“Tonis” teams up with Ivo Nilsson and Jörgen Pettersson

Senast ändrad

Polina Pohozha is a pianist from Odessa who completed her master's degree in 2022. Due to the war in Ukraine, she moved to Gotland to study in the Composition programme at Gotlands Tonsättarskola (the Gotland School of Music Composition, popularly known as “Tonis”). One of her favourite projects at Tonis has been her collaboration with the musicians Ivo Nilsson and Jörgen Pettersson.

Polina Pohoza, studerande på Gotlands Tonsättarskola

“I moved to Gotland and found a musical home on the shores of the Baltic Sea. For two years, Tonis has been a place for all kinds of musical experiments and self-discovery. This is my final year here, but it marks my beginning as a composer with pride”, says Polina.

Gotlands Tonsättarskola has recently started a collaboration with the Contemporary Music specialists Ivo Nilsson and Jörgen Pettersson in a new project involving the students in the second year of the Composition programme. Polina is one of the students participating in the project.

The “Arka” project
“One of my favourite projects during my time at “Tonis” has been writing for Ivo Nilsson and Jörgen Petersson, an incredible duo of stunning musicians. Ivo, a trombonist and composer, handles his instrument masterfully, and is responsive and always ready to offer compositional advice. Jörgen, a saxophonist with an insane sound and skill is seemingly inseparable from his instrument”, explains Polina.

“We kept in touch throughout the composition process, which made my experimental journey much less painful.”

Polina’s compositional nature is fuelled by her memories of Ukraine and she uses her music as a way to preserve them. Her “Arka” project is archaic, reviving memories of the Carpathian Mountains, the spirit of freedom, and breathtaking landscapes where every stone has a story to tell. Among other instruments, she plays the trembita, a type of alpine horn made of wood. It is common among the Hutsuls, the Ukrainian highlanders who live in western Ukraine.

“Ivo and Jörgen instilled in me the belief that a safe path from idea to realization exists and that anything is possible, even in moments of great doubt. Now I can confidently say that I understand much more about the specifics of the trombone and the saxophone. I was previously afraid to compose more than one note”, admits Polina.

“I feel a team spirit that warms me greatly and gives me a feeling of freedom. I’m looking forward to the premiere very much!”

What about your plans for the future, after Tonis?
“Once my journey with Tonis is over, I find the idea of becoming a free artist extremely appealing. And one thing I know for sure is that I will never stop challenging myself.”