Elis Hallik

Photo: Krõõt Tarkmeel

Composer, ECU member since 2013
Born on 22.04.1986

Elis Hallik (born 1986) is an Estonian composer who has asserted herself as one of the most original composers of the younger generation over the past decade. Strong yet fragile, standing still yet moving and constantly evolving, inspired by nature but all the while contemplating the topics of modern humanity, environment and technology – these are the words that come to mind when listening to her music. Although her music changes constantly, these changes tend to be microscopic, enveloping the listener in an infinite ocean or cosmic universe of sounds. Elis’ music boasts discernibly poetic elements and her mainly instrumental oeuvre has often been inspired by beautiful poetry.

Elis is a responsible creator – she cares about the performer, listener and our modern (sound) environment, which is already inundated by so much noise besides the volumes of brilliant music created over the centuries. “I actually compose very slowly and I arrive at all my decisions through immense struggles. [—] I don’t want to do anything just for the sake of doing it, because there is so much good music already. I compose only because there is no other way. I need to find a fundamentally well-founded idea that feels necessary for me as well as for the listener.”

From early on, Elis’ music has been noticed abroad. In 2014, she was awarded First Prize at the International Summer Academy (ISA) for her short and witty piece Impacts, which employed untraditional playing techniques. To Become a Tree (for Ensemble Fractales) represented Estonia at the International Rostrum of Composers in Palermo in 2017 and was chosen among ten recommended compositions. This composition boasts all the above-mentioned characteristics of her music – poeticism; contact with nature and artlessness; imaginary growth/change/development in a sound space that constantly keeps transforming; focusing, being in the moment, the effort of concentration.

In recent years she has created several influential orchestral pieces. One of her most unique pieces is Firehearted, which she completed for the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth. Elis was inspired by Beethoven’s overture Leonore, and intertwining its material with her own world of sound has given birth to an exciting composition that sparks all sorts of ideas, connotations and interpretation opportunities in light of our current world that has been turned upside down. Fluchtpunkt (for the French Radio Philharmonic Orchestra) was selected among ten pieces for the IRCAM ManiFeste 2017 Academy. The overture Aegis was completed for the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia (2018). 

(Virge Joamets)

Additional information and links:
Estonian Music Information Centre (EMIC)