venus of the baltic sea

Venus of the Baltic Sea is a piece written for solo voice, choir, hydrophone and electronics.

After meeting with BlueAdapt researcher and hydrologist Inese Huttunen in the fall, we decided to develop a piece that deals with the state of the Baltic Sea and the reasons behind it. We had learned how the nutrient load caused mainly by agriculture is transferred through rivers into the Baltic Sea, especially a ecting the Archipelago Sea.

Botticelli's painting "Birth of Venus" was a key inspiration for our piece. It led us to think of a modern Venus, a Baltic Venus born out of the eutrophicated sea impregnated by human toxic waste – a new creature, a human-water hybrid with plastic flesh. The piece aims to capture the initial sentiments of this new organism as it emerges to the shore in a glowing phosphorus seashell.

Sonically we are representing the past and the future of the Baltic Sea with different sets of data. We have looked at nutrient levels in the Gulf of Finland from the 1970s until the present day. We also use data we received from Inese Huttunen, which depicts the different future scenarios of the phosphorus agricultural loading from the fields. The differences in the scenarios depend on the amount of phosphorus we continue to put in the fields. All of the different trajectories can be heard in our piece since, at this moment in time, all of these futures are still possible.

The soundscape is composed of pre-recorded and amplified voices, a choir singing live, a hydrophone as a concrete water element, which we use together with a set of effects, and the solo voice of the Baltic Venus. The data also manipulates the effects on the hydrophone and the solo voice.

The piece was premiered at Arts Adapt event at Musiikkitalo and later performed at ÄäniAalto festival in 2023. 

Image description: 

a. The original graphic representation of all of the data

b. Visualisation of one data set based on the numbers we received from Inese in csv form

c. Converted data shows up as a melody, which has been 






Performace at ÄäniAalto 2023




Working group

Composition: Juulia Haverinen & Esther Calderon M.

Performance Patch: Esther Calderon M.

Voice: Juulia Haverinen

Hydrophone and Live Electronics: Esther Calderon M.

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