Nuorvala’s formal education in composition is based on studies under Eero Hämeenniemi at the Sibelius Academy, followed by private studies under Tristan Murail in Paris and a Fulbright scholarship from the City University of New York, where he studied under David Del Tredici.
Thus spectral music is one of Nuorvala’s sources of inspiration, but the many genres which he draws on in his works are not used as a collage but become organically fused to become a personal expression of composition.
The influence of spectral music is meanwhile clear in works such as Pinta ja säe (Surface and Phrase), 1991, while the score for the First String Quartet (1992) contains directions like ‘Slow Boogie-Woogie’ and ‘A Heavy Riff’.
The fact that Nuorvala is a child of our new multi-cultural urban times is seen, amongst other things, in the title of his first symphony (1995/96): Kellarisinfonia (Garage Symphony). Kellarisinfonia (Garage Symphony). Both minimalism and popular rhythmic music are prominent sources of inspiration for the nominated work with the subtle title Beat Routes.
The work is primarily a percussion piece which is a build up of electronically processed and/or generated sounds and tones combined with acoustic percussion instruments.
The metric starting point is rock music’s classic 4/4 beat with uniform stress, also known as ‘four to the floor’. Here, however, there is, with a teasing and surprising deviation, a trait augured by the subtitle which Nuorvala has given the work in several places: ‘3.75 to the floor’.
The result is a rhythmically stimulated work with deep levels that are only drawn out after several times of listening.