The Finnish composer Tomi Räisänen (1976) studied composition from 2000 to 2006 at the Sibelius Academy with Erkki Jokinen. Before entering the Sibelius Academy he read music at the University of Helsinki studying musicology and composition with Harri Vuori. He has also participated in several international composition masterclasses, seminars and workshops with composers such as Louis Andriessen, Brian Ferneyhough, Jonathan Harvey, Michael Jarrell, Jouni Kaipainen, Magnus Lindberg, Philippe Manoury and Marco Stroppa. Since early 2000’s Räisänen’s list of works has rapidly grown and contains compositions from solo pieces to chamber and choral music, and includes orchestral pieces and concertos. Räisänen’s music has been widely performed and broadcast in more than 30 countries across Europe, North and South America, Asia and Australia. In year 2007 Räisänen won the international Irino Prize in Japan with his work Stheno. He has also gained success in other composition competitions in Finland, Italy and Australia.
Double bass is obviously the biggest instrument in the orchestra. However, from a distance its shape actually resembles that of a butterfly. The double bass, so big and heavy, and the butterfly, so light and fragile – this is the paradox that I have used as the guiding principle in my work Giant Butterfly. In this work the roles of the orchestral instrumentation have been turned upside down. Whereas the double bass usually takes care of the lowest register of the orchestra, this time, right from the beginning, it holds the highest pitch. Gradually the double bass reaches higher and higher until it eventually just flutters away like a butterfly. The life span of a butterfly is usually not so long; sometimes no longer than a single day. Similarly the duration of this miniature concerto is just over two minutes.