Erkki Kurenniemi (1941 - 2017)


  • Mika Taanila has directed a documentary film on Erkki Kurenniemi, who built his legendary DIMI synthesizers in the late 60s, and has probably also created the first digital synthesizer in the world. The title is The Future Is Not What It Used To Be, premiere November 2002, and it is accompanied by a compilation of Kurenniemi's previously unpublished electronic compositions from the 1960s on Love Records. A DVD version (June 2003) entitled The Dawn of DIMI contains the documentary, plus Kurenniemi's various short films and animations and concert footage from the early 70s.

    Erkki KurenniemiERKKI KURENNIEMI: Dance of the Antropoids (Excerpt) 1.09

    One of the undeniable pioneers of Finnish electronic music is Erkki Kurenniemi (b. 1941), who founded The University of Helsinki Electronic Music Studio in the early 1960's. Kurenniemi built his own series of synthesizers, named as DIMI, which are nowadays mostly possessed by Swedish collector and electronic musician Ralph Lundsten, and published some of his experimental compositions like 'Dance of the Antropoids'. Alongside such Finnish pioneers as Eino Ruutsalo (for whose short films Kurenniemi composed music), Kurenniemi also did some early work on the field of Finnish media art and contributed to Finnish video art and happenings. Kurenniemi created the first commercially manufactured and marketed microcomputer already in 1973 -- two years before the American MITS Altair. These days Kurenniemi works as an independent researcher, specialising in such subjects as artificial intelligence.

    The full-length version of this composition can be found on the Love Records album Perspectives '68 - Music From Finland and also the 1998 collection Love Proge 2. This excerpt of 'Dance of the Antropoids' comes from the LP Tombstone Valentine by Finnish progressive rock band Wigwam. [Discography information here] [Erkki Kurenniemi @ Wikipedia] [An article on Erkki Kurenniemi in Finnish.] [Another article in Finnish.] Erkki Kurenniemi article by Mikko Ojanen & Jari Suominen (PDF, in Finnish).] [Erkki Kurenniemi @ Google (search results)] See also: M.A. Numminen.

    The Early Years of Finnish Electronic Music