Feliksas Bajoras

Stained-Glass (Vilnius - the Capital of Lithuania)

Year of composition: 1968
Duration: 03′
Instrumentation: picc-tp-tb-4perc-gui-pf-acc-6vn-2va-vc

CD Lithuanian Music in Context I. Lessons of the Avant-garde. - Vilnius, Lithuanian Music Information and Publishing Centre LMIPCCD065-066, 2011

In 1968, at a large Soviet Union Trade and Industry Exhibit at the Earls Court Exhibition Centre in London, Lithuania received a 600 sq. m. stand, displaying Lithuanian achievements in culture, manufacturing industry and design. The exhibit was ‘garnished’ with a headline that said ‘Lithuania’. It was typed in a stylish font, and did not have any appendages in a style of Soviet Socialism. In the heart of the exhibit there was an enormous kinetic glass sculpture made by Algimantas Stoškus, with a simple title: stained glass sculpture Vilnius - the Capital of Lithuania. For the first time in history of Lithuanian music there was a composition written to accompany a moving object. It was a three-minute-long piece, written by Feliksas Bajoras and inspired by the rhythms of the spinning columns of glass.

“I had to look for new devices. That’s why I turned towards modernism” – reminisces the composer. This aleatoric piece was composed of sharply accented and long-lasting acoustic tones that were acutely distorted using reverberation. No wonder it sonically resembled electronic music, and was often labeled as such by the British press.

The 1968 exhibit had a scandalous finale. The Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia sparked the mass protests in London. The exhibit came to embody something evil and was quietly shut down. The composer was never invited to see the exhibit.

Šarūnas Nakas