Johanna Elina Sulkunen is a prizewinning Finnish vocalist, composer, and improviser who has been based in Copenhagen since 2009. Before landing to Copenhagen, she spent periods of her life in Holland, Brazil, New Zealand and Hungary.
Johanna’s attitude towards music is about the personal sound, that gives the freedom to cross the borders between different genres. Cinematic moods bring you to a travel that is not afraid revealing and accepting the dark but bringing you always back to the light.
Expanding the boundaries of alternative and experimental pop, electronic music, contemporary music and an idea of jazz, Johanna builds up her own musical universe where the genre definitions lose their meaning.
Her latest project is a solo project ‘Johanna Sulkunen Sonority’. The album ‘Koan’ was released 11th May 2018 on a Danish ILK label. Project started as a research about the textures of vocal sounds / language. Voice is used both as an instrument itself, seeking its potential as a source of sound based compostion. Voice is also manipulated electronically and complemented with field recordings from Japanese Buddhist temples. The result could be described as contemporary composition meets music concrète meets vocal improvisation. More about the research later…
She is also a leader of a group ‘Johanna Elina’. The first album on her own name ‘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 Elina’s second 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: Anders Filipsen (DK) – keys, Håkon Berre (NO) – d, Henrik Olsson (SE) – g.
Johanna is also an active member of many other collaborations; She’s a co-leader of the Scandinavian improvising vocal group IKI www.ikivocal.com. IKI has released 3 albums. With their debut album IKI/ILK 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. They released their third album ‘ORACLE’ 23rd of March. It is produced by the Danish electronic artist Mike Sheridan. Since they started, IKI has worked with several artists ( dancers, poets, film music makers, actors …) crossing boundaries between different art forms and expressions.
Johanna holds a Bachelor Degree in Jazz Vocals from Rotterdam Jazz Academy. Where she graduated with a prize ‘very talented alumni’. She finished her studies from the prestigious Advanced Post Graduate Soloist line (performance) at the Rhythmic Music Conservatory of Copenhagen in 2017 where she recides. In addition, she holds a master of Arts degree in Comparative Religion / Anthropology.