The opening concert “Sounding Horizon” will bring back the echoes of midsummer songs to the early autumn evening. Modestas Pitrėnas, distinguished for his artistic ebullience and litheness – a rare combination of emotional warmth and unswerving composure – will conduct the Klaipėda Chamber Orchestra. Soloist Pavel Giunter will take control of the elemental powers evoked from the percussion instruments, with the precision of a true master. The melodic strains coming from the flute of Vytenis Giknius will reach beyond the horizon. Among the composers featured in this concert are Raminta Šerkšnytė, Mindaugas Urbaitis, Loreta Narvilaitė, Igor Stravinsky and Emmanuel Sejourne.
The title of the September 22nd concert was inspired by the composition “Love Song and Parting” written by Mindaugas Urbaitis to the text by Antanas A. Jonynas. Lithuanian-born soprano Rita Balta who currently lives in Germany and specialises in the performance of contemporary music will sing solo in this piece, along with those by Alejandro Viñao and Vykintas Baltakas.
The second part of the concert will introduce the Lithuanian Ensemble Network. Its founder and conductor Vykintas Baltakas says that the concert was initially themed as ‘love’: “Of course, love is being referenced here not as a kind of romantic or idealist feeling, but rather as its realistic depiction, with a good pinch of irony to it. The programme comprises audiovisual compositions by German Gerhard Stäbler, Korean Kunsu Shim and young Lithuanian composer and video artist Ignas Krunglevičius.”
“Dances Beyond Čiurlionis” (September 28th) present an exhilarating mixture of novel sonorities and stylistic diversity. The audiences will be introduced to the rich display of extended bowing techniques in the piece by Vytautas V. Jurgutis, the aesthetic purity of compositional structures in the piece by Vykintas Baltakas, and vertiginous minimalist “dances” by John Adams.
The Chordos Quartet, renowned for its long-standing commitment to the promotion of contemporary music, will be joined by composers Antanas Kučinskas and Antanas Jasenka in the performance of their piece Beyond Čiurlionis. The latter is based on the String Quartet in C minor by Lithuanian classic Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis, the material of which was interpreted as a set of computer commands and converted into a notably different acoustic result, with the addition of live electronics part during performances. The dialogue of the quartet and the electronic part will be further extended to include the real-time video artwork by Džiugas Katinas.
The project entitled “Line” (October 4th), with the participation of the St. Christopher Woodwind Quintet and ballet dancers Olga Konošenko and Aurelijus Daraškevičius, offers a sensitive choreographic interpretation of music. Electroacoustic compositions by young Lithuanian composer Rūta Vitkauskaitė will serve as a perfect binding for works by various 20th-century composers for woodwind quintet. Musically inspired choreography will enhance the synergy of movement and music. The listeners’ ears will have a possibility to travel the spiral labyrinths and calm bays of sounds, while their eyes will be set on the graceful lines of dancers’ movements.
The Latvian Radio Choir, a six times winner of the Latvian Music Grand Prix, will perform a programme entitled “Silent water” (October 5th). This carefully selected programme combines 20th-century classics (Cage and Ligeti) and various contemporary voices from the Baltic and Scandinavian regions including Knut Nystedt, Lasse Thoresen, Anders Hillborg, Rytis Mažulis, Juris Ābols, Santa Ratniece, Pēteris Vasks and Toivo Tulev. The title for this programme was borrowed from the piece by Santa Ratniece which evokes the image of a mysterious, imponderable and sacred lake.
The Latvian Radio Choir has always been an active participant of various artistic experiments – from the contemporary drama productions to multimedia events. The a cappella programme to be presented in Klaipėda demands the highest standard of professionalism, on which the choir conducted by Sigvards Kļava can justly pride.
The theme of the “Sounds of Time” concert (October 7th) to be presented by the Klaipėda Chamber Orchestra is related to the perpetuity of nature, beauty and time. The orchestra’s artistic director, cellist Mindaugas Bačkus, together with violinist Džeraldas Bidva, will perform solo in the performance of the Sun Triptych by Bulgarian-born British composer Dobrinka Tabakova. The programme also features Michael Nyman’s well-known music to the film The Piano and Peter Hamel’s meditative piece The arrow of time. Gediminas Gelgotas will introduce himself both as a conductor and a composer. One of the founders of American minimalism, Terry Riley, had this to say about his music: “In the music by Gediminas Gelgotas, Beauty becomes its key composing principle. People are thirsty for such music; it seems to be born out of peace.”
On October 11th time will be measured by “Sandglasses”. This concert installation by composer Justė Janulytė, developed in collaboration with Lithuanian and Italian artists, can be described as the “theatre of sounds and images, time and space.” According to Janulytė, this piece “explores acoustic, visual and symbolic meanings of a sand timer, as a phenomenon. The musical idea is visualised by the purpose-built cylinder screens made of tulle, onto which video images and light effects are being projected. They extend and transform the performers’ presence on stage by creating imaginary environments and submerging spectators into various perceptive experiences.”
This almost hour-long installation has been already presented at various festivals in both Lithuania and abroad, winning accolades from the producers and the media. What is so attractive about the Sandglasses? According to Remigijus Merkelys, the executive director of the Vilnius Festivals who had commissioned the work for the 2010 Gaida Festival, “the project’s success lies in the unique interaction of musical and visual material which helps conjure up an entirely new world of artistic experience and creates an utterly enthralling atmosphere.”
The Music of Changes Festival will close with the concert called “Vision.” On October 25th the festival’s stage will be taken over by the unique Ludus Gravis Ensemble from Italy which consists of eight double bassists, including the concert’s soloist, Daniele Roccato. The programme features two compositions by festival’s godfather John Cage (intimate Dream and Ryoanji inspired by Japanese gardens), Arvo Pärt’s Pari Intervallo, written in his famous tintinnabuli style, Due Pezzi Brillanti by the ensemble’s artistic director, Stefano Scodanibbio, and a new piece by young Lithuanian composer Rūta Vitkauskaitė.
The programme will be rounded off with the Scodanibbio’s arrangement of Terry Riley’s In D. Hypnotic rhythmic mantras and timbral microvariations will rivet the public’s attention from the very first bars, while dynamic development and growing anticipation of the climax will keep the tension until the end.
The Music of Changes is now flowing down the wire. Feel it. Listen to it. Hear it. It’s time for the music to speak!