TEMPUS FUGIT was commissioned to celebrate the centenary of Finnish independence on 6 December 2017 and it received its first performance in Helsinki on that day, given by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra.
The composer says that “if you translate TEMPUS FUGIT as ‘Time Flies’, you could say that Finland has travelled a long way already – but 100 years is a short time-span, and living as a human in this part of the world started long ago and, we hope, will continue for millennia to come. This relates to my fascination with Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s concept of spherical time – that the past, the present and the future are continuously linked and within reach. You can also examine the inter-connection of musical time in the earlier works of Stockhausen such as Kontakte and Gruppen which had a big impact on me as a young composer. A translation of TEMPUS FUGIT that I prefer is ‘Time in Flight’, offering the idea that time escapes from us but bequeaths a tangible residue, rather like a plane travelling towards the distance but leaving a visible vapour trail.” This 30-minute score is a major addition to the orchestral repertory.