Finnish born Australian composer, improviser, performer and interdisciplinary artist Erkki Veltheim has a new solo album Ganzfeld Experiments on Room40.It’s a psychotropic suite for phasing white noise and extended violin based on the infamous Ganzfeld ESP experiments.
Erkki has performed with the Australian Art Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Elision and Ensemble Modern, and has featured as a soloist with the London Sinfonietta, Australian Opera and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. He also has long-standing collaborations with indigenous musician Gurrumul, improvising trumpet virtuoso Scott Tinkler, and composer-pianist Anthony Pateras.
As fan of his work over a number of years we thought it was a good opportunity to ask him about the music that moves him.
Rosa Balistreri: Li pirati a palermu
One of those songs that once you hear it, it never leaves you. Rosa Balistreri was a Sicilian singer who started her performing career aged 39 in a play by Dario Fo.
John Rodgers: 1/1/94
One of my great musical inspirations and mentors, playing his own solo violin piece from the 1997 album ‘A rose is a rose’ (Extreme).
One of the most powerful singers I’ve come across, Daniel is from Ngukurr in South-Eastern Arnhem Land, and keeps alive the manikay ceremonial song tradition in the region.
Amanda Stewart: Postiche
A legend of Australian poetry and improvised music. Seeing her live for the first time some 20 years ago was a revelation.
Xylophone Players of the Lubili palace Madinda Ga Kabaka: Nandikulamude
Ugandan polyphonic xylophone music recordedby by Hugh Tracey, who archived a vast amount of African folk music from the 1920s to the 70s. I always return to Tracey’s recordings when I’m sick of all other music.
A twin-sister duo on the Basque Txalaparta, wooden boards beaten with sticks. When I first heard it I thought it sounded very similar to some of the African xylophone music, but of course it’s not. That was just my ignorance.
A stunning meditation in microtonality on vintage organs by two of my favourite musicians (and friends), released on Anthony’s label Immediata.
Chiri: The Return of Spring
Staple Singers: Tell Heaven/I’m coming home
This has Mavis Staples singing lead vocals when she was only 17 years old, and already a veteran of the American gospel scene. Spine-tingling.
An amazing trio with South Korean Pansori singer Bae il Dong, Australian drummer Simon Barker and trumpet player Scott Tinkler. Proof that cross-cultural collaboration can work.
Sielun Veljet: Lapset ovat likaisia
My favourite band when I was six years old. The Finnish lyrics translate as ‘Children are dirty’.
Hank Williams: Rambling Man
Hearing this song on a car radio on a rainy winter day made me an instant fan of Hank and country music in general.