events are held and everyone can quite freely choose their position and angle.
The podium, on top of which dance takes place, is the sounding object itself. The speaker system that emits sound to all sides of the space is physically constructed inside the podium, making it a vibrating and sounding object. In addition to this centralised setup the spatial aspects of music and sound compositions are further expanded with a custom multichannel surround setup.
Music and sound exist in 369° as an evolving, spatially motivated mass or layered texture which slowly reshapes itself into new forms, resembling often more a flowing continuum of things than a distinct part-based structure.
One noteworthy feature for 369° composition process was that low frequency content was used abundantly in order to create a compelling, very physical experience of sound, which would grab and surround audience as a gentle but powerful force. As I held responsibility for creating all music and sound from composition to sound system designing, tuning and mixing the events, I was able to balance things so that despite the high sound pressure levels and very corporal experience of sound, people weren't encountering a deafening mass of midrange content. The louder and more physical you want the sound to get without damaging anyone's ears, the more detailed and aware choices you have to make, from composing to sound system tuning.
One peculiar feature of this compositional choice was that although audience felt safe to even let their small children explore the piece without using earmuffs, our dancers noted that at some point their toes started to go numb as the wooden podium itself resonated so much from the extensive use of low frequency sound.
Petri Kekoni choreography and concept
Tanja Illukka, Meeri Lempiäinen, Pekka Louhio, Anna Stenberg, Eero Vesterinen Dancers
Antti Nykyri Music
Jukka Huitila Lighting design
Monika Hartl Costume design
Petri Kekoni, Heikki Rosti Set design
Pasi Orrensalo Photos
Anne Peippo Producer
Heikki Rosti / Telakka Oy Technical realization
Petri Kekoni Company / Liikkeen puolesta ry Production
Premiere 22.11.2019 Cirko, Maneesi hall, Helsinki
Duration appx. 50 min
Support: Finnish cultural foundation, Helsinki city cultural centre, Arts promotion centre Finland
Video: Thomas Freundlich / Lumikinos production Oy