Kaija Saariaho’s Luminous Tunes Was a Personalized Invitation

The most refined nuances are our sensory vocabulary, and in Kaija’s is effective nuance is all the things: Comprehending the crucial meaning in each and every expression is key. For a composer, having her concept handed on to the audience in the right way, with the right sensitivity, is absolutely essential.

Kaija’s closest longtime collaborators — this kind of as Jean-Baptiste Barrière, her spouse the cellist Anssi Karttunen the flutist Camilla Hoitenga and the conductor and composer Esa-Pekka Salonen — identified her expertise and trustworthy her instinct, knowing her exceptional voice from the commencing. There had been us others of a young generation who joined Kaija’s musical family later on, and she would never fall short to specific how grateful she was for our operate. We in convert will without end really feel a deep gratitude for the trust, for all the methods she supported us as a result of her warmth and care, and for all the friendships that have developed out of our shared adore for her artwork.

She was a mother, exceptionally devoted to her children and relatives. In time, her kids Aleksi and Aliisa also became functioning associates, and Kaija continuously spoke about how significantly she discovered from them and their observations. But this nurturing and caring weren’t minimal to them by itself. Owning been authorized to be a portion of her creative household has been the best privilege possible her generosity in supporting the youthful generation of composers and musicians is also an indicator of her wondering, which was aimed to preserve constructing items more substantial than ourselves. She was warm and humorous also, and a quite wise and compassionate pal — a actually, remarkably gorgeous human being, both of those exterior and in.

The courage with which Kaija designed her life’s operate is enormous, considering the condescending or humiliating attitudes she experienced to endure as a woman early in her profession — be it in the press, by establishments or in non-public encounters. She under no circumstances required to draw significantly focus to this, but there were being hurtful activities she only shared after years of shut friendship. Her nobility and toughness to rise over all that, however — in maintaining on, then showing the way to other people — was amazing, powerful and exemplary. She understood that even in that regard, her work carried huge worth, but she selected to enable the songs converse for by itself.

She is and continues to be a purpose product, not only for her place in tunes record, but also for her ethics and her courage to speak up about matters that she thought of critical. She chose intricate subjects for her operas, these kinds of as all those of “Adriana Mater” and “Innocence,” and the theater would involve anything: the unbearable truths, but also the calming aspiration planet — which for her was the most central ingredient of “Innocence,” not the tragic occasions by themselves. Via this genuine fearlessness and honesty, she restored quite a few people’s belief in opera as art kind.

It is unattainable to visualize the planet — the audio planet or my very own everyday living — without having Kaija. But her existence is with us in her art. What helps now, in the grief, is the internal light present in her performs, which we will now keep carrying ahead, always shifting towards the light.