A part of Companions exhibition’s side program, Islaja takes her turn on Friday 10.9. with her intimate concert. One of Finland’s most distinctive singer-songwriters, Islaja brings us music inspired by the poetry and life of Ávilan Teresa (1515-1582), a Carmelite nun, mystic and religious reformer
MERJA KOKKONEN is a composer, performer and also has a degree in visual arts. Since her debut as ISLAJA in 2004, she has released albums on Finland’s Fonal Records, Thurston Moore’s Ecstatic Peace label, and Berlin’s monika enterprise, as well as a series of singles for Not Not Fun and Root Strata. Her most recent album Tarrantulla was released on Svart Records in 2017. She earned quick praise from The Wire, Pitchfork and Tiny Mix Tapes, among others, for her unique vocal style and daring DIY approach to music composition. She also performs with Monika Werkstatt, an all-female collective founded by Gudrun Gut. This Berlin-based group of international artists organizes workshops, panel discussions and collaborative concerts and aims to provoke discussion about women in electronic music.
Kokkonen has also composed music for an electro-acoustic orchestra and a choir. She has exhibited her sound-art and installations in galleries and festivals.
Islaja has performed in venues and festivals across Europe, Asia and the UK, and has shared the stage with bands as diverse as Animal Collective, Low, Aiisha Devi, Liima, Skaters and Junip.