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Elverket Wed–Sun 11–17 | Sinne Tue–Sun 11–17

2. Antti Tolvi

Spring, 2021

Spruce, aluminium, water and sound technology.
The piece is in operation Mon–Sun 11:00–17:00

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Antti Tolvi is an artist who works in the middle ground between art and music. His sound installations and public appearances occupy the extreme poles of the sound world. At one end is the sine wave, the purest of all forms of sound, and at the other is noise, which is chaotic and complex. While music usually has an articulated narrative and communicates a mood, Tolvi chooses to operate in an area of minimalistic sound images that puts the focus on emptiness and clarity. Abstract sound can be seen as a possible way to break down existing hierarchies, models and mindsets. Tolvi’s Spring is a place where visitors can leave their own references and preconceived notions behind. Sound is a gateway, and listeners can allow a thought to come to the surface, observe it, feel it, and then let it go. 

Spring is a new site-specific sound work in which the viewer can sit down to listen, feel and see the sound, all at the same time. It has its origins in Tolvi’s interest in nature and the silence that can be found there. He stresses the importance of identifying the origin of the sounds. What sets the materials in motion and what types of sounds do they produce. In Spring Tolvi transposes his ideas in a concrete way. He makes use of cymatics, playing with harmonies and frequencies that make the whole construction vibrate and generate standing waves that can be read on the water’s surface. Spring is firmly rooted in drone music and the deep-listening tradition, in which a lot of time is allowed for the music to take place. A diametrically opposite pole to western pop-music culture. Drone music is minimalistic and monotonous, and is more of a tool for those who go into it and really listen. That listening is activated by repetitive rhythms and slow, almost imperceptible movements. Here, the small shifts and nuances take on great significance. In human life it is usually the big emotions and moments that get attention. Tolvi wants us to look at the fine details that are always going on in the background, and emphasizes the importance of finding a harmony and a resonance with a world that moves in long cycles. Pure, mineral-rich spring water is also the result of a slow movement. The water seeks its own way through layers of subsoil, cracks and fissures in the bedrock and, when it rises to the surface and reveals itself, it is in a new phase of the cycle.

Antti Tolvi (b. 1977) lives and works in Kimito. Since 2002, he has been active on the Finnish underground scene for sound art and has become something of a key figure. He has performed and exhibited around Finland as well as touring internationally. He has released 14 solo records and contributed to more than fifty others. He has also composed and played the music for film, dance and theatre. Since 2014, Antti Tolvi has been an organizer for the Kiilan Äänipäivät sound-art festival.

Photo: Katri Naukkarinen