Conversation with the composer Arvydas Malcys

Justina Paltanavičiūtė, 2011 03 25

A.Malcys. Photo from the personal archive

In brief: “The composer understands originality as an attempt to grope the roots of various phenomena taking place around and inside a person rather than the need to stand out or to be an innovator,” the musicologist Beata Baublinskienė writes about the composer Arvydas Malcys. This sentence states much about the musician: music is not mathematics or grammar but the direct reflection of life to him. A.Malcys finds inspiration for creation in the surrounding environment, in other art fields and in his personal experiences.

Opuses of A. Malcys often resound in international contemporary music festivals, and the premiere of his symphony “Grunewald” is planned in the composer’s native city, at Kaunas State Philharmonic Hall on the 25th of March. It will be performed by Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra. According to the composer, this premiere is extremely important to him. Even though A.Malcys left for studies in Vilnius and stayed there, the composer is still actively interested in actualities of Kaunas cultural life. The conversation with the composer A.Malcys is about these issues, about his work and symphony “Grunewald”.

“I believe that being a composer and a performer replenishes each other. Sometimes the knowledge of an instrumentalist helps and sometimes it interferes. In any case, one has to develop the musical hearing and intuition; and I do not know many things yet. This time I come to Kaunas as a composer,” speaks A.Malcys.

The composer believes that one has to forget the surrounding world and what you were (a teacher, doctor, musician) while creating as you become a composer only in this work. “For creation I need a certain environment, spiritual tranquillity and internal peace first of all.”

“In general, I relate creation, the same as life, with the road. It is as if I go along it in the unknown direction feeling intuitively that I have taken the right turn. I meet other people on this road who are taking the same direction. Then I realise how many people have passed this road before me, and it is not known how many of them will take the road after me, and the road will never end. I am still learning to make firm steps rather than to be carried by anyone. Perhaps the entire life will not be sufficient for passing this road...” the musician shares his thoughts.

Speaking about the importance of the premiere of the symphony “Grunewald”, the composer stated that it was his first premiere in Kaunas, his native city. “Perhaps each Lithuanian has some idea how to immortalise the anniversary of the Battle of Grunewald. This premiere is significant to me not by the anniversary only but also by its presentation in Kaunas. The premiere determines the fate of a work: either it will be a single performance, or the work will live on and have its history.

As for the genre of the symphony, the creation of a large opus is a challenge to me. This genre offers the possibility to implement things that cannot be realised in real life. Each work is a document that reflects the author’s craft, his attitude to the world, aesthetics, moments of success and doubt, the flow of creative thoughts.

Symphony Nor. 3 is my newest work, the acoustic space where I can be myself. I am not going to prove something or to impose my ideas, I write music as I hear and feel it. I sincerely hope that this work will become a certain acoustic experience to listeners, a cultural field of musical signs that has impact on the mood, feelings and mind,” the composer ends the interview.

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