Born in 1988, Lauri Supponen is currently studying composition at the University of the Arts in Helsinki. He studied composition and oboe at the Royal College of Music in London, with Alison Kay, Jonathan Cole and David Theodore as well as at the Universität der Künste in Berlin, with Daniel Ott. He also received further tuition from Magnus Lindberg, Mark-Anthony Turnage and Julian Anderson.
His music has been played at the Aldeburgh, Acanthes, Cheltenham and Porvoo Summer Sounds Festivals by ensembles such as the Ossian Ensemble, Mercury 4tet, Avanti!, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Orchestre de la Radio de France and BBC Singers. Upcoming projects include a piece for the Huyghens-Fokker organ in Amsterdam for spring 2014.
The Dordrecht Humaphone
– for chamber choir with two soloists –
is based on a cartoon panel by the illustrator and architect Mikko Metsähonkala that I came across in a weekly Finnish newspaper, and a dialogue freely based – with the illustrator’s kind support – on the said picture by the multi-musician Lotta Ahlbeck. It tells the story of an oblivious mega-instrument, called the Humaphone, a humongous organ made out of carved human heads. The two protagonists Claucus and Trube, here portrayed by tenor and baritone soloists, are the only ones still able to tighten the vocal cords of this fantastic instrument. The piece is structured akin to panels of a comic strip, which occasionally contrast wildly with each other at short notice. A Royal Philharmonic Society commission, TDH was premiered by the BBC Singers at the 2012 Cheltenham Festival.