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Work of the Week – Sebastian Hilli: You Are the Earth Beneath You

By carefully attending, nature and objects reveal their sounds. On November 22, 2023, soprano Anu Komsi will debut Sebastian Hilli's new song cycle. She will be joined by the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra and the Vaasa City Orchestra, led by Anna-Maria Helsing. The premiere of You Are the Earth Beneath You will be held at Schaumansalen in Pietarsaari, located on the west coast of Finland in the Swedish-speaking region.

Composer Hilli, a member of Finland's Swedish-speaking minority, selected poems by Finnish-Swedish writer Kerstin Söderholm for his latest composition. The piece, titled You Are the Earth Beneath You and known in Swedish as Du är jorden under dig, is based on Söderholm's collection Röster ur tingen (‘Voices from Things’).

You Are the Earth Beneath You by Sebastian Hilli: Voices from Things

Hilli translated six poems into English personally. Both language versions can be performed with his music. The romantic-impressionistic poetry focuses on the inherent sounds of natural elements like sunsets, rivers, earth, mountains, and clouds. Hilli accentuates an extensive range of expression forms and is not always dreamy but sometimes wild and rhythmic.

You have of the earth beneath you / and the light above as much. / The earth in you / draws everything living in the day. / Rivers’ and seas’ blood flows in you, / there streams / the soil / of the plain and the dark interior of the mountains. (Kerstin Söderholm, in: "Voices from Things")

One day following the world premiere, Sebastian Hilli will debut another composition at Schaumansalen in Pietarsaari, entitled Palace. This new clarinet quartet will be performed for the very first time. Later in December, Hilli's eagerly anticipated violin concerto 1977 will be premiered in Helsinki. The concerto will also be performed at the BBC Proms in London next summer.


Sebastian Hilli: Composer Profile  

You Are the Earth Beneath You: Work Details and Online Score 

Website Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra 

photo: Anna-Maria Viksten


Head of Promotion | Concert Opera Media Division

Schott Music Mainz