Ville Aalto

musician, sound artist

Kuva: Jussi Virkkumaa

During his residency, Helsinki-based musician and sound artist Ville Aalto will produce electronic bird song and other nature sounds. He aims to complete a multi-channel sound installation to be premiered in January 2020, the purpose of which is to create a natural soundscape that is as realistic as possible using only electronically produced sounds. He will also be working on a recording of electronic music with electric bird song.

“I produce electronic birdsong with synthesizers. I listen to recordings of birds and try to copy them as accurately as possible. For an installation, you need to produce a fairly large amount of birdsong, which means immersing myself in hours of detailed and monotonous craftsmanship. When there’s enough audio material, I will start mixing it into a work that can be reproduced with a multi-channel speaker system. My purpose is to create a living, breathing soundscape that surrounds the listener in every direction. In addition, I will produce material for a recording, for which some of the birdsong created at the residence is also destined,” he explains.

Ville Aalto is a composer and sound artist who grew up in Vantaa and currently lives in Helsinki. He graduated as a sound designer from the Department of Lighting and Sound Design of Uniarts Helsinki’s Theatre Academy in 2018, as well as a music technologist from the Helsinki Pop & Jazz Conservatory in 2011.

As an independent artist, Aalto produces electronic music and sound art using synthesizers and other electronic instruments. Aalto’s EP Alice in Underland was released in 2019, and he is currently working on a project called Avian Electronics, with electronic bird song at its centre. The project involves live performances, a recording to be released in 2020 and a creative sound installation of an artificial soundscape of nature which will also be debuted in 2020.

Aalto produces music and sound design also in other contexts, such as for performing arts projects. Aalto’s most recent works as parts of wider projects are the sound installation Puu (belonging to the Wild Wild Wood exhibition, produced by Heureka & the Embassy of Finland, Berlin), the stage work Ilmastokirkko: Riippuvainen (a performance in G major) (written by Ronja Louhivuori & Laura Halonen), the radio play Suomenlinna 1918 (Yleisradio, directed by Susanna Airaksinen), the stage work Legenda pienestä luusta, osa IV – Rán (Kolmas Tila & Turku City Theatre, directed by Susanna Airaksinen & Juha Malmivaara), and the touring performance VIRE (directed by Meri-Maija Näykki) which combined a high-wire act with electronic music. To counterbalance this part of his life, Aalto lives an honest and full rock ‘n’ roll life playing keyboards in Maija Vilkkumaa’s band.

As an artist, Aalto hopes to draw attention to the interdependence between people and nature. On the one hand, his aim is to raise concerns about the belief that people can manage, shape and destroy the environment without serious consequences – and on the other hand, to share his belief that a balanced coexistence with the rest of nature is possible and desirable.