Ilo Ensemble

- Songs of transition

What does it feel like when a child has two homes and two different sets of family photos? Will a friend stick by you when your mental health fails? Do I have a secret love? Is it always necessary to pick yourself up? And does anyone really want to wear a thong?

In Songs of transition, Ilo Ensemble premieres new material written by its members and performs songs from earlier programmes. The singers also discuss the backgrounds and themes of the songs. The compelling narratives are derived from current issues in society at large and from personal experiences.

The overriding theme of the programme is transitions in life: falling in love, separation, new beginnings and the need to just stop. Sometimes life wants to change us even if we are not ready for it. At other times, change can be exactly what we were looking for.

Many of the pieces on this programme were inspired by folk songs from the 19th century, particularly in a genre known as rekilaulu, where no topic under the sun was off limits. At the same time, the ensemble traces a portrait of a modern woman with their combination of old and new musical elements.

Ilo Ensemble are a group with a warm sound and a captivating stage presence. They won the acoustic category in the Contest for Vocal Ensembles at the Tampere Vocal Music Festival in 2017 and placed well in the international vocal ensemble competition at the Århus Vocal Festival in Denmark in summer 2019. The group has given concerts around Finland and has been widely commended for its bold and thought-provoking performances. Ilo Ensemble are rooted in folk music, improvisation and music for the stage, and each of the ensemble members writes music, lyrics and arrangements. Their broad variety of expertise combines in a musical package whose inventive sounds and voice production immediately grasp the listener’s attention.

Runtime 38 minutes

Videographer Ville Salonen
Director & editor Antti Kuivalainen
Sound engineer Anssi Vättö


Salla Haavisto – vocals
Lotta Hagfors – vocals
Tiina Palmén – vocals
Ulla Silvennoinen – vocals
Mira Törmälä – vocals


Kaikki on ihan hyvin [Everything is fine]
music and arrangement Lotta Hagfors, lyrics Kirsi Porkka

Unta vailla [Without sleep]
music and arrangement Lotta Hagfors/Trad., lyrics Lotta Hagfors/Vesa Norilo/Trad.

Lemmin salaa [Loving in secret]
music and arrangement Ulla Silvennoinen, lyrics Trad./Ulla Silvennoinen

Lohduttaa saa [It’s all right to give comfort]
music, lyrics and arrangement Mira Törmälä

Kaksi kotia [Two homes]
music, lyrics and arrangement Tiina Palmén

Yksin laulan [I sing alone]
music Helmi Camus / Isabel Parra, lyrics Trad., arrangement Helmi Camus

Yhtä luuta [Of one flesh]
music and arrangement Salla Haavisto, lyrics Salla Haavisto, Eino Leino

Kun on aika olla nainen [When it’s time to be a woman]
music, lyrics and arrangement Salla Haavisto

Tissit [Tits]
music Trad., lyrics and arrangement Tiina Palmén


PHOTO: Lars Kastilan