Arachne (2016)

For 2 sopr, mezzo, bcl, trnb, perc, elguit, vlc

Text Maria Kallio

Duration 20´

Fp Annami Hylkilä (sopr), Meeri Pulakka (sopr), Ylva Gruen (mezzo), Fatima Boix (bcl), Max Silfverberg (trnb), Petteri Kippo (perc), Jukka Kääriäinen (elguit), Marina Vidal (vlc), Schauman Hall, Pietarsaari, Finland, May 20, 2016

A music theatre work for 3 singers and ensemble.

Written to a text by Maria Kallio.

The composition work has been supported by the Finnish Cultural Foundation.


The performance is based on a Greek myth of a girl Arachne who is competing in woven art with the goddess Athena. Arachne wins the competition and at the same time insults the gods by weaving a picture of their faults. Arachne is punished for her arrogance and turned into a spider. The Tower of Babel, The Wings of Icarus and Arachne’s weave are myths where humans will not abide or stay within the limits of the accepted and eventually will be punished.

The three myths are intertwined with the cotton industry and its development during the industrial revolution as all of these examples take us to the eternal theme of the human tendency to surpass the limits. While the vengeful gods of the Olympos are far away from today’s world, the overconsumption and limitless exploiting of natural resources by humans is a hubris that already has costly results.

Industrialization is vividly present in the music’s sonic surface and instrumentation as its sound-world consists of extremely noisy and metallic sonorities. Mechanic loops are mixed with amplified sounds of the loom, creating a factory-like atmosphere. Another source of inspiration is the literal spider web, spiders and everything related to them; fear and fragility, elasticity, predation, traps, liberation and safety. The different types of texture in the music are a reflection of all of the previous.


Arachne (2016) – for 3 singers and ensemble




Sheet Music