I just realized I haven't updated my blog for a month! I have plenty of ideas for new blog posts, but the fact is, I have been too busy studying music for my concerts and doing other projects and during times like this blogging has to wait. I anyway think I owe my readers a short summary of what's been going on lately, and I will also throw in some news and future plans.

After the conference I went back to Mikkeli to work with St. Michel Strings on a program dedicated to the music of the Bach family. Johann Sebastian, Wilhelm Friedemann, Carl Philip Emmanuel, Johann Christian and Johann Christoph Friedrich were all represented with either a keyboard concerto or an orchestral piece. I experimented with an antiphonal seating order as well as using less vibrato and more baroque-like articulations à la Ton Koopman, and our audience just loved it!

The next project I did was by far the toughest program this fall. I did a concert with the Finnish Guards Band which is the premier professional wind orchestra in Finland. The program was all modern Finnish music - Holmqvist, Marttinen, Virtaperko, Aho. I was all the more happy to find the Temppeliaukio Church totally packed with enthusiastic audience eager to hear us. It just occurred to me, by the way, that it was five years ago when I last conducted this orchestra, and the photo of my very first blog post is from a rehearsal with them in the same venue.

I also went to hear my orchestra for the first time conducted by someone else - my dear friend and colleague Roberto Forés Veses. It was very interesting to sit in the audience instead of standing on the podium, and it gives a totally different perspective to things. I also had promised to host the pre-concert event - another reversal of roles when I am usually the one being interviewed about the program.

Today I visited the Aalto University to test their conducting software - this is a project I will describe in more detail when it is ready. Anyway, the concept is simple - to build a software which could play pieces of music according to the gestures of a conductor and which would give a conducting student realistic feedback about the accuracy of his/her gesture. And I also have been getting ready to my two next concerts that have quite serious content. First a concert in Mikkeli for the All Saints' Day, then the second concert of my Madetoja symphony cycle with the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra.

For the not-so-distant future I have planned a conducting workshop with my own orchestra in Finland - six intense days working on string orchestra repertoire. Hopefully I'll have all the details next week. I guess that's about it. Oh, plus I've been also hooked on the hilarious anime-type iPad game Symphonica! Check it out - the first three episodes are free and then it gets kinda expensive. But great fun nevertheless!