Tuomas Kettunen & Theodosia Roussos

Music of Decolonization is an art music project of two artists from two sides of the globe; Tuomas Kettunen from Helsinki, Finland and Theodosia Roussos from Los Angeles, California.

Music of Decolonization is an art music project of two artists from two sides of the globe; Tuomas Kettunen from Helsinki, Finland and Theodosia Roussos from Los Angeles, California. Both artists share a background in the field of classical music as performers and composers, but also have their own individual cultural background and expertise.

In this project we aim to interview women from all over the world asking the question, what does decolonization mean to you? These answers and stories from real people serve as a starting point for our creative process, where we will create our own music and text (in English, Finnish and Greek) inspired by these interviews but also use recordings of these interviews by sampling. The project will illuminate the ways in which individuals defy social constructs, defy colonial powers, and defy oppressive regimes. These are all forms of de-colonization, especially of the mind. We are fascinated by the idea of individualism and artistic expression as a rebellion against patriarchal and colonial systems of oppression.

Tuomas is a Finnish composer of contemporary classical and media music currently living and working in Helsinki. He holds a Master of Music in music composition from the Sibelius Academy and has  also studied music composition in Los Angeles, California, at USC Thornton School of Music. Great focus of his latest works has been to explore the possibilities of multimedia works that combine music, video, choreography and lighting design to create even more comprehensive experiences for audience. His musical textures combine rhythmical loops and microtonality with historical and non-musical quotations. His works include pieces for full orchestra, chamber ensembles and solo instruments, many of which have been performed by the most notable musicians and ensembles in Finland and abroad. He has written multiple songs for texts by Finnish and American poets as well as music for film, theatre and radio drama.

Theodosia is a Greek Cypriot American Soprano, Oboe/English Horn player, Improviser, and Composer internationally. She has performed with orchestras including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Philharmonic, Tucson Symphony and studio orchestras at Warner Brothers, Sony, EastWest Studios, and Coachella. She recently recorded on several projects with composer Emile Mosseri, playing oboe, English horn, voice and contributing original improvised melodies for the film The Last Black Man in San Francisco, recording oboe for the Netflix show Homecoming, and as the soprano soloist for Miranda July film Kajillionaire.  She starred as Maria in West Side Story with USC, and Songfest in 2018. This season’s engagements have included premiere roles with The Industry’s new opera Sweet Land, New Opera West, a virtual solo oboe premiere with Synchromy for Bird Day LA. Theodosia’s passion for contemporary and improvised music has lead to solo vocal and oboe performances at Pafos 2017 European Union Cultural Capital, Banff Center, Bang on a Can Festival, soundSCAPE, and Songfest. Upcoming in 2021, Theodosia is looking forward to performing the premiere of her new opera Polymnia, commissioned by the UCLA Stavros Niarchos Center for the Study of Hellenic Culture, headlining as the Soprano/Oboe soloist in Dots+Loops Nonstop Festival in Australia in 2021, as well as playing oboe for Spoleto Festival USA and Songfest in 2021. Theodosia is a frequent guest lecturer at her alma maters USC, UCLA, and Oberlin Conservatory.