Vaiva Mažulytė
www.kamane.lt, 2008 11 11



Ensemble für intuitive musik Weimar along with K.Stockhausen (on the right)

In brief: As trees are losing leaves, music is trying to cast off its traditional robe. Tree biggest cities of Lithuania are inviting to look at the present time of music creation process. The festival “Note” in Vilnius and “Music of Changes” in Klaipėda is accompanied by the contemporary music festival “From Up Close” taking place in Kaunas from November 8 to 23.

The 13th international festival offers to hear 40 music pieces, 13 premieres of Lithuanian composers. All this forms 13 hours of pure music to be presented in eight days of the festival. Two initial concerts have already been organised.

The opening of the festival of November 8 was dedicated to the 80th anniversary of the composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, who died a year ago. Listeners heard intuitive music created in 1968 -1970. It is music when performers become creators improvising according to indications of the composer.

Six music pieces by K.Stockhausen were performed by Ensemble für Intuitive Musik from Weimar. Four musicians, who collaborated with the composer closely, are the first performers of the majority of his works. It seemed that the ensemble knew and understood all ideas of K.Stockhausen well and participated in the creation process with the greatest possible devotion.

The computer improvised along with the fortepiano, trumpet, flugelhorn and cello. Listeners of the concert also became witnesses and participants of the music experiment born there and then. Short comments of the players helped to understand what was happening on the stage better.

Sometimes contemporary music may be compared with scientific articles on new inventions. At the beginning it seems that only the inventors and their colleagues are capable of understanding such an article. Time is needed until the discovery is put to use. Still, one may not forecast how much time will be needed. Perhaps this secret serves as attraction to take interest in new tendencies in art and music. The need often emerges from habit but may also appear from curiosity.

Music had to be easier to understand during the concert on November 9. “Chants About Expiry” invited everybody to turn back to the first days of November and to think about existence. Archaic Christian Lithuanian chants and rituals were brought to life in the folk oratory-mystery of the composer Antanas Kučinskas written in 2007.

There were no unusual and extremely modern accords in this music. The composition of performers and instruments was also rather usual – the male and female choir, brass instruments (trumpet, baritone, bass).

However, the biggest confusion was caused by the echo at Kaunas Christ’s Resurrection Church. Parts of the work performed in the medium register suffered the most due to this reason. Also, the space was too large for seeing and understanding the director’s solutions created by Birutė Mar.

The church was cold and too much light penetrated the windows. Due to unsuitable conditions the aim of the really interesting project “Chants About Expiry” to encourage listeners for existential reflections lost a big part of emotional persuasion.

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