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Antti Samuli Hernesniemi

This man, Antti Samuli Hernesniemi (born in Kannus in 1950) is a Finnish composer, pianist, performing and visual artist, and doctor of medical science.
I began to learn the basics on piano at the age of ten. Four years later I started playing drums, singing and making songs with three schoolmates in Ruovesi in a rock-band called “The Väinämöinens” in 1964-1966. Thereafter, a couple of years, I played piano in a jazz group with some music-interested schoolmates. Some years later I was playing electric guitar and singing own new songs in another village rock band.

Besides playing in bands I have been a part time troubadour singing folk and rock-songs since 15 years of age. After moving to Helsinki to begin medical studies, I could get the place of the drummer in a new-founded medical student band, “Valkotakit”, in Helsinki in 1969-1970.

My years in medical studies were quite varying. The studies became some years longer than they were supposed to be. All the time I was interested in music and arts and literature too. Because of the strong eagerness and must to express myself I was twice forced to interrupt my studies. But that was to become a fine property: I could develop myself further in piano playing and in sculpturing, drawing and painting too.

Some years later, after graduating from medical studies at the University of Helsinki, I was very much involved with physician’s work in familiar regions in Middle Ostrobothnia which I often had visited in childhood and later. Some years in the 1980’s I anyway sang and played guitar too in a pop-rock band and also played drums in an accordionist band.

During the years 1974-1987 I worked as a general physician and in 1981-2002 as a medical scholar. I have studied thoroughly Finnish ethno-medicine and written a textbook and medical thesis about this subject and lectured at universities.

Since the year 2002 I finally wanted to concentrate myself totally and with all possible energy in music and visual art, theatre and modern dance. I started studies in musicology at the University of Helsinki and participated moreover in courses in theatre, choreography and contemporary dance. As a logical result of this course of events it now seems I developed myself as a composer and began to create music in large and epic forms in 2003. My CD “Compositions 1 – Sävellyksiä 1” with its two piano works - “mies soittaa rannalla” (“Man playing on the shore”) and “runoelma” (“Poem”) and the music for the choreographic play “nouseva muoto” (“Ascending form”) are all proofs of that process in me.

By the side of instrumental training and theoretical music studies, I have arranged ten exhibitions with my drawings, paintings and sculptures in the years 2003-2008.

Combining music, sculpturing and modern dance, I have created a choreographic play, “nouseva muoto”, based on one of my plywood sculptures (see cover photo on the CD). In Finland I have presented the play eight times in 2006-2008.

I have had a need and a must to work and I have had the fortune to develop further my piano playing methods with own invented body-, hand- and finger training practices. In these my training in gymnastics in the 1960’s and in modern dance all through the years have helped me.

Since 2010 I'm studying musicology at Åbo Akademi University in Turku, Finland.