With the accession of Lithuania to the European Union on May 1 last year, a number of Lithuanian composers and performers had lots of opportunities to present their art in concerts and special projects celebrating this remarkable event. Along with already known names, such as Čiurlionis, Barkauskas, Narbutaitė and Šerkšnytė, to name just a few, this expansion of common political, economical and cultural space helped to bring forward some new names from the youngest generation of composers who seek their place within wider international communities and various contemporary music related environments. Marius Baranauskas, as one of such rising names, got involved in two ongoing projects, which consolidate creative energies of the EU's old and new members.
photo: Mikhail Rashkovsky
The CULTURAL YEAR of the TEN, organized by the Berlin-based Society for Promotion of Culture in Expanded Europe in association with various German governmental, cultural, media institutions and embassies of the ten newly accepted countries in Germany, started almost a year ago on Apr. 30, 2004, and offered a broad range of cultural events. The Lithuanian ingredients for this melting pot of ten different cultures were carefully selected by Rasa Balčikonytė, the Lithuanian cultural attaché in Berlin, and Lithuanian-German pianist Raminta Lampsatis. This enormous display of what new EU members have to offer culturally for the European community will be rounded off with a concert on May 27, 2005, at the Chamber Hall of the Berlin Philharmonic. Entitled "Correspondences. Answers to Franz Schubert", it will feature ten composers who were commissioned to compose musical interludes which will be integrated into the famous Schubert song cycle, Winterreise, so as to produce a new total-composition. Scored for a predefined ensemble of between one and twelve musicians, these instrumental interludes are intended to contribute to Schubert's masterpiece as 'unsung songs'. Marius Baranauskas chose "Einsamkeit" as a point of departure for his piece scored for the whole capacity of the instrumental ensemble, which starts right away from the last chord of the song. His interlude will focus on microscopic surfaces of individual tones, pulsations and changing timbres of the song's many times magnified harmonic and rhythmic material.
Last year Baranauskas became the stipendiary of another German institution - European Centre for the Arts Hellerau in Dresden under the artistic leadership of Prof. Udo Zimmermann. With an impressive history in hindsight, Hellerau is still nurturing the musical avant-garde of the present and the future by organizing the annual Dresden Days of Contemporary Music and granting scholarships to young musicians for the second year in a row. The twelve stipendiaries, including composers, singers, instrumentalists and a theatre representative from Germany, Russia, Lithuania, Sweden and South Korea, form a creative team for an audiovisual project to be carried out in three successive stages – from the development of the concept in October 2004 to composition session in April 2005 to stage realization in autumn 2005 – and premiered at the forthcoming 19th Dresden Days of Contemporary Music.