America's most adventurous string ensemble, Kronos Quartet and Finland's groundbreaking accordion / sampling duo Kimmo Pohjonen Kluster present their concert collaboration project, Uniko.
Seeds for the project were planted in 2002 when Kronos' musical director David Harrington heard Pohjonen and Kluster recordings and approached Pohjonen with the idea of possible collaboration. Meetings in Latvia between the two parties were productive and led to first rehearsals at the Kronos space in San Francisco in spring 2003. The second set of rehearsals took place in Helsinki in February 2004. The world premiere of the collaboration occured in Helsinki on Sept 4 and 5 at the prestigious Helsinki Festival, with an additional concert in Moscow at MDM Youth Palace on September 7. The concert was performed again in Molde Jazz Festival 2005. Uniko premiered in North America on October 3,5 6, 2007, at Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York..
The Kluster / Kronos project is a sonic/visual adventure to create unique and never-before-heard sounds from accordion and strings, accordion samples and string samples. Uniko was commissioned by Kronos Quartet and composed / arranged by Kimmo Pohjonen and Samuli Kosminen for accordion, sampler and electronic percussion, string quartet, surround sound and effects. In addition to the Pohjonen accordion and voice sounds that Kosminen samples in "normal" Kluster repertoire and reproduces via his electronic drum pads, the Kronos string sounds are sampled, processed, and looped in with the Kluster mix and the Kronos strings.
Surround sound and additional effects by sound designer Heikki Iso-Ahola are also essential elements of the Uniko work, creating a full dimensional sound world.
LIght design and video mix are by Mikki Kunttu (in the Helsinki program, video mix was by Antti Kuivalainen).
The Helsinki concerts were filmed by Finnish YLE TV and Moving Images of Austria for a one hour program, music and interview, that was broadcast on Finnish Digital TV (YLE Teema), Czech TV, South Korean TV, British TV and Swedish TV.