As a result of working together in Taith trio, with Dylan Fowler and Timo Väänänen Timo asked me to write a piece for kantele and orchestra. The result was Sounds from Solitude, completed in 2010 and first performed by the Mikkeli string orchestra. The title is a reference to Thomas Merton’s book, “Thoughts from Solitude” as the overall structure and mood of the music was conceived when I took a month long solitary retreat in the Brecon Beacons/Bannau Brecheiniog. The kantele part is very much the product of collaboration between Timo and myself and demonstrates his extraordinary skills as an improvising player.
In the summer of 2013 the piece was recorded in studio number 1 of the Sibelius Academy, Helsinki with a Finnish String orchestra led by Tina Aho-Erula, with Kristiina Ilmonen on solo flutes and percussion, Nathan Rikki-Thompson on solo double bass and Dylan Fowler on drum. The recording session was produced by the esteemed musician and composer, Timo Alakotila. The fruits of this unique collaboration are now available on CD, for which I am very happy.