Encounter of the winds
Zephyr & Wind on Wind
Remarkably enough, two flute ensembles came into being in both Finland and Sweden at roughly the same time. They consist of some of the best flutists on both sides of the Gulf of Bothnia.
Finnish Wind on Wind and Swedish Zephyr got together to explore, evolve and enjoy the various colors and expressive possibilities different flutes can offer. With their different traditions and unique backgrounds as musicians and composers, they cross-fertilize each other, experimenting with new sounds and forms. A refreshing encounter between archaic and modern, tradition and innovation.
With repetitive rhythms, modal melodies and multiple melodic layers, they use small means to create new sounds and astonishing variety. The rhythms and melodies come from the Nordic tradition that features polskas, hallings, runo songs and more. Minimalist music from contemporary Western art music along with various other folk traditions are also important sources of inspiration.
This flute ensemble can be likened to an organ without a keyboard, where the musicians are the air flow, the respiration. A creature of the wind with a rich collection of instruments, where the contrasts and dynamics make up a huge wingspan. A flute ensemble where the minimalistic, austere and dramatic are all given space. From a gentle breeze to a wild storm.
Kristiina Ilmonen belongs to the pioneers of the Finnish contemporary folk music movement. She is a musician, composer and teacher, playing woodwinds, vocals and percussion. Kristiina has been involved with improvised music, in particular, and she has collaborated with contemporary dance, theatre and film. She has performed worldwide both solo and with many bands, such as Suunta, Ural Pop and Wind on Wind. Today Kristiina works as professor of folk music at the Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki.
Mimmi Laaksonen plays both traditional and modern recorders, irish flute, harmonium and piano. She is specialized in Finno-Ugric and Nordic folk music as well as music
education. Mimmi currently works in a care music project which brings music to nursing homes. As a freelance musician, Mimmi plays in several bands, such as Helsinki Soundpainting Ensemble, Wind on Wind, and Pentti Rasinkangas & MuuSika Pupular.
Kirsi Ojala is a musician with a wide range of traditional wind instruments: recorders and whistles, overtone flutes, old reed instruments and jew’s harps. She works in the awardwinning Sibelius Academy Folk Big Band as the principal of winds. Her other ensembles are
Eppel&Peppel, Sähköpaimen, Armas and Wind on Wind. Kirsi’s playing can also be heard on mobile game soundtracks by Rovio, the company behind the Angry Birds franchise.
Leena Laitinen is a recorder player and music teacher. She is specialized in early music and music education. She has worked in various cross-cultural projects with dance, opera, medieval music and pop music. Often in these projects and bands, Leena also works as a singer. Her playing and singing can be heard for example in the albums of Milargo, New Better Spring Band, and Wind on Wind.
Jonas Simonson – one of Sweden’s most established, innovative flute players of folk and world music. During the last 30 years he has travelled around the globe with his music. As
an artist, he has had a great impact on the innovative Swedish folk music scene and his intense, rhythmical and personal style of playing can be listened to on numerous albums by i.e. Groupa, Den Fule and the Crane Dance Trio.
Göran Månsson – one of the most exciting and dynamic flutists of Sweden today. Göran’s roots lie in Haverö, Mid-Eastern Sweden, where he inherited the talent of his ancestors, passing on that very music till today. With a background as a percussionist, Göran brings his percussive skills into his style of playing, which makes his flute playing swing like never heard before. Göran plays with the Göran Månsson Band, Frispel and Månsson & Åberg.