Dramatized contemporary music performance for voice and french horn
Premiere Höyhentämö Theater, Helsinki 2014, concept contiues 2024

DOUBTS is a project initiated in 2014 together with french horn player Elena Kakaliagou. The purpose of the project is to present the artist’s human and uncertain side to the audience. It is an exploratory and participatory initiative carried out in collaboration with composers and the audience.

The idea behind the project originally arose from questioning the norms of classical music performance and a desire to explore one’s own uncertainties. The pursuit of perfect execution and flawlessness in performance felt tedious and artificial. Instead, the focus was on what happens when the performer on stage is more open, honest, and imperfect.

Work group (2014):
Annika Fuhrmann, voice
Elena Kakaliagou, french horn
Jaakko Nousiainen, director
Nikas Pöllönen, light
Kalle Autio, composer
Heinz-Juhani Hofmann, composer
Jukka Kääriäinen, composer
Dionysios Papanicolaou, composer
Lefteris Veniadis, composer
Ville Vokkolainen, composer

© Jaakko Nousiainen

“It’s not quite easy to define the genre of the performance “Doubts” on the small theater stage of Höyhentämö. It’s easier to explain the creative process: a ‘dramatized contemporary music concert.’ Music is clearly the starting point and material, but it is approached using the tools of new theater.

The theme of the performance is uncertainty – initially focusing on the uncertainty of the musicians, Annika Fuhrmann and Elena Kakaliagou. However, right from the ticket queue, the question turns to the audience: write your own doubts on a piece of paper. This proves to be a simple but effective way to give viewers a personal perspective.

Overall, the attitude of the performance feels refreshing. It’s particularly pleasing to see talented work in the field of new music theater in Helsinki. Fuhrmann and director Jaakko Nousiainen seem to have found a promising niche to work in.

The dramatization gives movement and connection to the music. The music naturally takes a stance and avoids the pitfalls that rigid performances of contemporary music might offer.

At the same time, the role of musicians and dramaturge is emphasized in the performance. Individual pieces seamlessly blend together, so it’s somewhat inconsequential for the audience whose composition is playing at any given moment. The composers’ works are just one part of the diverse material. At the center are Fuhrmann’s voice and Kakaliagou’s French horn.”

Dante Thelestam, HBL 27.10.2014