Real Music for Unreal Times: Vol. 2 out now
"impressive in execution but also in emotion"
— Songlines Magazine
kumea (Finnish) adj. deep, hollow, resonant (of sound)
Kumea Sound is a solo project by Finnish composer and artist Lauri Wuolio. Focusing heavily on the 21st century percussion instrument cupola (handpan) and experimental sound design, Wuolio makes "ambient chamber music from the future" that draws its elements from minimalism, ambient and a plethora of old and contemporary musical currents.
Wuolio studied visual arts, sound art and composition in the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts. He works at his own studio in Vallila, Helsinki, performing live and composing music for films and radio. For commercial audio & music productions check out Kumea Audio.
Real Music for Unreal Times: Vol. 2 (2020)
"It is difficult to understate the importance of music like this, as not only is it in itself a beautiful work of art but more importantly, it has helped to shape the landscape of the handpan artform for the future." — Mark D'Ambrosio, composer
The fourth album by Kumea Sound, Real Music for Unreal Times: Vol.2, is a follow up to his similarly titled album from 2015. Recorded during the spring of 2020, the album is a surprisingly hopeful and comforting reflection and meditation on physical and psychological emptiness and distances the world has been experiencing during the coronavirus lockdown. Handpans and various string instruments (such as jouhikko, viola da gamba, cello, double bass) blend seamlessly together with experimental electronic sounds, many of which were produced with an experimental Russian synthesizer Soma Lyra-8. The album, which could be described as ambient chamber music from the future, may share some DNA with the works from Nils Frahm and Arve Henriksen, but in the end it is a unique work with its own musical language and logic. It is melancholic but simultaneously a soothing and solacing ambient work for these troubled times.
Oceans of Sadness, Mountains of Hope (2017)
"Oceans of Sadness, Mountains of Hope is a melancholic meditation on loss and grief, with influences that range from classical minimalism to nordic jazz. Lauri’s thoughful compositions are distinguished by his sensitive inclusion of delicate electrionics and sparce melodies and textures. His music has enhanced handpan music by bringing focus to timbre and polyphony." — Dom Aversano, composer
Real Music for Unreal Times (2015)
"This attention to detail, combined with the freedom of expression afforded by this most sensuous of instruments and Lauri’s own creativity and dexterity makes Real Music for Unreal Times one of the most radically different yet accessible albums I’ve heard in a long time. [...] This is a beautifully played and recorded album, a positive and meditative exploration of the potential of mixing ancient and modern ideas and sounds, simplicity and complexity, to create a tranquil and immersive listening experience which transcends boundaries." — Helen Gregory, Folk Radio UK
Kumea Sound (2013)
"The ambience reminds of the dreamy visions and ambient soundscapes of Dead Can Dance and Cocteau Twins. [...] It's a bit like a modern day version of Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells or the civilized and well-behaving cousin of The Knife's Silent Shout." – Tomi Tuominen, Sue