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Introducing. . .

Mari Sainio



Mari is an exceptionally gifted musician and it's been an absolute joy collaborating with her on Tea Set by Gina Moxley. 


Mari Sainio is a Finnish film and concert composer graduated from Royal College of Music Sibelius-Academy and Gothenburg's Academy of music and Drama. She has worked with different type of projects including cinema, theatre and dance and she has composed for different ensembles including choirs, orchestras and chamber music ensembles. She has also lead and perfomed her own groups. Her film and theatre productions credit includes Bollinger (fiction, dir. Aleksi Delikouras), Something has to break (fiction, dir. Jerker Beckmann), To Be Destroyed (Documentary film, dir. Ahmed Ebraheem), Berlin Kabaret, Songs of Revolution, Love and Exile (Sphinx Theatre Company, Kabaree, dir. Sue Parrish), Hunger (animation, dir. Felix Koehler), Anubis on the Road (animation, dir. Paul Nicholson), Näkki (Music for installation about Finnish mythologies, artist Niina Kiiveri), The First Day (animation, dir. Paul Nicholson), composition, Pride (dir. Stefanie Espinetti), 6x Maisema (dramatised musical performance, dir. Joel Nives).


We asked Mari a few questions about her work and process.

How did you get involved with composing music for theatre and film? 

Stories and pictures/visuals have always been a great source of inspiration for me so even tough I started my career as a concert composer they have hugely inspired my work. When I was younger I worked in a theatre in different roles (assistant, actress, I did even screenwriting) so that world is very familiar to me. I composed music for my first film 5 years ago and I've been active since. 


Does your process change depending on whether you're composing for a play or film?

It varies a lot but often the process in theatre is a little bit more abstract because you have to work longer with the script. Theatre is usually also little bit more collaborative because you get to know everyone who's working in the show.


Who or what has been the biggest influence on your work thus far?

This is a tricky one. I've got influenced by many things but I must say that the pure nordic nature and silence has been my biggest influence.


Do you compose on your own or with a group?

I mostly compose on my own but I also do collaborations with other composers and of course in bigger projects I have a team to help me with it. 


Tell us about your thoughts on the sound scape for Tea Set.

When I got the script for Tea Set for the first time, my concept for the music and sounds were very different than how it finally end up. My point of view changed a lot when I saw Amy performing the play for the first time. I realised it needed only few small musical bits and more underscoring that compliments Amy and make even stronger impact for the audience.


What's the most striking piece of music you've heard recently?

I've been listening a lot Ludovico Einaudi's music recently and been inspired by the post rock bands. 


Do you have a favorite composer?

I have many favourites but maybe I have to say I really admire Maurice Ravel's music. 


What about composing music do you enjoy the most?

I love the feeling when I find a solution that makes the composition work better and when I feel I'm on the good workflow with ideas. 


What’s next up for you?

Next of course there's more performances for the Tea Set :) I'll have a very busy spring including two works for film (English and Finnish), opera project for the National Gallery, Interactive visuals performance (The Infinite Bridge) at Britten Theatre, music theatre production and some smaller projects. 


Check out Mari's website for the chance to listen to her original compositions.

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