Jaakko Nousiainen (1969, Pello, Finland) Ц lingua-artist, vocalist, performer. Graduated from the University of Art and Design (MA, Helsinki). Lives and works in Helsinki (Finland).
Juha Valkeapää (1967, Kuopio, Finland) Ц lingua-artist, vocalist, performer. Graduated from the Helsinki University (MA, Helsinki). Lives and works in Helsinki (Finland).
The first lingua-artistic and sound-poetic performances of the УKeskenФ duet were held in Helsinki in the early 1990s. The boundary area of the groupТs creative activities, located at the crossing between the free vocal and contemporary communicative artistic strategies, possesses distinctive performance features. This, in its turn, determines not only the form of the artistic pieces (one could mention traditional concert or sound-happening), but also their different realisations Ц either sound installations in the exhibition/open space, or creative collaborations with representatives of related art-professions. Nousiainen and Valkeapää quite often present their sound poetry programs on various artistic grounds in Finland, among their projects are the following ones: Six vocal pieces (Annantalo Cultural Center, Helsinki, 1993), Skin Flaps (Gallery Augusta Sveaborg, Helsinki, 1994), Dokument (Esplanade Bandstand, Helsinki, 2000). The duet has participated in international theatrical festivals and festivals of contemporary art, including the following ones: Nordic Sound Art And Video Art Festival (Oslo, 1995), Tampere International Theatre Festival (Tampere, 1995; 1996), etc. Vocal-text pieces of the УKeskenФ duet, possessing decentered phonetic and acoustic structure, are often used by the authors as material for sound-installations. Among the realised projects of this kind are such as: Recircle (Hyvinkää Art Museum, Hyvinkää, 1994), Half-Deaf (International Computer Music Conference, Aarhus, 1994), History (The Museum of Applied Arts, Helsinki, 1994), Plaster and Mural (installational realisation in six public libraries in Helsinki, 1994), Three compositions (arrangement The Sonic Arts Networks, South Bank Center, London, 1995), Moon (Gallery Metallum, Stockholm, 1996) and others. Among the instances of the interprofessional collaboration the vocalists of the group single out a number of sound pieces, including AKTI (1996) and Bubble Speaks (1998), recorded for the choreographic performances of I.-P. Heikinheimo and realised accordingly in the Ateneum Art Museum (Helsinki) and STOA Cultural Center (Helsinki). Nousiainen and Valkeapää are the authors of the radio-sound-play УSkin Flaps,Ф arranged and performed within the programs of Finnish Radio Theatre in 1995. In 2000 the vocal duet УKeskenФ released its first CD: Kesken Document (Helsinki: HRCD-112, 2000), which comprised of the productions of the recent years, and that were recorded in 1999 at the Sibelius Academy Concert Hall (Helsinki). The pieces in the album present a wide range of the authorsТ sound poetry techniques with the thorough elaboration of the sound complexes, accompanying the phonetic emissions (noises made by the tongue and the lips, aspiration, nasalization and so on).