Ville Aslak Raasakka (1977-) is a Helsinki-based Finnish composer specialized in ecology. His works incorporate field recordings from Finnish coal power plants, Pennsylvania coal mines, British oil rigs, packaging materials, pesticides, forest logging in Finland and from the seafloor of the Baltic sea.
In 2019, his orchestral work received a recommendation at the Unesco Rostrum of Composers (Argentina). His music is published by Universal Edition (Wien, London, New York) and Donemus publishing (The Hague).
His works are performed by the Klangforum Wien (Vienna), der/gelbe/klang (Munich), Mise-en Ensemble (New York) and Dal Niente (Chicago) at festivals including Eclat (Stuttgart), Festival Archipel (Geneva), Festival de Royaumont (France), Gaudeamus Muziekweek (Utrecht), Klang festival (Copenhagen), the June in Buffalo (University of Buffalo) and the Tage der Neuen Musik Bamberg.
In Finland he has worked with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Avanti! Chamber Orchestra, the Finnish Baroque Orchestra, Tampere Filharmonia, Jyväskylä Sinfonia, Lapland Chamber Orchestra, Helsinki Chamber Choir, defunensemble, Uusinta Ensemble, and soloists and conductors such as Bas Wiegers, Janne Valkeajoki, Saar Berger, Olga Heikkilä, Livia Schweizer, Anssi Karttunen, Yumi Suehiro, Maria Puusaari, Kaisa Kortelainen, Risto-Matti Marin, Ville Matvejeff, Rebecca Tong, Hannu Lintu and John Storgårds.
His current ecological focus is in the formation, extraction, energy use, product use and dispersion of coal, oil and wood.
Raasakka studied with Veli-Matti Puumala at the Sibelius Academy and privately with Georges Aperghis in Paris. He complemented his studies on master classes with Helmut Lachenmann, Hans Abrahamsen and Georg Friedrich Haas and studied electronic music on the Ircam Summer Courses. He is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in composition at the Sibelius Academy.
He has given guest lectures and presentations on composition at the Hochschule für Musik Karlsruhe, Eastman School of Music, Royal Academy of Music London and the Liszt Academy of Music. He has also taught artistic processes to photography students of the Aalto University and to dramaturgy and stage directing students of the Theatre Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki.
Being interdisciplinary in nature, his music has been programmed also outside the context of art music concerts: At the Baltic Circle theatre festival, the Flow Festival, and in 2023 at the Helsinki Biennial visual arts festival and at the new contemporary dance centre Dance House Helsinki.
Ville Raasakka is a composition teacher at the Department of Composition and Music Theory of the Sibelius Academy (University of the Arts Helsinki), and he has also held two master courses in composition, in 2018 in Seoul, South Korea and in 2020 in Oulu, Finland. Since 2019 he organizes the Klang Helsinki Concert Series at the Helsinki Music Centre devoted to music composed after the year 2000.
Photo by Quiet / Juha Törmälä