Photo: Saila Susiluoto

Oratorio is a mobile and location based artwork combining poetry and sound art. It was created in 2016-2017 by poet Saila Susiluoto and me. It takes place at eight separate locations in Helsinki, Finland. The work consists of over sixty new poems by Susiluoto and over two hours of recorded and composed material. It can be listened with a mobile device and earphones and it's free for all to use.

Existing and imaginary layers of city emerge as part of the auditory work and overlap with the physical surroundings as the listener is provided a private and intimate experience. Oratorio works best in the specific locations it was created for, but it can nevertheless be listened in other cities and places. The chosen archetypical locations such as hospital, church, railway station hall, subway or cemetery can be found from many cities.

Visit the Oratorio page (in Finnish) to explore the full piece or listen to a part created for Helsinki Central Station, western hall. You can also download the part.

Composing for Oratorio

Composing for Oratorio was a lengthy process extending over a one year period. The piece was constructed solely by Saila and me and involved fieldwork around Helsinki for creating and testing the materials for our chosen locations.

Composing for poems was something we had collaborated on with Saila before while creating the Antikythera app for iPad. This time though the poems would be in spoken and audible form instead of being read. Oratorio is based on interaction of three major components; 1) the chosen locations with all their sensitive layers and history, 2) spoken poetry and 3) sound compositions. These all work together and affect each other 

Oratorio was supported by Kone Foundation, Arts Promotion Centre Finland National Council for Literature & Arts Council of Uusimaa, Alfred Kordelin Foundation and Otava Literature Foundation