Clarinetttist Mikko Raasakka has collaborated extensively with composers and has premiered some 30 new clarinet works to date, including five concertos. He is a founding member of defunensemble, which specialises in electro-acoustic music, and regularly appears at contemporary music festivals. He has given concerts in several European countries, in the USA and in Canada, and he has recorded Finnish music for the JaSe and NAXOS labels. In addition to the clarinet and the bass clarinet, he plays the liru (a Finnish folk clarinet) and the electric eind controller.
Mikko Raasakka studied the clarinet at the Besancon Conservatoire in France and at the Sibelius Academy, completing a doctrate on new clarinet techniques in Finnish music in 2005. Several Finnish composers have since consulted his dissertation.
Exploring the clarinet is a thorough and fascinating study of the potential of the modern clarinet. It reviews the history of the instrument and of the music written for it, with a detailed discussion of its structure and acoustic properties and above all of the technique of playing the clarinet. The technical presentation focuses on new techniques used in contemporary music, such as microintervals, pitch bends, frullato, various types of articulation and the potential of multiphonics.
Exploring the clarinet is also a compendium of Finnish clarinet music to date. The numerous music examples used to illustrate the techniques described are from works by Magnus Lindberg, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Kalevi Aho, Jukka Tiensuu and many other Finnish composers. The introduction to the book includes a survey of the history of Finnish clarinet music, and there is a comprehensive catalogue of Finnish clarinet works to date in the appendix.
The enclosed CD contains 81 tracks featuring the examples presented in the book, performed by the author.