Kristiina Ilmonen Sysihai
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Kristiina Ilmonen Sysihai

Espoo, Central Finland, Finland | INDIE

Espoo, Central Finland, Finland | INDIE
Band World Alternative


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Sysihai is currently recording their first CD.



Sysihai creates urban folk with archaic roots, deep in and far away in Finno-Ugric pastures. The sounds of the ancient woodwinds and shaman drums are challenged by the electronic loops and beats, composed of acoustic sound sources, wood, metal and skin. Sometimes delicate and minimalistic, sometimes rough, wild or funny, these electronic shepherds get their inspiration from archaic traditions, shepherd music, herding calls and scaring away the beasts, but use anything available as material and improvise the rest. Although the three musicians are experienced each of them, the band is brand new - their first tour in Finland was in December 2010. Sysihai is currently working on their first album.

Flutist and multi-instrumentalist Kristiina Ilmonen has been creating traditional and contemporary folk music and free improvisation in various ensembles and other musical projects for nearly three decades. She specializes in rare ethnic woodwind instruments such as Northern flutes, whistles and horns and the ancient Finnish reed instruments liru and mänkeri. She often uses ethnic percussion and vocal improvisation in her music as well.

Kristiina is especially fond of researching the timbres of different types of wooden flutes. She creates meditative soundscapes combined with avant-garde expression, inspired by the styles of archaic Finnish folk music. She has composed and performed music for contemporary dance, theatre and film and is featured on over 20 CD recordings. She has toured in Europe, Asia and Africa and is a member of the groups Ottopasuuna, Suomussalmiryhmä, Utua, The Helsinki Koto Ensemble and Suunta. She has played with top Finnish folk musicians such as Kimmo Pohjonen, Heikki Laitinen, Petri Hakala, Anna-Kaisa Liedes and Maria Kalaniemi. Kristiina belongs to the very first generations of educated folk musicians in Finland, and has worked for two decades at the Sibelius Academy Folk Music Department as a teacher and for several years also as Head of Department.

In Sysihai, Kristiina teams up with two gentlemen and their electronics. Musician and composer Jouko Kyhälä is well known for his work in the harmonica quartet Sväng. In Sysihai he presents himself as a versatile keyboard/live electronics player and programmer. Musician, sound designer and mixing artist Teemu Korpipää has been working as a sound and recording professional since the middle of 1990´s at recording sessions, festivals, concerts, theater productions and international tours. He spices up the ensemble with additional live electronics.

Kristiina Ilmonen: winds, percussion, vocals
Jouko Kyhälä: programming, live electronics, winds
Teemu Korpipää: live sound, effects, looping