THE TWO CHILDHOODS
for string quartet
I love my home town, Enonkoski. Its plentiful mushroom forests and bilberry branches sagging under the weight of their berries, spruce branches bent from heavy snow to an arc, the sweet-savoury breeches on the lakeside and, above all, my childhood home and summer house. Some of the most memorable moments of my life spent in them. My memories of childhood places have grown extremely sweet. Yet because of everything I've experienced there, my childhood has withered into a queue of stuttering memories, flashes amid a gray and weighty mass. The vast majority of my mind has been wiped into lukewarm mumble that I wouldn't care to look back on.
My time at the school of Enonkoski was blackened by a few nasty teachers and a large number of cruel fellow students who ultimately forced me to change schools. I wasn't left with options, I was only 11 years old at the time. My parents' love, sense of justice and determination opened me up to a fresh start in Savonlinna, where I knew little about the adversities that I would encounter after the first few years. I got sick with an eating disorder. Whether it was because of my new bullies or the even more deepened pursuit of perfection is hard to say, but this time around me there were a few important and good friends and a class that seemed to be on my side in large part. There, for the first time, I also had the support of adults.
It felt important to try to address memory-mush through my art, writing nostalgic music or something that would reflect my attempts at understanding my own history. I think I still don't really understand what happened in my childhood. When I come to look at my school years, I see myself most often through the eyes of those others. Even now, my worst nightmares have something to do with me being back in elementary school.
Art I remember. Every opera and theatre performance, concert or record I enjoyed listening to. Every piece I so tirelessly (and sometimes very exhaustedly…) played at the piano and the recitals where I performed despite the fact that my hands were sweating and my heart was slamming almost through the chest. The constant requests from relatives and family friends to play something, because the music brought joy.
Joy is what music still brings me and I'll take it with me wherever I am. This piece is my song from Enonkoski.
The piece was written for TEMA and Savonlinna-quartets with the kind funding of the Arts Council of South Savo under Arts Promotion Center Finland.