Sound is central in Tally’s creations. Her music is a flow of playful contrasts where a sense of humour and poetic use of sound are blended to mix. Beside writing works for contemporary music scene, she has composed music for films. In recent years, importance of orchestral music has increased in her oeuvre. Mirjam Tally is also performer of electroacoustic music: she has a duo “Unejõgi” (“Dream river”) together with Estonian folk musician Meelika Hainsoo. Elements of Estonian folk music are mixed with electroacoustic sounds, with influences of minimalism, glitch, drone and electronic pop.
She has graduated from the Estonian Academy of Music as a student of Lepo Sumera in 2000. Since 2006, Tally lives on the island of Gotland, Sweden. In 2009-2010, she was Composer in Residence at Swedish Radio P2 channel. In 2017, Tally was Composer in Residence at Studio Acusticum in Piteå and at Västerås Sinfonietta, Sweden. In 2018, Tally´s album “Interferences” won the Manifest prize in Sweden, in category “best experimental”.
In 2009, Tally’s orchestral work “Turbulence” was selected as one of recommended works at International Rostrum of Composers. She has received 2 prizes for her work “Turbulence” – the Composer Prize of the Estonian Music Days Festival (2007) and the small Christ Johnson Music Prize (2008) by the Royal Swedish Academy of Music.
In 2021, she received the Carin Malmlöf-Forssling Prize by the Royal Swedish Academy of Music for “her rich and headstrong art that moves freely between different musical forms and expressions. As a composer, Mirjam Tally “evokes a very special sound world, magical and at the same time captivating, where there are no limits to the creative joy and imagination”.
Tally´s music has been performed in over 30 countries, including festivals Mixtur in Barcelona, Spain (2013), Dark Music Days on Iceland (2006, 2016, 2017), Summartónar on Faeroe Islands (2008, 2017), The Venice Biennale’s International Festival of Contemporary Music in Italy (2008), ISCM World New Music Days in Lithuania, Sweden and Croatia (2008, 2009, 2011), Nordic Music Days on Iceland (2011, 2016), in Finland (2013), and in London (2017), Sound of Stockholm (2010-13), Svensk Musikvår (2017), Geiger festival in Gothenburg, Sweden (2012); several festivals in Estonia.
Collaborations: Nordic Affect (Iceland), John Storgårds and Lapland Chamber Orchestra (Finland), BIT20 Ensemble (Norway), Altera Veritas, Kaspars Putninsh (Latvia), UMS’n JIP (Switzerland), Marco Blaauw, New European Ensemble (The Netherlands), bassclarinetist and composer Jorge Variego (Argentina), flutist Anna Svensdotter, Swedish Radio Orchestra, Swedish Radio Choir, Eric Ericson Chamber Choir, Uppsala Chamber Orchestra, The Gothenburg Combo, trio ZilliacusPerssonRaitinen, 40f, Sonanza (Sweden) and others. She has collaborated with several musicians, choirs and orchestras from Estonia, most frequently with filmmaker Ülo Pikkov, conductor Risto Joost, flutist Monika Mattiesen and Kristi Mühling (kannel).