PROJECT IN FOCUS. Vytautas V. Jurgutis' Time Line: Towards Meta-Art

Jurgutis' new multimedia dance performance Time Line, commissioned by the Gaida Festival, will have its world premiere on October 25 at the Lithuanian National Drama Theatre.

photo: Dmitry Matveyev / LMIPC

The composer himself defines the new piece as an interdisciplinary dance performance with elements of installation art. In this work, it is precisely the integral totality of employed elements – sound, human body movements, kinetic scenography, the dancers' light-conductor costumes, ultra-precise laser projections, and digital visuals – that is important. All elements are synchronously intertwined; their interaction generates a new multidimensional artistic language. The composer is convinced that in the years to come a new device enabling artists to freely integrate all forms of expression will be invented. A kind of meta-instrument finallyeliminating all disciplinary borders and making the case for creation of meta-art undivided into separate genres. Time Line is definitely an assured step in the direction of this meta-art.

A consistent move toward interdisciplinary art can be traced in Vytautas V. Jurgutis’ oeuvre. Although his ‘professional’ field is music, it is obvious that the composer’s ideas do not fit in the solely sonic format anymore. He decisively shifts from acoustic and electronic music compositions (e.g. the electronic music album ‘Sound Masks’ released in Sweden in 2003) to projects involving performative multimedia acts. Known for almost always creating visuals for the performances of his own works and experimenting with various performance practices, V. V. Jurgutis is currently increasingly interested in the possibilities of human body movement and employment of complex laser equipment. Simultaneously, the theme of the relationship between art and science previously recurrent in the composer’s music (revealed in such work titles as Telomeros, Lambdezons, etc) gradually develops into creative interpretation of complex physical and energetic phenomena. Utilizing electronic sound, digital image, metamorphoses of laser beams, and precise movements of the dancers, the interdisciplinary performance Time Line aims to reveal the relationship between energy, space, and time that is invisible for the human eye.

“Contemporary art inevitably more and more often refers to science and advanced technology, since the majority of artists strive to transcend physical limitations and renounce the stereotypical means of expression, many of which are usual part of contemporary art itself. Personally, I view the very audible physical sound as a ‘disciplinary’ stereotype; I wish to convey my musical ideas to the listener directly, without the audible sound as an obligatory conductor. I believe that musical forms other than the physically audible music, to which we are immensely accustomed, are possible. Such convergence and mutation of disciplines is inevitable,” – states the composer. Musical part of the project follows the direction of the composer’s searches in the territory of the ‘neogard’ style. Jurgutis’ own brand, ‘neogard’ encapsulates the multitude of stylistic currents that emerged after the modernist avant-garde. The sound of Time Line walks the fine line between experimental electronics and rhythm-driven electronic dance music, effectively avoiding the risks associated with seeming eclecticism (in the same manner as in Jurgutis’ previous work, Neogard-Club-Electronic). The gradation of the sound dynamics and rhythm is organic and forms a seamless shifting texture, where the influences of other global electronic artists are individually interpreted and melted into Jurgutis’ original sound. The composer also stresses the emergence of previously unused musical elements in his sound, therefore, this premiere promises to be especially exciting.

The dance element of Time Line is to be created and performed by Kaunas’ modern dance theatre ‘Aura’, one of the most important and prominent Lithuanian modern dance collectives. Vytautas V. Jurgutis asserts that plasticity of ‘Aura’ dancers fits into the project’s concept perfectly. Nevertheless, the composer also hints that in the future he would be interested in creating an interdisciplinary dance performance in which human performers would be substituted by precisely programmed robots. This could be yet another step towards interdisciplinary meta-art.

© Jurijus Dobriakovas

Lithuanian Music Link No. 13