City Art Gallery

About the event

Aki Rissanen, Omniwerk • Jukka Ollikka, harpsichord builder and creator of Omniwerk

The Omniwerk is a unique new instrument in which Finnish instrument builders Jukka Ollikka and Jonte Knif have combined two historic keyboard instruments – the Geigenwerk (or Viola Organista, originally the invention of Leonardo da Vinci) and the Lautenwerk (a keyboard lute of the Baroque era, a favourite instrument of J.S. Bach) into one new instrument. The resulting Omniwerk has two manuals – one for each “werk” – that can be played simultaneously. A remarkable range of sounds is created by the combination of the two manuals and an ingenious system of bands that allows the instrument to sound like a harpsichord and a string orchestra.

Finnish pianist Aki Rissanen has fifteen albums to his credit and great success in solo piano competitions at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland and La Defense in France. Aki Rissanen’s new musical compositions for the unique instrument Omniwerk are based on classical sound reminiscent of the Baroque and Renaissance eras and combined with minimalist influences and electronic abstraction. The concert will also include compositions inspired by fragments of Leonardo da Vinci’s melodies.