|25.04.13 Helsinki Festival turns Helsinki into a sounding city
This year’s Helsinki Festival will open its 17-day multi-cultural programme on 16 August with a salute to Helsinki played by 90 fog horns. The horns will sound their salute from Market Square, Icebreaker Urho, and a fleet of 7 hot air balloons. The ode to Helsinki, titled Urban Horns, is composed by Christof Schläger of Germany.
Urban Horns is the first episode of the Sounding City series of urban music events. At 21:00 (9 p.m.) on the festival nights, Night Music will be played from towers around the city, as Sounding City climbs high above the rooftops to serenade the city. The musical interlude will be performed from one of the venues on each night.
On the Night of the Arts on 22 August, the Kaivopuisto Park’s waterfront will turn into Harmonic Fields as a haunting extension of Sounding City. French composer Pierre Sauvageot brings into the park his custom-made giant-sized instruments that are played by the wind. The seemingly random hums, clinks and whistles blend into a breathtaking symphonic journey. Citizens can join the journey and build their own “wind instruments” at purpose-built temporary workshops at the site.
Sunday 1 September, the last day of the festival, will be a day of rest in more ways than one. After a busy festival programme, Helsinki residents and visitors can blow out steam lying down and listening to soothing music in the Sounding City: Day of Rest event. The venerable Banquet Hall of Helsinki City Hall will turn into a venue of relaxation, adding to its grandeur the luxury provided by a hundred mattresses for the audience to lie down on to listen to baroque music.
All Sounding City events are open to everybody and free of charge.
Helsinki Festival is the largest arts festival in Finland, organized annually in late summer. It is the largest multi-cultural festival in the Nordic countries.
The festival programme includes classical and world music, circus, dance, theatre, a children’s programme, cinema, visual art and a range of urban events.
In 2013, Helsinki Festival is held from 16 August 16 to 1 September. The Night of the Arts is held on 22 August.
Helsinki Festival 2013 will be kicked off on 16 August with a serenade played by fog horns. Photo: Radek Bielski / Helsinki Festival