The extremely talented cello duo of Jaani Helander and Lukas Stasevskij (also known from the GAME MUSIC COLLECTIVE) released a wonderful album of covers, game music, and original songs back in 2021, but now, CELLOMANIA are back again with some new music, this time an original song entitled “Towards the New Horizon.” The song is set for release tomorrow, but you can premiere it here already today!
“Towards the New Horizon” was made in collaboration with electro-pro Tuomas Ahva and Ginette inventor Petteri Mäkiniemi. Composed by CELLOMANIA cellist Jaani Helander for this unique hybrid ensemble, the piece is in two parts (I & II) and will be released on streaming platforms on April 28, 2023.
Says Jaani of his new composition: “I wanted to combine two cellos with the electronic music I greatly admire. The title, ‘Towards the New Horizon’ alludes to our present uncertain times and springs from a need for something new to ease them. Part I is caught up in a storm. Dramatic rises and falls alternate with singing cello melodies. The electronic part is at times rhythmical while at others it creates an atmospheric soundscape. The deep tones of the Ginette provide a basis and framework for the piece as a whole. Part II is a quick, straightforward ‘dance track’. The Ginette is in its element playing long slides and has more solo work in this part, including one distortion-effect solo. The drums add momentum to the cello rhythms and brilliance and the tension steadily rises, culminating in a burst of crazy fireworks.”
Jaani Helander had made music with Ginette player Petteri Mäkiniemi in 2019 and knew he did co-projects with Tuomas Ahva. He loved the idea of joining up with two cellos. They had a few practice sessions, and Petteri showed them how the Ginette works. Jaani began to form some idea of the sort of material he could write for the instrument, set to work in April 2022, and finished the piece in November.
“I told Tuomas about my vision of the electronic track and we had several sessions working on it at his studio. The project was, for me, a leap into the composition of electronic music – something I’d been dreaming of for years,” he says.
About the Artists
CELLOMANIA is a duo of two cellists, Jaani Helander and Lukas Stasevskij, and gave its first official public performance on Helsinki’s Allas Sea Pool stage in 2020. Their debut album, “Mania Unleashed,” was released on streaming platforms in autumn 2021. The album consists of pop and rock covers, game and film music, and Jaani’s first composition, “Nocturne, Op. 1.” CELLOMANIA opened the prize ceremony of the Nordic Council of Ministers at the Helsinki Music Centre in November 2022 with Jaani’s Festive Anthem, “Op. 4,” in a performance televised in all the Nordic countries.
Jaani Helander plays the cello in the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, teaches at the Sibelius Academy, and is Artistic Director of the Helsinki Chamber Music Festival. His compositions further include a String Quintet (“Inner Life, Op. 2”), and his latest, a String Quartet (“Op. 5”), is to premiere at the Helsinki Chamber Music Festival on July 8th, 2023.
Lukas Stasevskij has appeared the world over as the cellist in New York’s Lincoln Center Quintet. He is also the founder and Artistic Director of the GAME MUSIC COLLECTIVE and is at present studying film direction and making a documentary in the Ukraine.
Petteri Mäkiniemi operates across music, technology, and art. He plays a Ginette, an instrument of his own construction based on an early French electric Ondes Martenot. Right now, he is developing a novel polyphonic version of the Ginette with a grant from the Kone Foundation.
Tuomas Ahva is a musician and sound designer. Synthetic and manipulated sound sources, electronic rhythms, voice effects and contrasting sonic worlds join hands in his music. He also does podcasts interviewing and inspiring other music makers.