Žibuoklė Martinaitytė’s New Album – to All Those Ready to Face Themselves

  • Jan. 2, 2018

As part of the continuing Contemporary Composer Series, the Music Information Centre Lithuania has focused on the New York-based composer Žibuoklė Martinaitytė’s music. Her album Horizons presents the listeners with five pieces produced in the past decade, all of which are, according to the composer, her quest for beauty and longing for the unreachable distance from the ‘blue’ phase of her creative career. Coinciding with two major life events – her departure to the US and the loss of father – this period has become the source of inspiration and urged her to investigate the origins of the dichotomies between proximity and distance, nearing and departing.

The album has overcome many obstacles along the road towards materialization; these were the years of seasoning and anticipation, rendering little results and resembling a Sisyphean process, which, according to the author, at the end only strengthened the joy of accomplishment. While it is possible to argue that CDs belong in a museum, and are symbols of the past, in an era of data overload this format might bear an even greater significance than ever before. “Selection of information and conceptual presentation of it is a virtue. The duration of CDs offers an almost ideal concert format that the composer has the freedom to shape according to his or her will, which does not happen often in an actual concert setting”, asserts Žibuoklė Martinaitytė.

With this album and the individual works on it the author tells an absorbing emotional narrative. She begins with a larger picture – a multi-layered, timbrally rich sonic expression of the faraway landscapes (Horizons, 2013; The Blue of Distance, 2010); she then moves on towards her subjective relationship with the untouchable distance (Thousand Doors to the World, 2009; Completely Embraced by the Beauty of Emptiness, 2006); finally, she reaches the state of inner calm (Serenity Diptychs, 2015). Acoustically speaking, the concept of nearing is presented through instrumentation – she begins with larger orchestral and choral works, and finishes with a refined, chamber sound.

The music on the album is filled with intense feelings; there is constant activity. According to a musicologist and the author of the album sleeve notes Jūratė Katinaitė, “her music absorbs the listener into the state of an agitated, vigilant anticipation, until one is ambushed by an unexpected emotional blast”. On the other hand, the composer clarifies that her music is not necessarily meant for the listeners with the ‘nerves of steel,’ but rather all those willing to face their own deep inner selves.

The album is comprised of live recordings from concerts and recording studios, performed by various Lithuanian and foreign artists: Karen Bentley Pollick, an American violinist; Volti, a 20-person professional vocal ensemble based in San Francisco and directed by Robert Geary; a contemporary music group from Toronto Ergo Ensemble conducted by Alex Pauk; Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra conducted by Mārtiņš Ozoliņš, and Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra with Maestro Juozas Domarkas.

The release was possible thanks to the support of the Lithuanian Council for Culture and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania, as well as cordial and effective partnerships with the friends of the Music Information Centre Lithuania – choral ensemble Volti San Francisco, Vilniaus Festivaliai, and the Lithuanian Composers’ Union.

The CD Horizons by Žibuoklė Martinaitytė is available for purchase online at our eShop. The online shop accepts all major credit cards, including: Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, American Express and PayPal. More details can be found here.

Translated from the Lithuanian by Vanda Gaidamovič
Information from Music Information Centre Lithuania