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Small Creatures

A Musical Encyclopaedia in the Making

Photo: Marek Sabogal

Photo: Marek Sabogal


About ten years back I woke up to the fact that in the traditional solo guitar repertoire there are a lot of miniature pieces depicting different small animals and birds (hummingbird, butterfly, bee, etc.). As a large part of my work involves working together with composers, I got the idea to ask them for new ones. The only rules being:

a) The piece has to be short

b) The creature cannot be bigger than a cat.

The project took off immediately and at the moment there are about 40 new small pieces in the collection, from a hedgehog to a herring and from a mantis to mongooses. And more keep coming all the time.

It is a mix of unashamedly wide range of styles, from modernism to latin rhythms. Funny, serious, virtuosic, anarchic, meditative, surprising - each piece in its own way telling a story or characterizing some aspect of the creature. 

A simple idea slowly turned into a fantastical carnival of small creatures, literally my pet project!

Some excerpts:




Kalevi Aho: Törö (gudgeon)

Antti Auvinen: Malluainen (backswimmer)

Carlé Costa: Hummingbird

Javier Contreras: Coleopteros (beetle)

Cyro Delvizio: O Gato (cat)

Carlo Domeniconi: Mantis

Hans Gefors: Bichon frisé

Ilkka Hammo: Liito-orava (siberian flying squirrel)

Jarkko Hartikainen: Tardigrade

Ichiro Hirano: Heikeopsis japonica

Sami Klemola: Rapu (crab)

Paavo Korpijaakko: Cossus cossus (and its mystical disappearance during the metamorphosis) 

Kimmo Kuokkala: Ai-ai

Juha Leinonen: Guinea Pigs

Minna Leinonen: Merisiili (sea hedgehog)

Jimmy López Bellido: Ladybug

Juan Antonio Muro: Pieni hysteerinen peto (least weasel)

Jyrki Myllärinen: Scarabe

Pehr Henrik Nordgren/ Kalevi Aho: Moiwa no risu (japanese squirrel)

Michael Parsons: Hedgehog, Columbus the Cat

Maurizio Pisati: Denise (pygmy seahorse, firefly, silverfish)

Uljas Pulkkis: Ööpö metsästää (owl)

Veli-Matti Puumala: Hämähäkki, Taivaanvuohi (Spider, Snipe)

Sakari Raappana: La Pulga (flea)

Ville Raasakka: Pet Monkey Paw Motion

Poul Ruders: Rattus rattus

Laura Ruohonen: Ahven (bass)

Osmo-Tapio Räihälä: Kalliokirskuja (white-throated swift)

José-María Sánchez-Verdú: El abejorro (bee)

Joachim F.W. Schneider: Calypte Anna, La Tique (Anna´s hummingbird, tick)

Rodrigo Sigal: Mantis

Harri Suilamo: Tuulihaukka (falco tinnunculus)

Lauri Supponen: Axolotl

Riikka Talvitie: Öinen hoikkalori, Hippiäistyttö (red slender loris, goldcrest)

Onur Türkmen: Yarasa (bat)

Jan Mikael Vainio: Magpie Bones

Adam Vilagi: Mangustit (mongooses)

Olli Virtaperko: Särmäneula (broad-nosed pipefish)

Lotta Wennäkoski: Silakka (baltic herring)

Aki Yli-Salomäki: Vesimittari (pond skater)