Aattoilta (2016)

Helsinki Chamber Choir, Nils Schweckendieck

(text: Ester Ahokainen – in Finnish)
3 min.
Published by Fennica Gerhman

Asked to contribute a carol to the already rich Finnish Christmas repertoire, music I’ve sung myself for many years, I was very aware of the things that mark the season for my adopted countrymen: peace, stillness, the cold landscape and home. When I came across Ester Ahokainen’s gentle poem, so focused around these images, it seemed like providence. The resulting song is modest and warmly modal, departing only a little from Finnish tradition: a lingering dissonance here, a moment of quiet sentiment held slightly longer than expected there. Like the words, the music opens outward in thanks at the end. Aattoilta was composed for the Helsinki Chamber Choir, and is dedicated to them.