Creative chair 2019/20
The island of Hiiumaa, in the Estonian Baltic. This is where Erkki-Sven Tüür was born, and today he again lives and works there. However, he is not a solitary islander – far from it. World events, which he follows closely, trigger a stream of thought that culminates in music. For example, his orchestral work, Sow the Wind … (2015), refers to the Old Testament proverb, “They that sow the wind shall reap the whirlwind,” and, as the composer explains, evokes current political images of climate change, waves of refugees and the surge of various extremist movements. And in its own very special idiom, the music itself is windy and tempestuous.
Ironically, Tüür’s international breakthrough as a composer came in 1989 with a work that bears the title Insula deserta (Desert Island) – how appropriate. This was followed by numerous commissions from well-known orchestras and renowned musicians from all over Europe, North America and Australia. However, before then, Tüür had a life with his progressive rock band “In Spe”, from 1979 to 1983. In this group, the trained percussionist and flautist also played the keyboards, sang and contributed his own compositions.