4. STRINGS & HAMMERS, THE MCCORMIC [sic] PERCUSSION GROUP. RAVELLO. ★★★
“The McCormick Percussion Group and violinist Sini Virtanen’s Strings and Hammers trio received a Gold Medal for their collaborative album in the New Classical Music category of the Global Music Awards, supporting ‘independent musicians.’
According to the album sleeve notes, the five commissioned composers—from Emily Koh to Jarkko Hartikainen—take out on anxieties created by US politics, racism, and climate change. The slightly out of the ordinary combination of instruments in itself already introduces interesting tone colors to the album, although not all of the 10 to 20-minute works are of the most memorable kind in terms of information density or originality.
The snappy Ice Concerto, written by Hartikainen for Virtanen, begins with an intelligible repetition of a rising melodic intonation, but gradually sets the musical glacier into a melting, even evaporating state.”
–Vesa Sirén, HS.fi (translated by Jarkko Hartikainen)