Joel Järventausta (b. 1995) is a Finnish composer starting his PhD in composition at King’s College London in October 2018. Joel holds a Master’s in Composition with 1st class distinction from the Royal College of Music where he was a fully supported Scholar. He also holds a BA in music with 1st class honours from the University of York. Joel has also completed an Erasmus exchange at the Sibelius Academy in Finland, studying under Prof. Veli-Matti Puumala. In the past, he has studied under Dr. Dai Fujikura, Dr. Martin Suckling and also receiving tuition from Dr. Gilbert Nouno, Colin Matthews, Michael Gandolfi and Oliver Knussen. Most recently, together with four other Finnish composers, Joel was commissioned to co-write a piece for Esa-Pekka Salonen’s 60th birthday concert, opening the Helsinki Festival. Massahumu was performed by the Finnish National Opera orchestra and chorus, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen in August 2018.
The main motif of Cantus for orchestra, a falling minor third travels through different sections, hidden in the background or exposed in the foreground of the musical surface. Cantus is a latin term for a primary voice in a polyphonic setting. Throughout the piece, certain sections or textures are reminiscent of choral polyphonic writing with several individual lines moving on top of each other creating an ever-changing colourful sound mass. The main motivic idea can be seen as the actual ‘cantus’ or primary voice, though it is often hidden and less clear to the ear.