Petri Alanko (aka Lowland) is a BAFTA nominated Finnish composer, musician and producer. His dynamic repertoire ranges from the haunting orchestral/electronic score for Remedy Entertainment’s psycho-thriller, Alan Wake, to elegant and sophisticated classical arrangements for Imaginaerum The Movie, based on the album by symphonic metal band Nightwish. His latest opus is the twisted and ominuous electronic sci-fi score for Remedy’s next cinematic blockbuster, Control (composed in co-operation with Martin Stig Andersen), and he composed music for Remedy’s critically acclaimed Quantum Break, filled with beautiful haunting and electronic thematic works. Several other titles are currently waiting for their release. Alanko’s solo album, “We’ve Been Here Before”, under his moniker “Lowland” was released in 28th August, 2018.
As an artist and performer, Alanko has toured extensively with popular Finnish bands, recorded two critically acclaimed albums, Classical Trancelations (CT) 1 and 2, under his Lowland moniker, and has just finished mixing a third CT album, release date TBA. Recently Alanko’s concerts included a “Classical Trancelations In Concert” performance in Hartwall Arena, September 2018, performed in front of almost 9000 people. The concert was a sequel to 2016’s two groundbreaking, sold-out-in-a-flash events held in Helsinki Music House, as a part of the Helsinki Festival. The 2018 concert consisted of heavily rearranged electronic dance music and trance classics with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and Ahjo Choir, along with special guest vocalists (MARiANNA, Paleface, Sami Uotila, Saara Aalto, Kasmir, Reino Nordin) and saxophonists Tapani Rinne (of Rinneradio) and Mikko Perko. Music media all over the world noticed this special performance. Please find more information from the Facebook page of the September 2018 event.
You can, at least for now, watch the concert from Yle Areena globally, click here.
Alanko creates deeply emotional soundscapes for visual media, including games, television and movies. His scores feature a unique composing style, rich with vibrant harmonies and highly unusual hybrid instrumentation, thanks to his roots in both electronic and classical music. Ranging from hard-edged all-electronic to sublime and smooth orchestral scores, his arranging style varies depending on the needs of the production, combining contemporary instruments with cutting edge technology and custom built tools for sculpting the sound – creating a memorable, timeless result, which is instantly recognizable.
After having composed music to Remedy Entertainment’s action blockbuster, Quantum Break, Alanko’s latest musical adventure was composing the complex musical landscape for Remedy Entertainment’s Control.
“I basically had to temporarily forget all I know about 12 tone scales or harmonic overtone series,” says Petri. “Like I did with every project, I started this one by creating a special sound library for the basis of sample sets and virtual instruments – some of which I had to build by myself, in Native Instruments’ Reaktor. However, since the studio wanted a different angle to the project, I had to step away from the usual tunings and harmonies, and just let go. I practically recorded everything for several months, including a clothes rack and a washing machine’s rotating drum, as well as a piano’s sound harp. Oh, and my espresso machine.”
Furthermore, the game’s main story arcs circled around a sister-brother theme, as well as confrontation of the two forces, absolute good and evil, so there was a plenty of building ground provided by the manuscript of the game.
“In Alan Wake there was ‘only’ Alan’s guilt (and fear of losing his anchor to reality; his wife),” continues Petri, “and in Quantum Break there was a lost brother, an old friend, a newly found relationship, not to mention saving the whole planet, all in one go, but here, with Control, I was able to deal with the absolute positive and the negative as well – it was almost like a dream come true, through several long-forgotten tuning systems… [laughs] I have always loved Remedy’s plots and their meticulous writing, as they deliver a lot food for thought, even in the lesser sentences. They tell stories that matter, they’re initially about very small things, but the scale reaches impossible heights.” The culmination of using dissonances and rare sound sources was releasing. “I think I gained back some of my long-lost innocence in the process, remembering the time well before the formal music teaching, piano and orchestration lessons et cetera. I learned to just listen again. It is important to let go and throw yourself sometimes in the arms of incoherence and chaos, especially knowing you’re able to climb back…”
Among other projects, Alanko has worked since 2018 as the Audio Director of Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE’s radio department.