In contemporary world, where the lines between nature, science and philosophy are blurring, where DNA molecules are going to replace silicon chips in the next generation of microprocessors, and modern physics appears to be inseparable from the poetic imagination and mystical insights, the musical practice is also marked with convergent ambiguities messing up all former distinctions, including those of 'electronic' and 'acoustic' music. The academic composers are trying to capture the atmosphere of electronic soundscapes in their works for acoustic settings, and on the other hand, 'changeable', 'soft', 'organic', or even 'biotechno', become key words for today's electronic musicians.
This could be also applied to the JAUNA MUZIKA 2005 festival, now for the fourth time offering a broad spectrum of contemporary electronic and electroacoustic music. The very name of the group which will open the festival speaks for itself - "The Vegetable Orchestra" from Austria. It is the first and only orchestra which plays exclusively on vegetables, instead of traditional or electronic instruments. Their repertoire presents 'transcriptions' of electronic music pieces and structures for the produce of a vegetable garden, creating a unique soundworld which cannot be produced by any other instrument or sound source.
The theme of the natural world (also reflected, for example, in an audiovisual journey across the interactive maps of field recordings in the work of the Dutch composer and sound artist Anne Wellmer, or in Ryoji Ikeda's video images of landscapes which are progressively abstracted into a language of data) will confront its opposite - microscopic laboratory of pure sound, streams of pure data and all kinds of digital sophistication in the multimedia performances of such electronic superstars as alva noto (Carsten Nicolai) from Germany and the above-mentioned Ryoji Ikeda from Japan.
The panorama of the festival is further diversified with pluralistic sound investigations of the French electronic artist eRikm, and with new electroacoustic and multimedia works by the composers from Lithuania. The ideas of interaction, networking and convergence of the real and the virtual are continued in such projects as "40 Days - 40 Nights" (live online collaboration between True Rosaschi and Pauline Oliveros), "mixthemixthemix" (live remixing of the remixes of the existing music), and the closing "Transaction Djembe Party" (live VJ'ing of audio/video samples from old films, involving the audience in the game).
© Linas Paulauskis
Lithuanian Music Link No. 10