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Jutta Seppinen - Mezzo Soprano

HUMAN HEART is mezzo-soprano and conductor Jutta Seppinen's accurate, moving ja strong showcase of virtuosity. Finnish composer Heinz-Juhani Hofmann's monologue opera for mezzo-soprano and tape is unique in its category. Human Heart is originally composed for Jutta Seppinen and it was premiered in 2011.

Child sexual abuse and incest are some of the cruellest human acts. They breach a child's right to inviolability and its own self, and radically disturb the child's natural ability to develop as its own self. The Human Heart (Ihmissydän) explores precisely this phenomenon in sharp focus.

The Human Heart is not traditional opera; it is not even a traditional modern opera. Human Heart is a work based on text and containing little singing. It demands bold vocal commitment and a capacity of flexibility of the performer. The work also uses expressive methods from theatrical and performance art and is distinguished by a constant dialogue with electronics. Most of the material on the recording is the performer's previously recorded voice and vocal sound. These are used to create both a coherent and ambiguous soundscape.

Typical to The Human Heart are the high-tempo sweep of the lyrics and the rapidly changing mental states and emotions. There is a lot of text, and it displays at times a compulsive repetitiveness. Individual meanings are not clear or spelled out, and mutually contradictory utterances are heard side by side and interlocked. The parts of the work fuse seamlessly and create distressing realities. There is no singular time or place setting in The Human Heart. It is work of mosaic art that derives its strength from managed incoherency. Its logic is precisely the same as the way in which current brain research sees the mechanism of the brain for storing traumatic memories: they lack a common story.

Heinz-Juhani Hofmann's monologue opera is an important addition to the rare musical works which dare to draw back the veil of collective denial and reveal what sexual abuse does to a child's inner world.

This recording is dedicated to all the millions of victims who were forced to endure sexual abuse and/or incest as children.

Recording venue: Sellosali, Espoo, Finland
Recording dates: May 22-23, 2018 and September 17, 2018
Recording supervisor, mixing and mastering: Anders Pohjola
Sound engineers: Anders Pohjola
Producers: Jutta Seppinen and Anders Pohjola
Photos: Martti Jämsä and Nina Silén
Graphic design and booklet layout: Majken Stenberg

Ihmissydän - Human Heart

Released 2020

by Heinz-Juhani Hofmann
with Jutta Seppinen

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