Sonic Landscapes


Omuro 88 11:13
Sampola I 09:21
Sampola II 05:02
Le Noci 05:57
Lhasa 10:30
Oumuamua 07:26
Sant Antimo 07:26
Nanzenji 06:53
Arisaig 06:42


Sonic Landscapes is an exploration of the interrelationship of landscape and soundscape. This is also an exploration of granular-synthesis and it's various musical applications. MANU is a solo-project of Mauno Tuominen from Sigma.

What is granular synthesis?

Granular Synthesis is based on the same principle as sampling. However, the samples are not played back conventionally, but are instead split into small pieces. These small pieces are called grains. Multiple grains may be layered on top of each other, and may play at different speeds, directions, volume, and frequency, among other parameters.

Omuro 88 is a miniature version of Japan's most famous pilgrimage route on the island of Shikoku. It is located in the district of Omuro, on the grounds of the temple Ninnaji. There are 88 miniature temple's in an 3km route that lies at the foot of mount Joju. This long ambient composition is created from simple generative rules that take control of analog synthesizers.

Sampola I & II are created in the spirit of my summer cottage in Finland. The summer nights are magical. Birds are singing all the time because of the midnight sun. The electronic soundscape is created from analog synthesizer recording manipulated with granular-synthesis. EWI controlling Moog Prodigy is used for melody/solo parts. Part II is an exploration of sounds that you might hear when you are sitting ashore. Composition is created with electronically enhanced thumb-piano.

Le Noci is situated in Italy Tuscany. Tuscany is characterized by green hills fringed with cypress trees and medieval hill towns on the top. ”Le Noci” is created from a composition by redistributing and reorganising the audio. I improvised with the Granular-synthesis and created this re-composition.

Lhasa is one of the highest cities in the world. Roof of the World or Top of the World is a metaphoric description of this high region also known as high Asia. The city has been the religious and administrative capital of Tibet since the mid-17th century. Composition started from an improvisation with my EWI controlling Moog Prodigy and was completed with Ami's synthesizer parts.

Oumuamua is the first known interstellar object that visited our solar system 2017. It is a mysterious cigar-shaped object with a somewhat reddish hue. Oumuamua is Hawaiian and means “a messenger from afar arriving first”. Composition uses granular-synthesis technique where the source is a sound-exploration recording with my ARP 2600 synth. Here I wanted to create a composition with pure sound and timbre manipulations without any traditional composition structure.

Sant Antimo is an ancient abbey that has been inhabited by Benedictine monks for centuries. It is situated in Italy’s Tuscany. The concert of the cicadas was very special and loud. The idea here (and in Sampola I) is to create new sonic environment from ambient music that blends with the existing sounds from nature.

Nanzenji is a temple of the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism, and is situated within a pine forest at the foot of the eastern hills of Higashiyama in Kyoto Japan. Composition is created also with granular-synthesis where the source is a single recording of a Tibetan Shang-bell played with strokes and singing-bowl techniques.

Arisaig is a small village in Lochaber Inverness-shire on the west coast of the Scottish Highlands. The word Arisaig means “the safe place” in the Scottish Gaelic language. Ami Hassinen played some electric guitar parts where from I created the final guitar tracks with granular-synthesis methods. Melody is improvised with my EWI/Moog combination.


released December 8, 2018

All music composed, performed and produced by MANU
except Lhasa composed by MANU and Ami Hassinen (keyboards).
Ami Hassinen plays Guitar on Arisaig.


all rights reserved



Sigma Helsinki, Finland

Sigma-music has strong Ambient flavour with a taste of experimental electronic music. Music is balanced between improvisational and composed parts creating long Ambient soundscapes.

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