Every August, the Helsinki Festival turns the city into a two-week international cultural feast. The program includes music, dance, theatre, visual arts, movies, circus, you name it. This year, even Yoko Ono (80) performed here.
|A slalom through a serpentine of bamboo organs.|
As the event was open on four days only and as I am a fan of street art, flash mobs and all kinds of public acts such as Improv Everywhere, I dragged him to Helsinki on a Saturday afternoon to experience the wind-composed symphony. After a sunny stroll through the soothing sounds on the Eiranranta waterfront he, too, was impressed.
|Where did all the old petanque balls go? To decorate wind instruments.|
The instruments of wind in the Harmonic Fields production – the woodwind, strings, percussion – are custom-made for the symphony of nature. The day was rather calm and some of the tunes were pretty faint but if you pressed your ear against the instrument and closed your eyes you could catch the distant sound of the föhn, mistral or sirocco approaching.
Chairs or loungers were placed by some of the instruments inviting you to relax to their clacking, banging, whirring or buzzing melody. There were also a couple of items you could stick your head into and the current you created caused a wonderfully powerful humming sound for your ears only.
|Lie down and learn to listen.|
|Stick your head inside this flying saucer.|
Harmonique Fields was created in 2010 and has since then delighted audiences in several European locations, most recently in Marseille, one of the two 2013 European Capitals of Culture (the other one being Kosice in Slovakia; don’t worry, I didn’t remember that either) and just before arriving at Helsinki in Genk, Belgium. Here is a link to a video of the event in the magnificent setting of Les Goudes, Marseille and here another one to a video recorded at Eiranranta in Helsinki.