Tentet led by Johanna Elina Sulkunen & Randi Pontoppidan


The group Kahina is inspired by and named after the Arab warrior-queen, Kahina, a name that also means “seer of sands” and “witch.” Thus, this work will be a tribute to Kahina’s magical powers and qualities by translating them into music. Specifically, the often underestimated feminine attributes such as empathy, intuition, and relational warmth will find expression in sound. Similarly, the contrasts of dominance/resistance, male/female, and profane/secular will be the subject of Pontoppidan and Sulkunen’s compositional investigations and improvisations with Kahina Orchestra: 10 everyday warriors.

In Finnish, ‘Kahina’ means rusty or squeaking sound, appealing to the two composers’ respective electro-acoustic practices, where working with sound is based on a unique attention to detail.

Sulkunen and Pontoppidan’s individual practices are characterized by exploring the many facets and techniques of the voice through machines like modular synthesizers, loop pedals, and effect pedals. The composition for Kahina Orchestra will be distinctive by not relying on these common electronic aids. Instead, the composers will use the natural effects and functions of voices and instruments with compositional forms developed through machines.

Inspired by the songs of the pygmies, the melodies will be built from individual cells that complement each other and gradually spread and develop in the orchestra like a wordless conversation. Loops, clicking sounds, primate singing, singing techniques, and bodily impulses from the two composers will constitute the core and direction of the work. Likewise, the composition will take the listener on a vibrating journey through the individual spectrum of the musicians’ expressions, with solos bubbling in and out of the collective work.

Overall, the work by Sulkunen and Pontoppidan with Kahina Orchestra will take the audience on an intimate exploration of musical raw material, allowing musicians and listeners to merge into one organism in the living soundscape.

Johanna Sulkunen – voc/composition
Randi Pontoppidan – voc/composition
Guro Tveitnes – voice
Anna Mose – voice
Kamilla Kovacs – voice
Carolyn Goodwin – bass clarinet
Pauline Hogstrand -viola
Anne Anderson – trompet
Ida Bach Jensen- double bass
Maria Dybbroe – sax