Matti Pulkki

Research Assistant


Finnish accordionist Matti Pulkki is an active performer of contemporary and experimental repertoire. Often appearing with different chamber groups and ensembles around Europe and North America, Matti seeks to explore the technical and acoustic possibilities of his instrument in the music written in our time. Recently Matti has been focused in collaborating with composers, and incorporating electronics and multimedia into his performative practice. Outside the context of contemporary art music, Matti enjoys performing music from wide variety of classical and global styles, and working on diverse music theatre and opera productions. Matti holds a Master’s degree from the Sibelius Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki and is currently pursuing his doctorate at the University of Toronto under the guidance of professor Joseph Macerollo. In his doctoral research, he focuses on collaborative processes between composers and performers.



by Tytti Arola

Henki (2022)  is a piece for accordion, electronics and video projection. Henki translates as: breath, life, ghost, person, spirit, soul, atmosphere.

The piece is a commission by Matti Pulkki who premieres the piece 9/2022 in Toronto. The composition work has been supported by The Sibelius Fund of the Society of Finnish Composers, Koneen Säätiö, and TaPIR. Thank you for the support!

The piece explores accordion and accordionist as an auditive, visual, bodily, and theatrical element through the allusion of breathing both in literal and metaphorical sense.

In addition to acoustic sound production, the piece utilizes video projection, fixed and live media. Through the performance, the accordionist appears on stage under a blank canvas with video animations projected on them, and their playing is being processed live.


MadLib is an electro-acoustic piece for open instrumentation with live electronics created using Max software. It was commissioned by Jonny Smith in 2021 from composer Louis Pino. The concept of this work was to create a piece that can be customized by the performer in a variety of ways thereby giving the performer greater creative agency and allowing for a wide array of potential musical outcomes. The concept of the piece is inspired by the word game, Mad Libs. In the game, the reader or group of readers is asked to think of and write down random words. These words are then used to fill in the blanks of a prewritten story, usually for comic effect. A core aspect of the piece is the performer uploading their own audio samples to then be manipulated by the patch in some preset and some personally customizable processes.

A study was held from October 4th to November 6th 2022, involving various TaPIR researchers learning, experimenting with, and recording their own versions of the piece. The goal of this experiment was to analyze how performers chose to perform and interact with the electronic accompaniment, and to evaluate the piece as a creative practical tool to aid in learning the Max software. MadLib premiered in April 2022 at The Space Between conference at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Both Smith and Pino performed their own versions of the piece in order to demonstrate how the piece can be shaped in a variety of ways by different performers.

In Nomine Lucis

by Giacinto Scelsi

Group Projects