Subsonic Trio

Subsonic Trio

Line up

  • Adriano Adewale (percussion, vocals )
  • Kristiina Ilmonen (flutes, percussion, vocals)
  • Nathan Riki Thomson (double bass, kalimba, flutes, vocals)


Subsonic trio draws together ancient instruments and musical aesthetics from their homelands of Australia, Brazil and Finland. Weaving hypnotic repeating patterns, groove and subtle textures to create a deep rooted contemporary sound.

Brazilian percussionist and composer Adriano Adewale has been based in the UK for over ten years. He has established himself as a respected percussionist, composer, educator and bandleader whose creativity and artistry have led him to work on a wide range of high quality music and crossover arts projects.

Adriano released two records with his own quartet Adriano Adewale Group: ’Sementes’ 2008 and ’Raizes ’ 2012 as well as a duo album ‘The Vortex Sessions’ 2013 with the great Brazilian piano player and composer Benjamin Taubkin. He features on several albums, including Nathan Riki Thomson's ‘Under Ubi’s Tree’ and 'Shaped by the Sea'. As a composer, Adewale has written scores for the show 'Mojo' by the company Theatre-Rites, which toured USA and Europe, and the dance piece 'Undivided loves', based on Shakespeare sonnets, to be premiered in the UK in February 2016.

An artist in residency at the EFDSS - English Folk Dance and Song Society - Cecil Sharp House in London, Adewale has been developing a series of projects combining English and Brazilian folk traditions. Adewale works in partnership with Serious – the producer of the London Jazz Festival. Together, they have produced/created several projects including ‘Catapluf - A musical journey‘ and the recently premiered ‘Within the Waves’, a large scale project for massed voices and percussion, based on sea songs and sea shanties from England and Brazil.

Amongst artists and collaborators, Adewale has worked with Joanna McGregor, Arthur Pita, Bobby McFerrin, Benjamin Taubkin, Sue Buckmaster, Antonio Forcione, Sarah Jane Morris to mention but a few, performing both in the UK and abroad.

Among the pioneers of the Finnish contemporary folk music movement, Kristiina Ilmonen is a versatile musician, composer, educator and folk music expert with three decades of experience in improvisation, cross-arts collaborations and diverse performance settings. She specialises in ancient woodwind instruments, percussion and vocal improvisation.

Kristiina has toured worldwide, performing with various ensembles as well as solo, and is featured on more than 30 CDs. Her currently active ensembles include the Finnish woodwind ensemble Wind on Wind, the trio Sysihai, Nathan Riki Thomson´s Subsonic Ensemble, the new Finnish-Norwegian trio Ural Pop and the Suunta ensemble. Kristiina also performs with leading UK storyteller Nick Hennessey and her Finnish Suunta ensemble colleagues Anna-Kaisa Liedes and Timo Väänänen in the currently touring production ´Fire in the North Sky´, which combines Kalevala stories with improvised, traditionally based music and runosong. She is one of the founding members of the group Suomussalmiryhmä (1990-). The group received several accolades for its productions, among them the ‘Nuoren Taiteen Suomi –palkinto’ from the Ministry of Culture in 1997.

Kristiina has worked extensively with theatre, film, contemporary dance, multidisciplinary arts productions and musical projects, in collaboration with artists such as Heikki Laitinen, Kimmo Pohjonen, Reijo Kela, Jouko Kyhälä, Esa Kirkkopelto, Harald Haugaard, Eivør Pálsdóttir, Maria Ellingsen, Paroni Paakkunainen, Inga Juuso, Johan Sara Jr., Petter Berndalen, Stepanida Borisova, Torgeir Vassvik, Göran Månsson and Jonas Simonson.

Ilmonen worked as the Head of the Sibelius Academy Folk Music Department from 1998–2004 and has been teaching and developing the syllabus, philosophy and methodology of the department since 1989. She has taught and given lectures on Finnish folk music, folk music pedagogy, improvisation, artistic research and assessment in Finland and abroad. She was one of the Chief External Evaluators for the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland from 2010-2015. Kristiina was elected as one of the Womex Seven Samurai in 2009 and has been active in various positions of responsibility in the fields of folk music, art and education in Finland and abroad. She was involved in several EU projects and international collaborations as an organiser, administrator, steering group member and advisor. She was invited as an expert to participate in the International Colloquium "Culture and Creativity as vectors of Development", organised by the European Commission in Brussels, 2009.

After graduating as Doctor of Music from the Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki in 2014, Kristiina Ilmonen began her five-year appointment as the professor of the Folk Music Department. Her current research is based on her experience and practice as a musician and focuses on artistic research, archaic Finno-Ugric shepherd music, improvisation, historical Northern wind instruments, assessment and folk music pedagogy.

Australian born Nathan Riki Thomson is a double bass player, composer and educator. He can also often be heard playing various western and non-western flutes, as well as African kalimbas. Nathan has collaborated and performed with musicians from many parts of the world, with a special interest in Africa, where he lived and worked with traditional musicians for five years.

During his time in Tanzania, Nathan established the Amani Ensemble community project and was a student of master musician Dr. Hukwe Zawose. Nathan was born and raised in Australia where he completed undergraduate studies at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, followed by postgraduate and master’s studies at Sibelius Academy and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London. He served as a core member of the acclaimed Antonio Forcione Quartet, touring extensively with the group internationally for 10 years. Nathan is currently a member of several other renowned bands, including Ilkka Heinonen Trio, Adriano Adewale Group, and Mari Kalkun and Runorun.

Nathan is featured on numerous CD and DVD releases and his debut album ‘Under Ubi’s Tree’ was released on the UK label NAIM. He was a Lecturer at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London for 10 years and works on community and education projects for many organizations. Nathan was involved in researching trans-cultural arts practice for the Guildhall and has designed several innovative projects for the British Council in Africa and The Philippines, with a focus on collaboration between musicians from different cultures.

Finland is his new home, where he is currently Lecturer and Programme leader for Global Music studies at Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki.