Johanna Elina Sulkunen is a prizewinning Finnish artist; Vocalist, composer, and improviser who has been based in Copenhagen since 2009.
Johanna’s attitude towards music is about personal sound, which gives freedom to cross the borders between different genres. Circulating between experimental music, jazz, improvisation, electronic music, and contemporary music styles, Johanna builds up her own musical universe where the genre definitions lose their meaning.
Her latest project is a solo (vocal – electronic) project ‘Johanna Sulkunen Sonority’, that she both recorded and produced herself. The album ‘Koan’ was released 2018 on a Danish ILK label. The project started as a research about the sonic textures of vocal sounds/language. Voice is used both as an instrument itself, researching its potential as a source of sound-based composition. Voice is also manipulated electronically and complemented with field recordings from Japanese Buddhist temples.
Album ‘Belonging’ 2016 (Eclipse/ DME) was nominated as the Best Vocal Album – Danish Music Awards 2016 in Denmark. The album was finalized at Sundlaugin studio in Iceland, with Birgir Jón Birgisson. Birgir has been working with many great international artists e.g. Sigur Rós. Musicians on the album were : Anders Filipsen (DK) – keys, Håkon Berre (NO) – d, Henrik Olsson (SE) – g.
The first album on her own name Johanna Elina ‘Our Garden’ (Eclipse Music) was released in 2011. Musicians on the album: August Rosenbaum (DK) – p, Håkon Berre (NO) – d, Henrik Olsson (SE) – g, Joel Illerhag (SE)- b, Kristian Tangvik (NO) – t , Magnus Aannestad Oseth (NO)- t, Francesco Bigoni (ITA) – s.
Johanna has been collaborating with artists like Tomasz Stanko, Hilmar Jensson, Jørgen Leth, Simon Toldam, Koichi Makigami, and she has been a co-leader of the Scandinavian improvising vocal group IKI since 2009. www.ikivocal.com. IKI’s third album ORACLE’ was released in March 2018 and nominated for two Danish Music Awards. It was produced by the Danish electronic artist Mike Sheridan. IKI has worked with several interdisciplinary acts ( dancers, poets, film music makers, actors …) crossing boundaries between different art forms and expressions and continuously seeking for new ways of expression.
With their debut album IKI, they won the Danish Music Award “Best Jazz Vocal Release of the year 2011“. ‘LAVA’/DME was released in 2014 and featured by an Icelandic guitarist Hilmar Jensson. An Ep ‘DEW’/DME was recorded together with a Belgium artist Sander de Winne.
Johanna holds a Degree in Jazz Vocals from Rotterdam Jazz Academy, where she graduated with a prize ‘very talented alumni’. She graduated from the Post Graduate ‘Soloist’ line (performance) at the Rhythmic Music Conservatory of Copenhagen in 2017. She also holds a Masters degree in Anthropology / Comparative Religion from the University of Helsinki. Her special was about Afro-Brazilian Candomblé religion, and she stayed months in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil researching the music and the religion.