The field of artistic research in music has recently witnessed an increasing emphasis on interdisciplinary projects. The interstitial space where cultures can meet and communicate has become a favourite centrepiece especially for artists who strive for a synthesis of their diverse influences into a personal creative outcome. Composition occupies a privileged position in this discourse, as it allows the artistic researcher to blend different elements at the primary level of the conception of the musical work itself.

Between 2016 and 2022, a series of four concerts, one CD recording, and a written doctoral thesis have formed the tangible body of my research project, carried out within the framework of the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. The many paths this research has disclosed and developed constitutes the invisible system of interlaced threads that outlives the project, having become a permanent part of my music making. 

This exposition offers an insight into Polska Travels through the audio, video, and written material produced during the studies I carried out both within the framework of established research fields and in the exploration of their intersections. Nordic folk traditions, Western art music, and a range of different musical genres and cultural fields are spun to weave a dynamic, ever-changing "musical home", voicing the urge to embrace a broad concept of contemporary music, embedded in an increasingly interconnected cultural world.


Click on the titles above to access the material. 

Krishna Nagaraja: Concept and Design


My doctoral project Polska Travels: Composing (at) the Crossroads aims at the musical hybridisation of several musical genres, with Nordic folk and Western art music as points of departure. The research studies the history and development of the Nordic polska tune family, through historical and geographical areas, transferring the collected knowledge into the composition of new pieces that lie right at the intersection of many musical roads. Composing starts at those crossroads, and ultimately composes the crossroads, namely that hybrid interstitial space which connects differences and transcends them.


©Pekka Agarth

Polska Travels: 

Composing (at) the Crossroads

In search of an itinerant musical home

Krishna Nagaraja


Doctor of Music Degree

Arts Study Programme

MuTri Doctoral School, Folk Music Department

Sibelius Academy – University of the Arts Helsinki, 2022


©John Anvik