A work for detuned colonial piano or grand piano and electronics by Erkki Veltheim,
written for and performed by Gabriella Smart (60’)

Visual Design by Laurent Muller & Constantine Koukias

In this engrossing acoustic-electronic work composer Erkki Veltheim morphs history with contemporary culture: Morse code played on colonial piano spells out the world’s most retweeted tweet of January 2015, reflecting our universal obsession with trivia.

Telegraph is inspired by the first piano to arrive in Alice Springs at the Telegraph Station via Oodnadata, on the back of a camel. The telegraph line is translated onto the keyboard by utilising the distance in Hertz between the lowest and highest notes of the Telegraph piano (which has 85 keys or 7 octaves), which roughly equals the distance in kilometres of the Overland Telegraph Line. Metaphorically, the keyboard thus traverses a line between Port Augusta and Port Darwin, with Alice Springs being signified by the pitch Eb4.

The pianist is a machine, performing a precise code on colonial piano over an hour against an intense and changing electronic landscape.

Essay by Charles Shafaieh

‘I fully surrendered to this stream of music, created only in the Anglo-Saxon world and its postcolonial and immigrant mix of cultures that absorbed Zen, LSD experiences, poetry and prose, beatnikov, Indian music, late John Coltrane and many more.’
Robert Kolář, Music of Today, Bratislava 2018

Photo by Sabina Maselli

Erkki Veltheim

Erkki Veltheim (b. 1976 Finland) is an Australian composer and performer. His practice spans noise, audiovisual installation, improvisation, notated music, electroacoustic composition, pop arrangements and multidisciplinary performance.

Erkki has been commissioned by the Adelaide Festival, Vivid Festival, Australian Art Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Musica nova Helsinki, and his works have been performed by groups such as the London Sinfonietta, defunensemble, Soundstream Collective, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Sydney Symphony Orchestra. He composed the orchestral works for celebrated Australian indigenous musician Gurrumul’s posthumous album Djarimirri, which won 4 ARIA Awards and the 2018 Australian Music Prize. Other recent projects include audiovisual performance work Another Other (2014/2016), with co-creators Anthony Pateras, Natasha Anderson and Sabina Maselli, commissioned by Chamber Made Opera, and audiovisual installation Fusion of Tongues (2015), commissioned by Punctum and La Maison Folie, Belgium, for ‘Mons 2015 – European Capital of Culture’ program.

Erkki has performed with the Australian Art Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Elision, Ensemble musikFabrik and Ensemble Modern. He is a member of the improvising trio North of North with trumpeter Scott Tinkler and pianist Anthony Pateras, and has a long-standing collaboration with the visual artist Sabina Maselli. He has also played with many musicians from a wide range of styles and backgrounds, including Amanda Stewart, Stephen Pigram, William Barton, Mike Patton, Mark Atkins, Shane Howard, Cat Power, Jon Rose, Paul Grabowsky, Wadada Leo Smith, Han Bennink, Mark Atkins, Bae Il Dong, Brett Dean, Robin Fox, Clocked Out, Anthony Burr and Chris Abrahams.

October 16, Bratislava 2018
Bratislava Music Academy Hall, “Music Today” Concert Series

July 15, Adelaide Australia 2018
Beaumont House, Adelaide

June 29, Perth, Australia 2018
Tura, Perth, TURA New Music Concert Series

April 22, Melbourne Australia 2018
MLIVE, Monash University, Melbourne

April 13, Adelaide Australia 2018
Adelaide Central School of Art (World Premiere)

Constantine Koukias
Foundation IHOS Amsterdam

Phone + 31 6 49894484