Photo by Mikko Malmivaara

Santte Salonen (b. 1993) is a composer, scriptwriter and musician from Helsinki. They graduated as Master of Music (MMus) from Sibelius Academy of Uniarts Helsinki in summer 2022. After graduation they have worked as a full-time co-composer and co-scriptwriter on the feature Animagios dramatic works Ystäväni Tsizik (My Friend Tsizik) and Vulfekin laulu (Song of Vulfek) on Kone Foundation’s grant (years granted 2021 & 2022).

Salonen composes music using different styles, often knowingly crossing genres, but their most peculiar stylistic feature could be said to be the use of 18th and 19th century Nordic salon and folk music rhythms. An interesting example of this is the album Immortal Tradition (Bafe’s Factory 2022) by Ritva Nero, a band lead by Salonen playing ‘partymetalfolk’. The album was nominated in The Finnish Music Publishers Association’s genre-free category in 2022.

Salonen’s main instruments are soprano saxophone and clarinet, and they have performed in over ten different countries in Europe, North America, and East Asia in different ensembles. They have been an active member of the band Barlast, that has also composed and performed music for media artist Nina-Maria Oförsagd’s experimental movies Arrangement non-existent (2020) and Breaks at Dawn (2019) and improvised in many Breaks at Dawn Live -live cinema collaborations.