Estimated duration

1 h


Taideyliopiston Sibelius-Akatemia

Þorkell Nordal's "Animistic rituals" explores the ritualistic nature of the concert situation.

“Animistic rituals” comprises a series of six pieces for guitar and electronics. Each movement explores various playing techniques, born out of specific restrictions, such as focusing on different parts of the instrument or preparations. The work explores the potential of the voice in guiding a spectrum of musical expression, including percussive, noise, and harmonic sounds. The interplay between acoustic and electronic sounds serves as both a dramaturgical tool and means of expanding the instrument’s sonic possibilities. For example, the sounds of the strings being changed becomes a part of the composition and guitar cases are used to diffuse the sound around the space. 
The collaboration between composer Þorkell Nordal and guitarist Mark Reid Bulatović is a crucial aspect of the work, both in terms of dialogue during the composition process and in shaping the ritual of the performance. Some of the rituals have been publicly performed during the process, transforming the collaboration into a space where the written musical text and the performer’s interpretation can continually evolve. 
In addition to the guitar works, the musical experience is enriched by interludes and video materials that offer commentary on the musical concepts explored within the pieces. 
Þorkell Nordal is an Icelandic composer based in Helsinki. With a background as guitarist and choir singer in his native country he soon focused on composition and pursued composition studies at the Iceland University of the Arts, Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre and at the Sibelius Academy. Nordal focuses on creating immersive musical experiences, exploring sound palettes and shaping pieces through a gradual process. Nordal’s music, designed for concert halls and site-specific installations, represents a cohesive body of sonic ideas adaptable to various mediums. Nordal’s music has been performed in festivals such as Ung Nordisk Music, Musica Nova Helsinki, Tampere Biennale, Skálholt Summer Concerts and Estonian Music Days. His music has been performed by ensembles including Uusinta, Schallfeld Ensemble, defunensemble, Elja Ensemble, Reykjavik Cathedral Choir and NyNorsk Messingkvintett. 


  • Mark Reid Bulatović, guitar and performance 
  • Þorkell Nordal, live-electronics 


  • Þorkell Nordal: Animistic rituals (2024) for solo guitar and electronics 

Further information: Anna Huuskonen-Kuhlefelt, 

Young artists of summer 

The concert series presents recent graduates and students of the Sibelius Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki who have excelled in their studies. 

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Mannerheimintie renovation project

Access to the Musiikkitalo from the direction of Mannerheimintie will be difficult. We recommend that you allow enough time for your arrival and use the entrance on the side of Kansalaistori if possible. According to current information, the entrance to Mannerheimintie will also remain in use throughout the renovation, but pedestrian routes can be challenging at times.

We recommend following the official information channels of the renovation project, where you can find the most up-to-date information.