Blood Red, composed by Mikko Hassinen, is a kind of soundtrack to a fictional story taking place in late 16th-century Istanbul.
”The inspiration for the composition comes from the wonderful book My Name is Red written by the Nobelists Orhan Pamuk. The music doesn’t describe or explain the story or the characters. Rather, it reflects different feelings evoked by the novel,” Hassinen explains.
Mikko Hassinen was excited about the opportunity to write music for Espoo Big Band, whose motives are fundamentally different from the most typical traditions related to big band music. Espoo Big Band (EBB) is one of Finland’s leading large jazz orchestras. The band has performed at several of the world’s most famous jazz festivals – including North Sea Jazz, Detroit, Montreaux and Paris – and released eleven albums.
The compositions are influenced by both Arbian and Persian music. The influences of Persian music are involved in nuances related to the shapes, scales and rhythms of the songs. The use of live electronics spices up the big band’s already colorful sound.
“I have been interested in Arabic music for a long time and therefore it seemed natural to combine the influences I got from it with jazz. Verneri Pohjola is a great jazz improviser, but he was a natural choice as a soloist also because of his strong lyrical playing style,” says Mikko Hassinen.
Blood Red will be released by Galileo Music in both digital and physical (CD) format in September 2021. The album release concert will take in Espoo, Finland on the 16th of September.