Jukka Ruohomäen ensimmäisen sävellyskauden elektroakustinen musiikki

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Abstract

Jukka Ruohomäki’s electroacoustic music of his first compositional period

Composer Jukka Ruohomäki (b. 1947) was an active figure of the second phase of Finnish electroacoustic music which started in the late 1960’s. As a composer Ruohomäki is an autodidact, and his early works demonstrated skilled craft with the analogue media, i.e. tape recorders, synthesizers and sound processing equipment. During his first compositional period, 1970–78, Ruohomäki produced a wide variety of electronic music. In his electroacoustic compositions, narrative features are dominant and musical texture is often a layered combination of sound material from various sources. His musical output also includes electronic music and sound design for short films, theatre and radio plays, exhibitions, and popular music recordings by various Finnish artists, among others.

In this article, I introduce Ruohomäki’s work in the field of Finnish electroacoustic music as a teacher, researcher and composer. Ruohomäki started his career at the University of Helsinki Electronic Music Studio in 1970. The studio, which is the oldest still active electronic music studio in the Nordic countries, was founded by Erkki Kurenniemi in 1962. During the early 1970’s Ruohomäki succeeded Kurenniemi as a voluntary assistant of the studio, when Kurenniemi founded the Digelius Electronics Finland company for designing and manufacturing electronic musical instruments. Together with Kurenniemi, Ruohomäki started teaching electroacoustic music in 1972. In the late 1970’s, Ruohomäki concentrated on designing computer graphics and producing computer animated short films. From the late 1970’s and until the mid-1980’s Ruohomäki produced pioneering computer animations with his co-founders of the company Tööt-filmi. In the early 1990’s he conducted by far the largest historical
research and digitisation project of Finnish electroacoustic music. In the mid-1990’s the research project was halted as Ruohomäki returned to composition.

After a 16-year hiatus as a composer, his work Viiltoja (1995) was acknowledged by the international community of contemporary and electronic music with, for example, Prix Quadrivium, Bourges (1996) and Stockholm Electronic Music Award (1996).
In addition to the historical outlining of Ruohomäki’s work I analyse nine focal electroacoustic works from his first compositional period. For describing Ruohomäki’s musical language I apply Simon Emmerson’s theoretical framework of musical discourse and syntax. Analysis of musical structures is based on analytical listening and spectrum analysis. The features derived from the analysis
and the development of Ruohomäki’s style are further visualised by dimension space analysis of four features: syntax, musical discourse, sound material and complexity of the sound field.
Original languageFinnish
JournalMusiikki
Volume44
Issue number1-2
Pages (from-to)146-183
Number of pages38
ISSN0355-1059
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 6131 Theatre, dance, music, other performing arts

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