Kaija Saariaho does not mess around. She creates powerful concert music and opera which often combines acoustic instrumentation and electronics to express her textural, spectral inspired compositions. Having spent her formative years studying in Helsinki, Saariaho’s earlier output was set within the strict confines of serialism, only moving to a spectral approach following a period of research at IRCAM. Saariaho’s complex, highly polyphonic, and richly textured music has been admired and recognized throughout the music community for many years, achieving some of the highest possible accolades including a Grammy Award for Best Opera in 2011, a Polar Music Prize in 2013 and most recently a BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Contemporary Music.
Because of streaming, because of fancy new Corolla dashboards that talk to you and stuff — that’s why. No, radio is not dead. Not yet, at least. But when you can listen to basically whatever you want, whenever you want, without going to the record store with a million bucks, you know that the days when songs-for-the-masses had to be on the shorter side and, I don’t know, be by different people — yeah, those days are gone.