Sounds at an Exhibition


In 2017, Selja Purovaara performed a solo concert premiere at the Festival of Political Photography. Purovaara's previous solo concerts Kevätillan liturgia (2016) and Lohtulaulu (2015) explored the interfaces between ugly and beautiful sound. The new work, Sounds at an Exhibition, focuses on tone colours, resonance, and repeating rhythms. In April, the concert was then performed at the Art Museum of Estonia, Kumu, in Tallinn.

The soundscapes created by contrabassist Purovaara invite us to look more deeply into the works at the exhibition.

Sounds at an Exhibition is a sound journey into photography. In this concert, the contrabass and the human voice form a simple, woven-style sound mat in which the exhibition space and artworks can be viewed with new eyes and ears. This minimalist, soundscape-feel concert is always site-specific, inspired by the works in each location’s exhibition: the six parts of the concert mirror and reflect the individual works of art, the exhibition space, and its soundscape.

Purovaara, born in 1989, is a Vantaa-based multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, and pedagogue. Among her other projects are work with the instrumental quintet Hohka, playing in the living-room folk band Lovisan keinu, playing the Finnish zither in a duo with singer Sanni Virta, and authoring the video blog Virsi päivässä (‘Verse a Day’) in connection with research into the Evangelical Lutheran Church hymn book.



Famine is an interview-based play that looks at hunger. Hunger as a form of suffering affects people all over the world. In this play, a bird biologist, a recovering anorexic, a photographer, and a refugee, among others, talk about hunger. There are several forms of hunger, and this performance is an attempt to look at and truly see these various forms of this distress.

Play and script: Marie Kajava
Director: Henri Tuulasjärvi
Performers: Joanna Haartti, Laura Halonen, Ella Lahdenmäki, and Joonas Snellman