Nontraditional interpretations of the archaic Baltic spirit at WOMEX 2016

  • Oct. 13, 2016

The WOMEX 2016 international world music expo will take place on October 19–23, 2016 in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Music Lithuania, export project of the Music Information Centre Lithuania traditionally hosts the Lithuanian national stand (No. 1.37) featuring the centre’s team as well as artists, publishers, managers, and critics from this musical sphere.

This year, Music Lithuania presents its new CD compilation, Note Lithuania: Beyond Folk, compiled by Jurij Dobriakov, a critic and a researcher of contemporary culture. This record offers an expanded approach to the reflections of the archaic layers of Baltic culture in contemporary music. It showcases a several decades-old Lithuanian postindustrial electronic music scene whose members avoid using direct references to folk music in their work, but infuse it with a strong sense of place and archaic affinity with nature. Therefore, this music could not have been produced anywhere else but here, in Lithuania.

According to the curator, folk today does not necessarily have to relate to something from another era, and that there might be forms of music inspired by the archaic spirit of the place which nevertheless speak to the generation of people who grew up amid the ruins of industrial society and have matured in today’s post-industrial epoch, which is mediated through networking and smart devices. This compilation presents a scene of more of less underground musicians, whose work can be said to create a productive tension with ethnic traditions. The music of most of the featured artists merges archaic influences with elements from a range of electronic genres.

The compilation features artists who are well-known in Lithuania and beyond, and regularly perform and publish new records: Daina Dieva, Vilkduja, Oorchach, Skeldos, Girnų Giesmės, Sala, OBŠRR, Sovijus, Raguvos, and Semănat. According to the compiler, these artists’ music is true contemporary Lithuanian electric folk. The compilation also includes a few examples of authentic minimalist Lithuanian folk music performed by the Ritingo ensemble and the singer Jogailė Jurkutė, which demonstrate the vitality and continuity of the archaic tradition.

Information from MICL