UNM 2023



Tara Jovana Valkonen

Tara Jovana Valkonen’s career in music began with playing cello at the age of six, and soon she was imagining her future as a professional cellist – and a sculptor. But picking up the guitar at the age of 13 brought a change, and although she didn’t abandon cello playing, it was rock music now that became the main interest in her life – all until she heard Olivier Messiaen’s Turangalîla-Symphonie that conquered her mind making her passionately interested in contemporary art music. Currently she is studying composition and cello at the Sibelius Academy with Veli-Matti Puumala and Jaani Helander.

Tara’s work and studies have been kindly supported by the Finnish Cultural Foundation, Arts Promotion Centre Finland, Greta and William Lehtinen Foundation, The Finnish Music Foundation, and the Sibelius Academy Foundation.

Farliga drömmar

Jazz vocalist and tape

Farliga drömmar is a short piece for a singer and tape, which I composed in April of 2022 for the wonderful genre-hopping singer Anni Elif Egecioglu. I’d wanted to compose to Edith Södergran’s poems for a longer time, and since Anni is a native Swedish speaker, I knew this would be the perfect opportunity to do so.
I’d started drawing a dream of mine, in which a living dead figure was working on a farm in rural Finland and remembered a poem called Farliga drömmar (Dangerous Dreams), which suited the zeitgeist – personally and globally.

Gå icke alltför nära dina drömmar:
de äro en rök och de kunna förskingras - de äro farliga och kunna bestå.
Har du skådat dina drömmar i ögonen: de äro sjuka och förstå ingenting -
de hava endast sina egna tankar.
Gå icke alltför nära dina drömmar:
de äro en osanning, de borde gå -
de äro ett vansinne, de vilja stanna.

-Edith Södergran ”Landet som icke är”, 1925

Don’t go too near to your dreams: they are
smoke and easily scatter in the wind – they are dangerous and often last
Have you stared deep into the eyes of your dreams: they are sick and understand nothing at all – they only live in their own thoughts.
Don’t go too near to your dreams: they are untruth, they ought to leave – they are madness and they stay.

-Edith Södergran,”The land which isn’t”, 1925 Translated by K. Llewellyn