Paraphrase II – ”Giant steps and eden acid”


For chamber ensemble


20 min.


fl (+picc, bfl), cl (+bcl), pno, vln, vla, vlc.


Commissioned by
Uusinta Ensemble


Premiered by
Uusinta Ensemble
Oct 10 2016
Uuden Musiikin Lokakuu
Oulu, Finland

Paraphrase II is part of a larger Paraphrase-cycle that consists of several independent works. The starting point in each of the cycle’s work is a specific composers work or a genre. The works of the cycle can be performed either as independent works or consecutively as a cycle.

In the Paraphrase-cycle I approach the concept of paraphrase as a way of self-reflection as well as a commentary on a specific historical style. My composing process begins from a place where I’m relatively close to the original music, until I gradually move farther away from it. During this process the musical material goes through a variety of filters resulting in an unexpected synthesis of elements I’ve extracted from the original work combined with ways of expression that are typical for myself.

Paraphrase II combines elements from free jazz and acid house. The first half of the piece concentrates on texture types inspired by free jazz and its material is derived from John Coltrane’s piece Giant steps. The process of gradually introducing more and more recognizable elements from Giant steps culminates into a situation where the piano plays a direct quote from the work while the ensemble starts a brutal and repetitive acid house-like texture. In this moment the two styles acid house and bebop overlap with each other.

The later part of the work focuses on the archetypical ways of expression in the genre of acid house, loops and looping being in a dominant role of the texture. By using extended playing techniques I strive to obscure the recognizability of the original acid house pieces that I paraphrase.

Past Performances

Jun 1 2019
New European Ensemble
Hong Kong, Hong Kong

May 28 2019
New European Ensemble
China-Asean Music Festival
Nanning, China

May 25 2019
New European Ensemble
Beijing Modern Music Festival
Beijing, China

Sep 9 2018
New European Ensemble
Gaudeamus Muziekweek
Hertz – TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht, Netherlands

Aug 21 2018
Uusinta Ensemble
Helsinki Music Centre, Finland

May 9 2018
ensemble recherche
Morat-Institut, Freiburg, Germany

Nov 9 2017
ensemble mise-en
Scandinavia House, New York City, USA

Jul 07 2017
Uusinta Ensemble
Time of Music Festival
Viitasaari, Finland

Oct 9 2016
Uusinta Ensemble
Uuden Musiikin Lokakuu
Oulu, Finland

Sheet Music

Schott Music
Schott Music GmbH & Co. KG
Weihergarten 5
55116 Mainz
+49 6131 246-0

Press Quotes

“Hilli’s music often retreats deep and requires space and silence, but equally naturally, it also breaks out in bursts of furious movement. Paraphrase II – ”Giant steps and eden acid”, was an exhilarating work that in the course of 20 minutes sailed from the rhythmically jerky worlds of bebop and free jazz to the pounding rhythms of acid house. The transformation was impressively slow, while the surface level of music was constantly sweating, challenging the Uusinta Ensemble’s musicians and conductor József Hárs.”
Auli Särkiö-Pitkänen, Rondo, Aug 22 2018

“Both the form solutions and the sonorous details are delightful in the works. Paraphrase II – “Giant steps and eden acid” is sourced from Coltrane’s bebop jazz and techno genre acid house. Hilli lets the tension unfold gradually until each musical subtext is in turn released from its shackles.”
Auli Särkiö-Pitkänen, Rondo, Nov 13 2020

“Paraphrase II – ’Giant steps and eden acid’ (2016) for flute, clarinet, piano, violin, viola, and cello was inspired by the bebop of John Coltrane as well as acid house music of the 1980s. The tirelessly energetic music becomes rawer and jerkier towards the end, as if it were shown in a more and more ruthless light. Small irregularities in the pounding beat remind the listener of the fact that it is produced by musicians, not by a machine.”
Anna Pulkkis, FMQ, Dec 4 2020


Paraphrase II – ”Giant steps and eden acid” performed by New European Ensemble: