August 9rd–15th, 2021

Monday, August 9th 
at 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. 
Church of the Cross, Lahti

Silja Selonen: ODE IN CODE
Arttu Selonen

Free of Charge



Silja Selonen, Ode in Code (2018). Resonating a 3,5-billion-year-old DNA code. Arttu Selonen, arrangement of the code for the organ.

Ode in Code is sound art based on an ancient genetic code. The first living beings and the fount of all life have long fascinated humans, and during recent years, scientists have created a theory of the last universal ancestor, who is the fount of all life. 

Artist Silja Selonen transformed a piece of this ancient pre-cell from the early seas into a tune with a programme that transforms DNA base bars into audio frequency. Her nephew Arttu Selonen, who is studying to become an organist, played the tune with the organ of Turku Cathedral creating multiple variations of it. The structure of the piece depicts the transformation of life: it begins with the most loyal melody and grows into a more freely interpreted organ composition. According to Selonen, the artwork is an ode to life, reminding us of the common roots of all life.

Silja Selonen is an artist working with painting, bioart and sound. Selonen graduated in sculpture from the Turku Arts Academy in 2009, and she has also studied sound art, light art, astrobiology and physics. The hard sciences combine with the resonance of the warmth of life in her work.

Selonen lives and works in Lieto, in the middle of nature. Ecological materials have an important role in all her work.

Turku-based organist Arttu Selonen (1996) is finishing his master’s degree and the included level A performance proficiency in the organ at Sibelius Academy. Selonen has performed in solo concerts, as a part of chamber orchestras, and as a composer as well. Liturgical music is also close to his heart. Selonen is especially impressed with the organ tradition of the Romantic era, but he is still constantly developing his repertoire in a wide range of genres. Selonen has substituted as a cantor in several parishes across Finland, and since 2018 he has been the summer cantor of Turku Cathedral. 

The most influential teachers in Selonen’s musicianhood have been Markku Hietaharju, Jaana Ikonen and Jean-Baptiste Monnot. He has also participated in various master classes and got acquainted with historical organs in Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Estonia and Russia, because he feels it is important to know the constructional tradition of the organ in different periods and regions, and its effect on the organ art. He has found the Cavaillé-Coll organ at St. Ouen monastery church in Rouen, France, especially substantial.

In 2015-19 Selonen studied church music at the Kuopio Unit of Sibelius Academy. He started playing the organ in the Puolalanmäki Upper Secondary School Music Track in Turku in 2013 with Any Åberg. Before his music studies he played the piano in the pop/jazz line of the Turku Music School. 

Selonen is a board member of Turku Organ Festival, and Organum, an association promoting Finnish organ art. In addition, he is the editor of the Organum magazine.