ISCM World Music Days 2008 in Vilnius: Call for Works and Projects Announced!

The Lithuanian Composers’ Union, the Vilnius Festivals and the Lithuanian Section of the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) are proud to announce the ISCM World Music Days / 18th Gaida Festival, from 24 October to 7 November 2008 in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius.

This will be the first large-scale international new music gathering in the Baltic Region, and the first ISCM World Music Days in this part of Europe.

The festival has invited composers from all over the world to submit works for this occasion. Two composers in focus, Jonathan Harvey (UK) and Peter Eötvös (HU), will be part of an international jury selecting works which underline the chosen festival theme “InBetween”, looking at contemporary music as transit zone and middle ground.

The work of the composers in focus will be featured throughout the festival, with the continental premiere of Of Love and Other Demons, a new large-scale opera by Eötvös, in collaboration with the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre and the renowned Glyndebourne Opera Festival, and the world premiere of a new work by Harvey for cello octet.

Following the festival theme, ISCM World Music Days / Gaida 2008 has commissioned an exciting new work from the Lithuanian composer Onutė Narbutaitė, who will write a piece for All Souls Day (2 November, a day which brings a very special atmosphere to Vilnius). The piece will gather together all the choirs of Vilnius and its surroundings to sing the same music, synchronously, in different streets and on different squares of the city, to surprise festival goers and general public alike with an original musical soundscape.

Artistic director of the WMD 2008 Lieven Bertels

To underline the international ambitions of the festival, ISCM World Music Days / Gaida 2008 has for the first time invited an international artistic curator, Lieven Bertels (BE / NL), who made his name starting up the new Concertgebouw venue in Belgium, and currently acts as artistic co-ordinator for the famous Holland Festival (Amsterdam). In line with his fresh approach to what constitutes contemporary music, the festival will welcome multimedia installations, DJ acts and improvised music, and will involve the local community, truly bringing the adventurous ISCM spirit into the 21st Century.

The choice of the ISCM to hold their 2008 meeting in Vilnius confirms the reputation of the rich Baltic music culture of today. Composer such as Bronius Kutavičius, Erkki-Sven Tüür and Arvo Pärt, soloists such as Gidon Kremer or David Geringas and ensembles such as the Latvian Radio Choir, the Kremerata Baltica, the Gaida Ensemble, among many others, make for a rich mix of styles and approaches on the highest international level. The organisation of this ISCM festival in Lithuania not only is a sound testimony to this reputation, but also a dream running-up event for 2009, when Vilnius will bear the title of Culture Capital of Europe.

Outline of the Festival Programme

The World Music Days 2008 in Vilnius will have a multi-layered programme in order to assure the cultural and social variety of events. The programme will consist of several large-scale projects, including music theatre. There will also be symphonic, vocal, choral, and chamber music concerts, interdisciplinary and multimedia events, sound installations, and an extensive programme of academic and educational events.

Some large-scale projects:

Guest composers: British Jonathan Harvey and Hungarian Peter Eötvös:

- continental premiere of Peter Eötvös’ opera Of Love and Other Demons, co-produced with the Glyndebourne Opera Festival (UK)

- new commission from Jonathan Harvey – co-production with the Conjunto Iberico Cello Octet (NL)

- signature concerts by the guest composers of the festival

- special project by the Ensemble Modern (DE)

Some ‘transit’ projects:

- Special project by Onutė Narbutaitė: All Souls Day / music for the city

- Symposion – contemporary music ‘table’ programme

- Sound installation Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco by Jonathan Harvey

- Laborintus II: Luciano Berio/60s jazz/DJ Funki Porcini

Some accompanying events:

- International academy Sonic Boom: Towards the Music of the 21st Century

- Creative workshop Interdisciplinary Sound Laboratory

- Multimedia exhibition Lithuanian Music Stations of the 20th Century

- Cinema programme The Beginnings of Music

- Musical Promenade for children and youth

ISCM Call for works and projects

For the World Music Days 2008, a call for works and projects has been announced on behalf of ISCM, with participants from 58 ISCM member sections. An international jury will select more than 50 scores and projects from all over the world, which will be performed during the Festival. Festival organizers look forward to receiving inspiring proposals, exploring a multitude of ‘musics’ of today and new meaningful ways of presenting contemporary music. In line with the festival theme in-between, particularly welcome are works that are an expression of transition, a feeling of a middle-ground position or transit. The organizers also encourage the submission of projects that might otherwise be deemed unclassifiable, or that bridge the space between genres, traditions or art forms.

The jury includes Peter Eötvös, Jonathan Harvey, Luca Francesconi, Onutė Narbutaitė, Helena Tulve, composers from 5 regions of Europe. Deadline for submissions is July 31, 2007, and the selection by the jury will be carried out by the end of October, 2007.

For more information please contact:

Lithuanian Music Link No. 14