Resonance 1


Nathan Riki Thomson (Australia), double bass, prepared bass, ilimba, stomp box, vocals

Fornier Ortiz (Colombia), dance

Satu Tuomisto, choreography

Jouko Kyhälä, live electronics, harmonica

Otso Lähdeoja, live electronics and sound design

Ville Tanttu, visuals

Juhana Nyrhinen, instrument maker


This concert is the first outcome of Nathan Riki Thomson’s artistic research, which investigates intercultural dialogue, collaboration, and the formation of artistic identities in a transcultural context. This research is inspired by Nathan’s interaction with diverse cultures during more than 20 years spent travelling and living away from his homeland of Australia, including 5 years living in Africa. 


In this concert, the theme of Resonance is explored in 3 ways:


·      Physical Resonance(physical form shaped by resonating frequencies) 

·      Personal Resonance(with a place, the land, an idea, an emotion, etc)

·      Community Resonance(the importance of finding a point of understanding, connection or resonance with others. How does this happen and how can we cultivate this skill?)


In musical terms, inspiration is drawn from the natural resonating qualities of traditional Tanzanian, Gambian, Australian and Brazilian instruments:


·      Ilimba (thumb piano from the Wagogo people of central Tanzania)

·      Filimbi (overtone flute from the Wagogo people of central Tanzania)

·      Litungu and Bolon (bass end lutes from Tanzania and Gambia)

·      Brazilian berimbau (originating from Africa)

·      Australian Aboriginal didgeridoo


Rhythm influence from these instruments is explored as a tool to create resonance and trance like states, taking inspiration from Wolof drumming in the Gambia, the rhythmic cycles of Tanzanian ilimba and litungu, the Calabash, Didgeridoo and Berimbau. Different frequencies are explored for their resonating qualities and the ability to change the shape of physical form. Themes of personal and community resonance act as inspiration for the music and dance. Resonating frequencies travel in the space through a multiple speaker set up, as well as through the seats of the audience. Salt, beads and dried flowers are placed on a metal plate above a speaker and react to changing frequencies and rhythmic impulses.  


Musical elements and techniques are transferred to the double bass in order to explore new instrumental techniques, sound manipulations and approaches to the instrument.


The Merriam Webster dictionary describes resonance as:


·     The quality of a sound that stays loud, clear, and deep for a long time: a quality that makes something personally meaningful or important to someone


·     The quality in a sound of being deep, full, and reverberating. "The resonance of his voice”


·     The power to evoke enduring images, memories, and emotions.


·     A sound or vibration produced in one object that is caused by the sound or vibration produced in another