Premiere of new works
Performed by Lempi­kuoro
Conducted by Julia Lainema
Friday 4th of November, 2022 at 7pm
Suomen­linna Church

BLOSIS // WIND (slang/informal)
Leo Niemi

Tuomittu Maa // Doomed Earth
Jouko Kelo­mäki
solo: Paavo Rink­kala

Lauluja tinki­mät­tö­myy­destä // Songs of Perse­ve­rance:

Miks nukut sä vaan // Why Do You Sleep
Hymns of Zion (1972) nro 174: 1–3, 6, 8
version from Pohjois-Savo, arr: Säde Bart­ling
text: Anders Nordensk­jöld, Finnish trans: Elias Lagus, rev: Wilhelmi Malmi­vaara

Ehdot­toman kiel­täy­ty­misen sietä­mät­tö­myys I // The Into­le­ra­bi­lity of Abso­lute Refusal I
Säde Bart­ling
text: Jer. 20: 8–11

Pääkallot // Skulls
Lassi Vihko
text: Eino Leino

Antti Suoma­lainen

Scroll down for composer bios and lyrics


Photo: Vuokko Salo

“I know thee not, thou knowest me not”, states Eino Leino in his poem Skulls. Yet “all are alike”. The pieces in this concert reflect on various aspects of human life: the horrors of war, faith, despe­rate acts. The produc­tion of this concert has been a unique oppor­tu­nity to work exclusi­vely with newly-composed works. Furt­her­more, it is a notable and rare thing that all but one of the compo­sers also sing in the choir. We hope you have a memo­rable concert – it is time to bring this brand new choral music to life!

Julia Lainema graduated with a Master of Music degree in Choral Conduc­ting from the Sibe­lius Academy in the of summer 2022, having previously completed a Master of Music degree in Music Educa­tion. In addi­tion to Lempi­kuoro, Julia is the artistic director of Ahjo Ensemble, Kaari Ensemble and, from spring 2023, the Näs Chamber Choir. She arranges and composes choral music and has orga­nised various choral music events. Julia is a member of the Committee for Equal Oppor­tu­ni­ties of the Finnish Choral Direc­tors Associa­tion and writes a blog on choral music called “Women compo­sers in choral music”.


Photo: Pyry Kantonen

Lempi­kuoro is a Helsinki-based mixed choir founded by profes­sional and expe­rienced singers in autumn 2019. In Lempi, high-class singing meets the joy of making music and explo­ring new perfor­mance methods together. The choir’s reper­toire is based on a wide range of clas­sical choral music from the Renais­sance to the present day. In August 2022, Lempi­kuoro performed in the highly acclaimed Sun & Sea opera produc­tion, which was part of Kias­ma’s ARS22 exhi­bi­tion and the Helsinki Festival. The choir was among the first choirs to hold its own live­stream concert during the strict pandemic restric­tions in autumn 2020 and also performed with pop singer Janne Masalin in autumn 2021.

Leo Niemi:

Photo: Yasir Al-Ani

Hailing from Länsi-Vantaa, Leo Niemi began his musical journey at Martin­laakso elemen­tary school playing Metal­lica on bass. His inte­rest in music led him from Vaski­vuori high school to the Helsinki Pop & Jazz Conser­va­tory and even further to the Univer­sity of Helsin­ki’s Musico­logy Depart­ment where Niemi’s curio­sity for music found a home.

Curio­sity is a hall­mark of Niemi’s music. For example, his rap alter ego Leokoira released Häslinki EP in early 2022, combi­ning hip-hop, jazz and metal in a way that had never been heard before.

BLOSIS is another leap into the unknown. Composed in 2017 and released on Spotify, the transcen­dental sound artwork reaches the edges of the human voice, explo­ring what kind of tones and colours the human voice can actually produce.

Blosis is Helsinki slang for “wind”.

Jouko Kelomäki:
Tuomittu Maa // Doomed Earth

Doomed Earth is inspired by end-of-the-world cynicism that runs rampant online. This pheno­menon irri­tates the composer because of its often weak and misrepre­sented scien­tific reaso­ning, but which in itself provides a solid emotional basis for compo­si­tion. Doomsday and its defi­ni­tions are also used as powerful instru­ments of discourse in diffe­rent socie­ties. Perhaps this piece will at least provoke discus­sion of such power at the coffee table.

Jouko Kelo­mäki studied mathe­ma­tics at the Univer­sity of Helsinki with mediocre grades under various teac­hers, lectu­rers and profes­sors. The degree proved to be too tough a feat though, and they never graduated. A career as a teacher did not suit emotional Jouko either, so they ended up switc­hing to program­ming and consul­tancy. This seemingly resulted in newfound self-confi­dence, which they have leve­raged in compo­sing this piece for Lempikuoro.

Tuomittu Maa // Doomed Earth

The energy released from the impact of an aste­roid or comet with a diameter of five to ten kilo­me­ters or larger is sufficient to create a global envi­ron­mental disaster.

An example of the devas­ta­ting effects is a cloud of fine dust ejecta blan­ke­ting the planet partially bloc­king direct sunlight from reac­hing the Earth’s surface thus lowe­ring land tempe­ra­tures by about 15 degrees Celsius, halting photo­synt­hesis.

As an expert assessed: It’s a hundred percent certain Earth will be hit by a devas­ta­ting aste­roid, but we’re just not sure when.

Doomed Earth, Doomed Earth

The Sun’s lumi­no­sity has increased by a percent every hundred and ten million years. Once the solar lumi­no­sity is ten percent higher than its current value, the planet’s climate changes.

The average global surface tempe­ra­ture will rise to 47 degrees Celsius. The atmosp­here will become a “moist green­house” leading to a runaway evapo­ra­tion of the oceans.

Runaway evapo­ra­tion of seas

Water molecules in the stra­tosp­here will be broken by solar UV allowing hydrogen to escape the atmosp­here.

Water will slowly escape out to space

The result will be a loss of the world’s seawater by about 1.1 billion years from the present.

Doomed Earth, Doomed Earth

In octo­decil­lion years is the abso­lute end. The laws of physics state: entropy must increase. When maximum entropy is reached, heat death occurs (heat death occurs): no more move­ment, no energy, nothing.

Jouko Kelo­mäki

Säde Bartling:
Lauluja tinkimättömyydestä // Songs of Perseverance

Photo: Ilkka Koski

I am a composer-arranger specia­li­sing in vocal music, with strong influences from jazz, folk music and tradi­tional art music. Songs of Perse­ve­rance is a series of songs based on ex-priest Kai Sadin­maa’s book Tinki­mätön kuole­maan saakka (Bazar 2022) – partly auto­bio­grap­hical, partly about the fate of the famous Finnish conscien­tious objector Arndt Peku­rinen. For lyrics I have used both excerpts from Sadin­maa’s book and other thema­tically similar texts. Two parts of the series will be performed by Lempikuoro.

Lauluja tinki­mät­tö­myy­destä // Songs of Perse­ve­rance

Why Do You Sleep

Why do you sleep?
Why do you close your soul to the Lord?
Go fight,
Ah, towards death you go.

Thou art insane,
Who waste time and heaven,
And like a madman
but rushes to the toils of hell.

Why in thy sins
dost thou live so sorrow­lessly?
Why thy Jesus
Thou dost forget till the end?

So forsake thee already,
Thou wilt not win heaven by play
And take a new one,
lest judge­ment come upon thee.

Ah, my Lord,
spare not thy mercy, spare not thy trouble.
I will buy thee
thou from the devil’s snares.

Hymns of Zion (1972) No 174: 1–3, 6, 8
Anders Nordensk­jöld, trans. Elias Lagus, rev. Wilhelmi Malmivaara

The Into­le­ra­bi­lity of Abso­lute Refusal I

Whenever I speak, I cry out
proclai­ming violence and destruc­tion.
So the word of the Lord has brought me
insult and reproach all day long.
But if I say, “I will not mention his word
or speak anymore in his name,”
his word is in my heart like a fire,
a fire shut up in my bones.
I am weary of holding it in;
indeed, I cannot.

Jer. 20: 8–11

Lassi Vihko:
Pääkallot // Skulls

Photo: Tommi Vihko

The first version of Skulls was composed in March 2022 in reac­tion to Russia’s inva­sion of Ukraine, and the final version was completed in August. Set to a poem by Eino Leino, the work explores anti-war senti­ment by asking the simple ques­tion: “Why do we wage war?”. In this poem, skulls fall into the mud as time puts the sense­less­ness of violence into pers­pec­tive – in the end, no one remem­bers why or against whom the war was fought.

Lassi Vihko is a composer and sound designer working mostly in the gaming industry. In addi­tion to his work, Vihko enjoys making music in his spare time, both in Lempi­kuoro and at home at his piano. Skulls is the first work Vihko has composed for a mixed choir.

Pääkallot // Skulls

The snow is fading, the ice rece­ding,
And skulls grin from the swamp,
Asking each other:

“What man art thou in a strange land?“

They know not one another,
But all were reaped by death,
Now all are alike:

“I know thee not, thou knowest me not.”
“I fight for my mother­land.”
“I strive for heroism.”
“I struck for the sake of huma­nity.”
“I ate a warrior’s bread.“

The swamp is melting, the snow vanis­hing,
Skulls sink into the mud,
Only bubbles here and there,
and soon no one to see them.

Eino Leino
From the collec­tion Elämän koreus (1915)

Antti Suomalainen:

The idea for the piece was first born after reading about the Tatta­risuo case in Perttu Häkkinen and Vesa Iitti’s book Valon­kan­tajat (The Bearers of Light). The case is mainly known for its grue­some occul­tist rituals using body parts of the dead, which Finnish media quickly realised was the story of the century. However, the book also desc­ribes a more human side of the case, presen­ting the perpet­ra­tors as social outcasts, despe­rate to use magic to seek “justice in a society where it was not given to their kind”.

This cont­ra­dic­tion serves as the basis for the first two parts of the work, the texts of which are excerpts from police mate­rial at the time. The first part is based on the ‘Mass of Tatta­risuo’, which desc­ribes the pursuit of eternal happi­ness and the overco­ming of injus­tice in the name of Fenetzar, the concocted god of glory. The second part of the text is based on a vision of Ida Widen (one of the key figures in the case), which ulti­ma­tely led to the use of body parts in the occul­tist acts.

The media atten­tion given to the Tatta­risuo case was quite excep­tional in the 1930s. The scoop remained on the front pages of the major news­pa­pers for weeks, regard­less of whether there was anyt­hing new to tell. The third part of the work builds around texts compiled from these head­lines and news items. The specu­la­tion on the front page about the culprit provides an inte­res­ting point of refe­rence for the pheno­menon that thrives still today, particu­larly on social media, where myste­ries are solved by the public, often with very ques­tio­nable results.

The text of the fourth part is based on an opinion piece written by Urho Karhun­mäki for Helsingin Sanomat, in which he reflects on the signi­ficance of the sensa­tion created by the whole case. Decades later, his ideas on the signi­ficance of media sensa­tio­na­lism still seem rele­vant.

In addi­tion to the book, I used Pyry Walta­ri’s and Jaakko Yliko­ti­la’s doctoral theses in my research, especially for the correct timing of news­paper stories.

The compo­si­tion work was supported by Taiteen edis­tä­mis­keskus.

Tatta­risuo is a district in Nort­hern Helsinki, former Malmi.

Häkkinen, Perttu & Iitti, Vesa: Valon­kan­tajat. Väläh­dyksiä suoma­lai­sesta sala­tie­teestä. Like 2015.
Yliko­tila, Jaakko: Ruumiin­sil­po­mista, vapaa­muu­ra­reita ja poli­tiikkaa – Tatta­ri­suon juttuun liitetyt yhteis­kun­nal­liset merki­tykset kolmessa helsin­ki­läi­sessä sano­ma­leh­dessä 1930–1932. Pro gradu ‑tutkielma. Tampe­reen yliopisto 2013.
Waltari, Pyry: Kun kansa itse ratkaisee arvoi­tuksen: Tatta­ri­suon tapauksen määrit­tely käytän­nöl­li­sessä diskurs­sissa. Pro gradu ‑tutkielma. Helsingin yliopisto 2011.

Antti Suoma­lainen is a Helsinki-based composer and music tech­no­lo­gist. His compo­si­tions range from elect­ronic music to choral music. His latest choral compo­si­tion, Kesä­päi­vänä, for female choir was awarded the special prize in the first ever P. J. Hanni­kainen Compo­si­tion Compe­ti­tion. In addi­tion to compo­sing, he works exten­si­vely in sound engi­nee­ring in studios and perfor­mances. Suoma­lainen has studied Music Infor­ma­tion Tech­no­logy at the Univer­sity of Sussex and Music Tech­no­logy at the Sibe­lius Academy, where he graduated with a Master of Music in 2019.


Insur­moun­table, invincible is Feneza­re’s path of truth.

Slowly no, slowly no, the path of truth if urgent.
Not to stand before my sisters, not on the path of truth that I walk,
Where there are no sisters, no ances­tors, no ances­tors, no sisters.

Let me not stand, no stan­ding.
Not inside, not outside, where the ances­tors are.

I’m going out to conquer the world, to conquer millions, to conquer them from injus­tice.
Through Fenezare to the path of truth, where there are no sisters, no ances­tors

Not slowly, not walking, not walking, the path of truth is urgent,
Through Fenezare to the path of truth. Where there are no sisters no ances­tors no.
Not slowly, walking no, urgent is the path of truth,
That through Fenezare leads the invincible,
To the insur­moun­table path of truth.

Urgently I cross the lands and the seas
To conquer millions of people and raise those suffe­ring
and to declare the truth to them, to purify with water
To fight against injus­tice on the untrodden path of truth,
where a million bloody suffe­rers in injus­tice are star­ving.

Stan­ding before the sisters, the ances­tors
is urgent is urgent to wash and cleanse with the water of truth
To ever­las­ting life, to happi­ness unen­ding,
From ever­las­ting to ever­las­ting, Through Fenezare to the wedding of Cana,
where joy is supreme.

Slowly no, slowly no, the path of truth is urgent.
Not to the underworld, not down to the underworld,
But out to the world to conquer millions of people,
On the road of truth that will lead to life ever­las­ting.
Through Fenezare into the underworld from eternal to eternal life,
which is endless.

Eternal Fenezar Begin­ning and End.

The graves open and everyone rises,
because now is the fall of the great people, and now is the
the time of distress and ordeal;
Woe to those who fall under my hand.
Yet happy are they that remain.

Body parts were found in the water non-stop.
Nine feet, eight hands, two thumbs,
a bunch of severed fingers and a human head.
Is this a myste­rious case or a horrific crime?
The curtain begins to rise, the coffins speak.

Five head­less bodies in Malmi.
One and a half dozen with missing limbs.
The curtain begins to rise, the coffins speak.

Is it all about selling body parts to students,
or the work of a psyc­ho­path?
Is this a supers­ti­tious act by drif­te­rers?
The police remain silent, yet must have a lead.

Are these ordi­nary mentally ill people
or just poor souls under a secret occul­tist spell,
losing their mental balance?

The police know all this,
but they don’t want it made public,
because it would be a big scandal in the eyes of the upper class and the learned.

Strange nocturnal visi­tors at the Harju morgue.
Has witchc­raft been prac­tised in the morgue?

The police remain silent, the coffins speak. The police remain silent.


Hear me, dearest brot­hers and sisters!
The blood of modern man requires sensa­tion,
but I wonder if this mental cocaine needs to be shared
and enjoyed day after day?

Hear me, dearest brot­hers and sisters!

What is the point of losing one’s own peace at night,
when there’s enough to trudge in this tattarinsuo/swamp

Hear me, dearest brot­hers and sisters!
Hear me, dear people.

Antti Suoma­lainen

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