This artistic doctoral project was made possible through the generous support and cooperation of numerous people. Deep gratitude to my musical collaborators Adriano Adewale, Simon Allen, Amos Darkwa Asare, Mari Kalkun, Maija Kauhanen, Jouko Kyhälä, Otso Lähdeoja, Hildá Länsman, Petra Poutanen, Brian Zanji, and mentor Hukwe Ubi Zawose; dancers Amandine Doat, Fornier Ortiz, Njara Rasolo, Elina Valtonen, and choreographer Satu Tuomisto; instrument maker and collaborator in the development of the double bass attachments, Juhana Nyrhinen; visual artists Marek Pluciennik and Antti Tanttu; videographer, film maker, and collaborator Ville Tanttu; recording and mixing engineer Mikko H. Haapoja; graphic designer Daniel Malpica; photographers Jorma Airola, Jaime Culebro, Kalle Kallio, and Uupi Tirronen; and mentor Djalu Gurruwiwi.

Deep gratitude to my doctoral project supervisor and mentor, professor Kristiina Ilmonen and thesis supervisor, Catherine Grant. Thank you to Saijaleena Rantanen for additional writing support, and to Teresa Kunaeva and Christopher TenWolde for thoughtful, careful proof-reading.


Thank you to the Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki and the MuTri Doctoral School community for the artistic, academic, and financial support. Thank you to thesis examiners Päivi Takala and Vanessa Tomlinson, and to jury members Risto Blomster, Anna-Kaisa Liedes, Aija Puurtinen, Päivi Takala, and Timo Väänänen for your insightful feedback and encouragement. Thank you to the entire community of the Global Music Department, Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts, Helsinki for your support and ongoing community spirit. 

I would also like to thank Tove Djupsjöbacka, Tero Heikkinen, Ilkka Heinonen, Jaana-Maria Jukkara, Peter Renshaw, Hannu Saha, Hannu Tolvanen, and Henri Wegelius for their valuable support and encouragement at different stages of the doctoral project.


Particular thanks to Adriano Itauna Adewale, Simon Allen, and Ville Tanttu for your constant support and inspiration throughout this project.


Special thanks to my parents, Jennifer Parenteau (née Ragg) and Des Thomson, who set me off on this journey, and my extended families in Australia, New Zealand, Finland, and Tanzania for your love and support. I dedicate this work to my wonderful wife Katja, and our three beautiful children, Otso, Kai, and Kasper.

Illustration by
Kai Thomson