Mikael Joonatan is a finnish artist who is at the moment mainly working with piano and body. Currently he is teaching piano and wrapping up material of 5 years period of artistic research. During this period he’s been working on material for acoustic solo piano, developing a certain esthetic quality that relies on purifying and soothing sound, flowing rhythms, fragile textures and sense of space in the music. One could hear reflections of light and water in different forms in this material.
During this artistic research period he has also been working on deepening his relationship with body as an artistic brush. He’s been investigating the deep inner qualities of the movement, being moved/danced by anything, the presence of inner clowns, performative expression of the body, space and body, dancing in the nature, the musicality in dance, the dance in playing music and the one-ness of body, space, mind, environment, audience and the artistic object. In the bodily, performative action he emphasizes the connection to the primitive ground of the body-mind. When the connection and the conditions are good that ground works as a nourishing soil for the bodily flowers to physically come out in a trusting manner that might create somehow rawly beautiful, funny and meaningful dance, that somehow is off the common track, revealing its blossoming pureness.
5 years ago Mikael lost more or less connection to music, and more or less to himself too. That started a long phase of artistic, personal and spiritual transformation and healing period. During those years he has been working mainly alone outside the frames and structures of institutions and other artistic safety nets. In a way he has become a specialist of being in the space in between, in a space you could consider “outside”. This space can be very fruitful for deep personal and artistic growth, as you really have to face certain essential factors of life, but rather challenging from the practical, financial and social point of view.
During those challenging years of being lost and “outside” he started to work on a thing you could call “The Guide”. Basically the artistic and personal crisis pushed him to do intensive self-observation-based research on methods that could help him to overcome the difficulties he was facing, to locate their roots, and clear space for clarity. The process has included lots of self-observation, doing hundreds of pages of notes, going through them and organizing and dividing them into specific sections. The fruit that has been ripening from this process is a bunch of essential tips on different aspects of life and the work as an independent artist. The process has helped him to overcome certain problems, create clarity on the artistic path, to get to know the methods that work and to simply be more clear in the actions and way of living and being. “The Guide” has become one source of tips that helps him to find the focus again when it is lost. He hopes that when the day of sharing those tips come, they can be beneficial for other beings in same kinds of situations.
Currently he is based in Helsinki, where he has a working space in a garden of a beautiful old mental hospital called Lapinlahden Sairaala. He is having a pause from performing, but you can sometimes see him performing either on dance pieces (recently “Body Notes”) or playing an ex tempore impro concert (for example in Väinö Kallio some days at lunch time). If you are interested in piano lessons, feel free to contact him!