Dr Cecilia Oinas (Sibelius Academy, Helsinki)

SMA ZOOM Colloquium, 9th June 2022, 6.30pm UK Time


In this presentation, I discuss the ways in which sharing the same musical lines, such as unisons or pitch repetitions, may increase and intensify the sense of bonding between performers. While in traditional music theory, joint pitches and parallel lines are usually approached from a textural point of view, I propose that parallel lines, especially when in unison, also have another, more performative dimension which I refer to as “sonic bridges”. After presenting preliminary examples of sonic bridges from various chamber music and Lied repertoire, I will examine two songs by Kaija Saariaho, “Parfum de l’instant” from Quatre instants (2002) and “Rauha” (Peace) from Leinolaulut (Leino Songs) (2007). As a conclusion I propose that Saariaho’s use of sonic bridges not only enable two very different instruments – piano and voice – to blend together in an aurally exciting way but also strengthen the empathy and bonding between singer and pianist, which further increases to bring out intimate, multisensory quality of these songs.


Dr Cecilia Oinas is a Finnish-Hungarian music theory lecturer, music scholar and a pianist from the Sibelius Academy, Helsinki. She has also been a visiting scholar at the Orpheus Institute in Ghent, CUNY Graduate Center in New York, and a post doc researcher at Kunstuniversität Graz. Cecilia has published peer-reviewed articles in journals such as Music & PracticeSMT-V, and Music Performance Research and actively given presentations and lecture recitals in various conferences throughout Europe and US. As a pianist, she is specialized in chamber music and collaborating with classical singers. Her current research focuses on music analysis, communication, corporeality, and performativity in ensemble performance.

Find out more about Dr Oinas here.