This compilation offering a glimpse into Lithuanian theatre music written between 1990 and 2000 owes its revealing title to a stage production of the Šiauliai Drama Theatre featuring music by Algirdas Martinaitis. Immersed in acute emotions, anxiety and unpredictability, the listener feels constant tension, which eventually becomes almost physical. As if the visuals have been switched off and you’re listening to a film – yes, a film, because many people have described Lithuanian theatre music as extremely cinematographic, and that’s something we would readily agree to. At the same time, it sometimes reveals itself as a manifesto – yet again, almost physical – as in the first track of the set by Šarūnas Nakas. In terms of unease and strain, the extract from Mephibosheth by Vidmantas Bartulis clearly matches it, while the rhythmic and accentuated tracks by Gintaras Sodeika and Mindaugas Urbaitis mingle with the metaphysics of Faustas Latėnas and the baroque by Giedrius Puskunigis. The playlist concludes with the sullen Piano Tozepam (Naktis prieš pat miškus; The Night Right Before the Woods) by Matas Petrikas who enjoyed its days of glory back then.
The compilation reveals the Lithuanian composers’ ability to “wind up” the emotional action as well as the actors and the audience. The physicality, material qualities and emotional charge of their music have played a significant role in determining the themes of the playlist heavily laden with exuberant and somewhat aggressive energy, yet also fitted with murky and horrifying quarters and desperation. All of this, understandably, has been influenced by the plays and solutions employed in the production. The music as such, however, is remarkably evocative; it turns into an additional character who, it may seem, has grown up together with the drama performance and, quite paradoxically, has outlived it to dwell with us and tell its story.
Listen to the second compilation of Lithuanian theatre music.