The joyful, creative and intensive experiences with contemporary music, contemporary improvised music studies, and visual art studies captivated him so much that he has worked intensively ever since with contemporary improvised music, precent tme composition and in mixed media projects including film, photography, visual arts, theater and dance. Has participated in master courses and workshops held by John Cage, George Russell, Steve Lacy, Bill Dixon, Daniel Kientzy, Vinko Globokar, Evan Parker, Cecil Taylor.
In 1980 -1985 he lived in Vienna, Austria, which became his doorway to the European contemporary music scene; formed his first groups and organized numerous artist exchange-projects in Finland and elsewhere. Brought many most notable innovators on the international contemporary improvisation scene to Finland. One of his early projects included a tour with Derek Bailey Company, which was their first in Finland; Bailey’s visit in Finland was largely commented by the finish press as »the occurrence« of the year in the contemporary music scene; moved to Berlin in 1985.
Founded the international Quintet Moderne and; co-founded the The Player Is -trio with Teppo Hauta-aho and Philipp Wachsmann, Harri Sjöström as well as founding the groups: Quartetto Finlandia, Wait, Motström, Up and Out, ECIO, (European Composers Improvisors Orchestra), Sestetto Internazionale; Trio Internazionale; co-founded theMOVE – quintet; City Of Pyramids –Casserley, DJ Illvibe, Morgan, Sjöström; since 1989 in collaboration with the British guitarist John Russell in Russells international Mopomoso (MOdernism POstMOdernism) projects.
Additional collaborations in different projects with a.o. Bernahrd Arndt, James Andean, Yoko Arai, Matthias Bauer, Guy Bettini, Tony Buck, Sergio Castrillón, Angelo Contini, Markus Fagerudd, Emilio Gordoa, Frank Gratkowski, Teppo Hauta-aho, Steve Heather, Tristan Honsinger, Kalle Kalima, Achim Kaufmann, Veli Kujala, Jukka Kääriäinen, Okkyung Lee, Francesco Miccolis, Gianni Mimmo, Dag Magnus Narvesen, Heikki Nikula, Adam Pultz Melbye, Luca Pissavini, Günter Baby Sommer, Jone Takamäki, Janne Tuomi; Occasionally performs solo and is involved in making film music.
Harri Sjöström has been a saxophone teacher since 1980 and is a vital member of the European contemporary improvised music scene; he has composed music for film and is still active today with his photography.