“Ertamo’s music comes from another planet.”

Jukka Isopuro, Helsingin Sanomat 17.2.2011

Anniversary Series: Final Concert, Palokunnantalo 1.12.2009
Hämeenlinna City Orchestra, Tuomas Pirilä

“Emerging Hämeenlinna-based composer Sampsa Ertamo has composed his musical bouquet Hommage à Jarmo Sermilä especially for the occasion. The work proved very successful and is marked by a driving sense of rhythm, rich string textures and the clear contrast between different musical characters.”

Markus Mantere, Hämeen Sanomat 3.12.2009

Sampsa Ertamo’s Focus Concert, Sibelius Academy Chamber Music Hall, 15.2.2011
Uusinta Chamber Ensemble, Seppo Salovius, Tuuli Lindeberg

“37-year-old Hämeenlinna-based Sampsa Ertamo might be described as something of a compositional dissident. Still, he doesn’t swim against the current for the mere sake of it. For him, composing appears to be a form of existence.”

Jukka Isopuro, Helsingin Sanomat 17.2.2011

Electro-acoustic music at the Verkatehdas Studio (Hämeenlinna), 15.4.2011

“Electro-acoustic contemporary music is often considered a difficult genre, one that lay-people cannot understand in the least. Hopefully this notion was finally dispelled at Friday’s concert, which featured works by Sampsa Ertamo, Lauri Toivio and Mikko Perkola.

I have heard Ertamo’s music before, but his electro-acoustic output was a new discovery for me. Friday’s programme contained a number of gems, including a new work for tape entitled Electrosaarna (‘Electro-Sermon’) in which a radio voice chanting nonsense lyrics, a background of choral allusions, and photography by Vilja Tamminen came together to create a rich and fascinating musical experience.

The work is almost like a radio play, but aptly demonstrates how music can produce meaning and narrative on a variety of levels without the use of language.”

Markus Mantere, Hämeen Sanomat 17.4.2011

Concert to celebrate Finnish Independence Day, Sibelius Hall 6.12.2011
Sinfonia Lahti, Okko Kamu

“The work [Juhla-alkusoitto / ‘Festive Overture’] made a positive impact, though I found it hard to detect a sense of solemnity in the music. The brass open the work handsomely – not with a grand fanfare but with a volley of noisy interjections. After the entrance of the strings, the music progresses in fits and starts like a giant steam engine. Though the work occasionally relaxed into a gentler, atmospheric mood, the music retained its energetic pulse throughout […]

One of the most admirable features of Ertamo’s musical language is its logical sense of direction. Though at first the listener may not necessarily be able to locate the thread in his music, there is always a sense that such a thread nonetheless exists. The same applies to the music’s harmonic language.”

Arto Sakari Korpinen, Etelä-Suomen Sanomat, 8.12.2011

Sibelius’ Birthday Concert, Vanaja Hall (Verkatehdas, Hämeenlinna) 8.12.2011
Sinfonia Lahti, Okko Kamu

“The [‘Festive Overture’] is filled with motion and a suitably angular rhythmic verve, though a number of its transitions are rather clunky. Thankfully these are evened out by the work’s tightly controlled network of motifs, tying each of the sections together.”

Samuli Tikkaja, Helsingin Sanomat 10.12.2011

Sibelius’ Birthday Concert, Vanaja Hall (Verkatehdas, Hämeenlinna) 8.12.2011
Sinfonia Lahti, Okko Kamu

“Premièred earlier this week, Sampsa Ertamo’s ‘Festive Overture’ shifted between jerky, neo-classical rhythmic music and darker, slow sections dominated by expansive melodies.

The transitions between different sections were often sudden and abrupt. At its outset, the music at times resembled the barrel-organ music one might hear at the circus. The slower sections were often coloured by shimmering tremolo textures in the strings. The work, which seemed over in a flash, reached its conclusion with a rousing flourish.”

Aki Yli-Salomäki, Hämeen Sanomat 10.12.2011