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Composers on the Coronavirus Crisis: Osmo Tapio Rihl

The consequences of the coronavirus crisis affect us all. We have asked our composers how these months and weeks affect their artistic work. We will publish their answers successively in this section.

Osmo Tapio Räihälä

(was born on January 25, 1964 in Suomussalmi, Finland. He started his career as a rock musician and turned to new music at the age of twenty)

"I definitely don't want to make mockery of the severe situation, but for the time being, the only difference for me as a freelance composer is that I'm now working at home. Normally I walk to my study before noon, sit there in solitude, and might see other people only when I go to a kitchen to heat up my lunch, or to make myself coffee. I go home early evening. If I'm not going to a concert or suchlike, the only person I meet or talk to during the day is my wife. People have it hard to realize how lonesome work it is to sit there, just writing your music.

The difference is huge when I compare my situation to that of my wife, who is an orchestra musician (although she's been on a study leave during the corona outbreak, and is also working at home now). She goes to the rehearsals in the morning, meets 100 other people in the locker rooms or on stage, and is overwhelmed by the teeming of people around. The orchestra's season has of course now been stopped.

I don't want to sound snide, but as a composer my normal state is isolation. Working at home is much more difficult than in a study, because it's hard to say whether you're at home or at work, but it doesn't affect the music itself. I find it hard to imagine that this state of emergency would affect my music or my creativity, because they stem from deep under the surface of anything conscious.

But just like anyone else, I can't wait for this thing to subside! Id' love to return to a life where we can meet other people when we want - and to stay healthy to do that! A situation like this just underlines how important it is to not let our important friendships and relations fade away."

(Osmo Tapio Räihälä, 1 April 2020)

Photo: (c) Markku Pihlaja

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