Sibbe Live!: Recorder Guru – Sibelius-museo Skip to main content

Sibbe Live!: Recorder Guru

Eero Saunamäki, recorders

Many people think of the recorder as just that cream-coloured, plastic whistle that is played a little unsteadily at the school spring fete. In the hands of a professional, however, the recorder is a highly versatile and fascinating instrument with a history stretching back almost a thousand years. The recorder is the most misunderstood instrument in the world!

Eero Saunamäki has been a professional recorder player for 20 years. Saunamäki has performed numerous times as a soloist with symphony orchestras, premiered dozens of works and is known for his appearances at the Finnish Independence Day festivities at the Presidential Palace, among others. In addition to chamber music festivals, clubs and recordings, Saunamäki’s music can be heard in films, computer games and his own YouTube channel. Saunamäki teaches recorder at the Sibelius Academy at the University of the Arts and works with rhythm music, for example in the Kaartin Combo wind band. Saunamäki’s musical background is very diverse and his aim is to use his skills and personality to promote the recorder in a positive way.

In his hour-long Nokkahuiluguru performance, Eero Saunamäki will go through the history of the recorder from the Middle Ages to the present day. The performance will play works and give background to them by telling stories related to the player’s own personal history and the history of the recorder and the music played on it. The story explores medieval jesters, the noble courts of Central Europe, the golden age of the recorder in the early 1700s, as well as contemporary perceptions of the recorder as a school and contemporary musical instrument. Ten different types of recorder are used, from the small garklein to the large contrabassoon recorder.

Did you know that the world’s largest recorder is over three metres high? Or that a recorder was used to teach caged birds to sing in the 1700s? You can beatbox with a recorder and play pop music on it – Saunamäki’s concept of the recorder guru is to amaze people like a magician with his magic tricks by highlighting the positive qualities of the recorder.