“When music resonates in me it feels as if the laws of everyday reality are switched to others, and time ceases to exist.”

Photo: Eero Moilanen

Olli Moilanen (b.1987) is a Finnish composer based in Helsinki. In composition he concentrates on the personal emotions and mental states that music evokes, and in this way tries to find hints of surprising yet intuitive continuums of musical flow. For him improvisation with different instruments serves as an important source of inspiration for his compositions.



for clarinet, soprano saxophone and cello, 11′
performed by AEKI-ensemble

“Amfisbaina is a two-headed mythical snake I encountered in Jorge Louis Borges’s Book of Imaginary Beings. The composition behaves like this snake: the clarinet and sax are it’s heads, and the cello it’s body.”


audioscore for flute, bass clarinet, piano, cello and tape, 7′
performed by defunensemble

“Paralysis is a composition about pressure, urge and resistance. The material is based on my own voice that I recorded very close with a mic that could catch tiny microsounds of my voice that are otherwise inaudible. The music undulates between inhalation and exhalation that encounter severe resistance from the body and mind.
Instead of a written score, the performers learn the piece by ear, using an audioscore: an electronic track (of my manipulated voice) that they listen to from their headphones, and mimic with their instruments.”

Organ improvisation

my improvisation for experimental organ module in the church of St. Martin in Kassel, 16′


for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and cello, 10′
performed by American Modern Ensemble

“Liekki is Finnish and means flame. Italo Calvino’s ideas about lightness in art in his book Six Memos for the Next Millennium had made me think of my musical expression in a new way: I wanted my Quintet to sound light and embody air like gestures. As my compositional process advanced something in the music felt like friction and heat. The closer I got to finishing the composition the more it made me think of a fluttering flame sculpted by air currents whirling around it.”

I never saw

for choir SSAA div.
performed by Vox Aurea

“I never saw… is a set in Sonnet 83 by William Shakespeare in which two rival poets try to describe the beauty of youth only to conclude that there are no words to describe it. I wrote music in which all of the 50 singers’ individual voices create flocks of sound, that move like reform like clouds.”

Scores available on Music Finland

Choral scores available on Sulasol

Olli’s work is supported by: