EVENTS. ISCM World Music Days 2008: Selected Works Announced

It took nearly a year for the ISCM (International Society for Contemporary Music) to select works for the upcoming Gaida Festival/ISCM World Music Days, which is to take place from Oct. 24 to Nov. 8, 2008, in Vilnius.

Following the announcement of call for works and projects last year, responses were received from 45 national sections and associate members of the ISCM, representing new music of their respective countries. Additionally, nearly 120 composers and publishers have sent their works individually. Throughout the entire August of 2007, deliveries kept coming from nearly 50 countries, the majority of them being from the artists based in Japan, Germany and Scandinavian countries. 18 Lithuanian composers have taken part in the competition as well.

In September 2007, the local jury, formed by the Lithuanian Composers’ Union, reviewed more than 350 scores and recordings and selected 110 works from various countries. One month later, on October 29–31, an international jury, consisting of Peter Eötvös (Hungary), Jonathan Harvey (UK), Luca Francesconi (Italy), Onutė Narbutaitė (Lithuania) and Helena Tulve (Estonia), gathered in Vilnius and, out of more than hundred entries, selected 48 works from 33 countries for this year’s showcase devised to reveal a spectacular and provoking worldwide panorama of contemporary music. The international jury of the World Music Days was especially enthusiastic about works indicating true creative sparks of imagination and inspiration, and encouraged bold ideas by young composers and unexpected conceptions. Such selection criteria were also chosen in response to the festival’s theme “In Between,” which captures the view of contemporary music as a transit zone and middle ground. Works and projects had to be related to the theme of transition, shifting and transformation, of being “in between”, extending beyond the limits of different genres, traditions and art forms, and contemplating the relationship between contemporary creation and other topical cultural experiences.

The diversity of cultural and social events to be presented this year at the Gaida Festival / ISCM World Music Days provides for the substantial programme of several levels, which include ‘large-scale projects’, ‘traditional projects’, ‘educational projects’, ‘off-scene’ and other accompanying events. Along with more than 20 symphonic, chamber and vocal music concerts, video and sound installations, the festival will present some specially commissioned works: a musical theatre ‘super project’ – the continental premiere of the opera Love and Other Demons by Peter Eötvös (co-produced with the Glyndebourne Opera Festival); an unconventional multi-choral project for the All Souls’ Day by Onutė Narbutaitė; and a new piece for Conjunto Ibérico Cello Octet by Jonathan Harvey. Among the ‘transit projects,’ a night programme of contemporary ‘table music’ called Procession, Jonathan Harvey’s audio installation Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco and a reworking of Luciano Berio’s classic Laborinthus II (involving the 60s’ jazz and film music played by Dutch DJ Florentintin) can be mentioned as the most attractive examples.

A separate part of the festival’s programme will be comprised of intriguing academic and educational events, including an international academy “Sonic Boom: Towards the Music of the 21st Century,” a contemporary opera seminar, the multimedia installation 100 HISTORIES: The Museum of National Music Legends by Šarūnas Nakas, as well as special musical promenades for children and young people.

Many recognised local and international performers are to take place in the event, including the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra under Peter Eötvös, Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra under Juozas Domarkas and Robertas Šervenikas, Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, St. Christopher’s Chamber Orchestra under Donatas Katkus; various choirs and ensembles, such as the Latvian Radio Choir under James Wood, Ensemble Modern (DE), Ensemble Cantus (HR), Conjunto Ibérico Cello Octet (NL) and many others.

© Milda Čiužaitė

Lithuanian Music Link No. 16