CV

I am an investigative guitarist, with a background in rock, jazz and experimental music. I assimilate a broad range of influences into my playing, making creative use of electronics, violin bows, alternate tunings and extended techniques. The results of my research are documented on more than 30 recordings. I’ve composed for symphony orchestra, big band, film and the ensembles I perform with, currently my jazz groups Ecstasy and Triad.

STUDIES

  • 1978-81 Diploma in Professional Music at the Berklee College of Music
  • 1977-78 Helsinki Conservatory

COMMISSIONED COMPOSITIONS

  • 2011 Donkey Hot, UMO big band
  • 2010 Music for the inauguration ceremonies of Aalto University
  • 2008 Afterwards, Tampere Philharmonic
  • 2004 Quintessence, electric guitar and Avanti String Quartet
  • 2003 Situations, for electric guitar, violin and Avanti Chamber Orchestra
  • 1995 Apocalypso, for Electric Guitar Orchestra and percussion, Helsinki Festival
  • 1994 Ballando, Radio Symphony Orchestra
  • 1992 Whales, Helsinki Philharmonic
  • 1991 Primal Mind, UMO big band
  • 1984 Some, UMO big band
  • 1982 Other Places, UMO big band

FILM SCORES

  • 2013 Kalervo Palsa ja kuriton käsi, dir. Pekka Lehto
  • 2011 Varasto, dir Taru Mäkelä
  • 1996 Lohtu, dir. KJ Koski
  • 1992 Polka Dots and Lace, dir. Matti Ijäs
  • 1990 Yön kevyt polttoöljy, dir. KJ Koski
  • 1985 Pimeys odottaa, arrangements of Astor Piazzola’s music, dir. Pauli Pentti

DANCE

  • 1991 Music for “Pelurit”, modern dance with choreography by Marjo Kuusela
  • 1983 Music for “Kenen”, modern dance with Raatikko
  • 1982 “Kairo 82” with the composer Toni Edelman and the choreographer Ulla Koivisto at Studio Julius, Helsinki

TEACHING

  • 2008-14 Sibelius Academy, Total Musicianship Ensemble, Atonal Ear Training, Guitar
  • 1995-2001, Sibelius Academy, Improvisation Ensemble, Guitar
  • 1989-91, Sibelius Academy, Improvisation Ensemble, Guitar
  • 1981-87 Oulunkylä Pop/Jazz School, Big Band, Saxophone Quartet, Guitar

PRIZES

  • 2003 Nominated for Nordic Music Prize as a composer
  • 2002 Nominated for the Nordic Music Prize as a jazz musician
  • 1996 Young Finland Prize
  • 1992 Krakatau/Volition wins the Emma Prize (Finnish Grammy) for best jazz album of the year
  • 1991 Krakatau nominated for the Nordic Music Prize for best ensemble
  • 1984 Georgie prize for jazz musician of the year

BANDS

SOME PAST AND PRESENT COLLABORATORS IN MUSIC
Juhani Aaltonen, Morgan Ågren, Thommy Andersson, Billy Bang, Clive Bell, Bill Buchen, Anthony Braxton, Alex Buess, Gerald Cleaver, Alex Cline, Ted Curson, Lol Coxhill, Andrew Cyrille, Jeff Davis, Subrata De, Hamid Drake, Trevor Dunn, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, Ejigayehu “Gigi” Shibabaw, Mats Gustafsson, Iro Haarla, Graham Haynes, Simon Hopkins, Anders Jormin, Henry Kaiser, Kalle Kalima, Mike Keneally, Toshinori Kondo, Sakari Kukko, Thomas Köner, Jeanette Lambert, Michel Lambert, Bill Laswell, Lukas Ligeti, Matt Maneri, Jacam Manrick, Michael Manring, Badu N’Djay, Paal Nilssen-Love, Claudia Amina Myers, Anders Nilsson, Peter Nilsson, Jukka Orma, Eivind Opsvik, Jim O’Rourke, William Parker, Maja Ratkje, Frank Rosaly, Ned Rothenburg, Gulfam Sabri, Kamal Sabri, Sten Sandell, Mark Saunders, Paul Schütze, Elliot Sharp, Nicky Skopelitis, Tomasz Stanko, Bob Stewart, Raymond Strid, Ståle Storløkken, Jone Takamäki, Edward Vesala, Hasse Walli, Mars Williams, Jah Wobble, Reggie Workman, John Zorn

INTERNATIONAL FESTIVALS

LeMans Europe Jazz Festival, Jazz a Mulhouse, Bern Taktlos Festival, Out of the Cool Festival Vienna, Cologne Music Triennale, Moers Jazz Festival, Nattjazz Festival Bergen, Molde International Jazz Festival, Rochester Jazz Festival, Vancouver Jazz Festival, Pori Jazz Festival, Jazz a Luz, Kaleidofon Ulrichberg, Rencontres de Jazz de Nevers, Tampere Jazz Happening, Saalfelden Jazz Festival, Ami Festival Marseilles, Avanti Suvisoitto Porvoo, Copenhagen Jazz Festival, Stockholm Jazz Festival, Saalfelden Jazz Festival

DISCOGRAPHY

  • 2014 Raoul Bjorkenheim eCsTaSy | Cuneiform Rune 373
  • 2012 Frode Haltli: Arne Nordhem Complete Accordion Works | SIMAX PSC 1328
  • 2012 Kalabalik: Björkenheim, Anders Nilsson & Gerald Cleaver | DMG/ART
  • 2011 Scorch Trio & Mars Williams: Made in Norway | Rune RLP 2119
  • 2011 Blixt: Björkenheim, Bill Laswell & Morgan Ågren | Cuneiform Rune 335
  • 2011 Raul Mannola: Inner Visions of Flamenco | SNFN 8346
  • 2010 Markus Holkko: From Circuits with Love | Texicalli TEXCD 109
  • 2010 Scorch Trio: Melaza | RUNE RCD 2104
  • 2010 I Never Metaguitar: Solo guitars for the 21 Century | Clean Feed CFG005CD
  • 2010 UMO: Primal Mind | UMOCD 111
  • 2009 Jukka Gustavson: Community Jazz | Zencd2129
  • 2009 Sielun Veljet: Kansan Parissa 3 | POKOCD370
  • 2008 Scorch Trio: Brolt | Rune RCD 2074
  • 2008 Steve Rust Trio: Bottom Feeder | Dane Recordings 0065
  • 2008 DMG Live @ the Stone NYC (William Parker, Hamid Drake) | dmg/arc 0722
  • 2007 Scorch Trio lIve in Finland | SCD001
  • 2007 Box: Studio 1 | Rune RCD 2070
  • 2007 UMO and Raoul Björkenheim: The Sky is Ruby | TUM CD 017
  • 2005 Cloudless Sky w. Michel & Jeanette Lambert & Mat Maneri | Ayler aylDL-061
  • 2004 Scorch Trio: Luggumt | Rune RCD2040
  • 2003 Mikko Hassinen: Damodara 3 | ATPCD_004
  • 2003 Raoul Björkenheim & Lukas Ligeti: Shadowglow | TUM 006
  • 2002 Scorch Trio | Rune RCD2025
  • 2002 156 Strings: various guitarists | Cuneiform rune 163
  • 2001 Raoul Björkenheim: Apocalypso | Cuneiform rune 156
  • 2001 Jukka Orma: Kultahiekka | Seal on Velvet 27
  • 2000 Eero Koivistoinen: Helium | TEXCD 042
  • 1999 UMO: Electrifying Miles | A Records AL 73153
  • 1998 Paul Schütze: Third Site | Rykodisc RCD10464
  • 1997 Paul Schütze & Phantom City: Shiva Recoil | Virgin 7243 8 44060 28
  • 1996 Nicky Skopelitis/Raoul Björkenheim: Revelator | Innerhythmic INR009
  • 1996 Paul Schütze & Phantom City: Site Anubis | Big Cat ABB 106
  • 1995 Avanti Chamber Orchestra: Rockover | AXRCD1109
  • 1994 Krakatau: Matinale | ECM 1529
  • 1994 Ambient 4: Isolationism | Virgin AMB4
  • 1992 Krakatau: Volition | ECM 1466
  • 1990Krakatau: Alive | KRCD2
  • 1988 Krakatau: Ritual | Cuneiform Rune 86
  • 1987 Edward Vesala Sound & Fury: Lumi | ECM 1339
  • 1986 Edward Vesala: Kullervo | LEO 017
  • 1983 Edward Vesala & UMO: Bad Luck, Good Luck | LEO 015