Album curator Edvardas Šumila has dedicated much of the past year to get to know the authors, and handpicking works for the compilation. His commentary on emigration and globalization is featured in the album liner notes. “This collection was born as a response to the growing artistic diaspora of young Lithuanian composers abroad. It is an extension of the article of the same title I published in the 2016 issue of the Lithuanian Music Link. The insights I have developed in the process intrigued me enough to pursue the subject further, and led to fresh conclusions”, says Šumila.
“The subject called for examination of different overlapping social and artistic trends, such as cross-border mobility, and its effects on their different sound practices. It also urged to reflect on artistic differences, and their origins. The title “Far Away, But Ever Closer” accurately captures the phenomenon that is even more visible today than it was two years ago – the émigré artists return and leave again, but seem much closer to home than ever before”, shares Šumila, who has recently enrolled in a Philosophy Studies program at the New School for Social Research in New York City, USA, and therefore identifies with the subject matter even more.
Despite frequent changes, the final cover design by Anastasija Sosunova and Eglė Ruibytė is completely in tune with both the concept and the content of the album. As commented by Eglė Ruibytė, “all the graphic elements are essentially crude, intentionally imperfect and irregular. It was a conscious artistic choice that alludes to the flawed Lithuanian cultural sphere and its rehabilitation through the international alliances – almost like a simple pencil sketch processed through a digital filter”.
Anastasija Sosunova further adds, “We wanted to rethink our own identity, culture and geography in the context of the experimental artistic landscape of the EU, and beyond, that the Lithuanian émigré artists are embedded in. In our graphic material we juxtaposed altered and intentionally skewed symbols for globalism and nationalism, as if questioning the pre-existing ideas about what is ‘foreign’, what is national belonging, and what is distance, and proximity.”
Presentation of the new album will take place during the Vilnius Book Fair. It is available for purchase online, and at the Lithuanian Music Information Centre (A. Mickevičiaus 29, Vilnius).