Over the thirty years of independence in Lithuania, Lithuanian female composers, from a minority, became leaders in the field, competing successfully in an international context, too. And that, according to the author Asta Pakarklytė, happened without any special gender quotas, without a safe environment for women to express themselves, without any artificial means introduced to encourage them, and without any feminist movements or protest actions. The opportunity was presented by the turbulent changes in the Lithuanian political, economic and social system with women in Lithuania not allowing this opportunity to pass them by.
Mykolas Katkus writes that Lithuanian rock music scene, too, is currently enjoying an undoubtedly largest revival since the legendary Rock March, the popular festival-rally that contributed to the dismantling of the Soviet Union. For the first time in thirty years, rock in Lithuania has listeners, infrastructure and talented bands. According to the author, the youngest generation of Lithuanians – Generation Z - who have habituated themselves to niche radio stations, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Spotify platforms, is hardly any different from their European contemporaries and are the part of the global monoculture. Thus, the current rock movement is first and foremost indebted to the generational change.
After the collapse of the USSR a boundless outflow of Baltic culture was felt, one which continues to be spread in various artistic forms, heard in the profusion of performers and groups, adopting the most varied of today’s practices and styles, and merging into the transformed everyday life of people. Eglė Gelažiūtė-Pranevičienė reviews authentic practices of living Lithuanian music heritage and post-folklore output in the contexts of electronics, experimentation, improvisation, world music and composition.
In the context of the events of the Singing Revolution, two independent professional choirs were formed in Lithuania, Jauna Muzika and Aidija, which had a privilege to be able to disregard conventions and routine habits of the local choral singing tradition and so were able to boldly dive into new practices. Ingrida Alonderė and Asta Pakarklytė write about these strongest and most active chamber choirs in Lithuania, always invited where skills, intuition and determination to perform previously untested experiments in new music are needed.
Finally, Kablys and the comprehensive and extremely intense story of this alternative cultural space is presented in Dominkas Kunčinas’ text, which omits neither the criminal nor subcultural, social or political aspects that have marked the history of this building. This constantly regenerative place of attraction is an important point on the maps and calendars of music lovers seeking unusual musical experiences in Vilnius until today, while the pulse of underground counterculture is still felt in Kablys basement, also known as the “best hole of Vilnius.” The spirit of punk, understood in its broadest sense as free and unrestrained creativity, is still alive among the walls of this building and perhaps that is why this venue became loved by musicians of various styles, including experimental electronics, jazz and compositional innovations.
The printed Lithuanian Music Link magazine is dedicated to presenting the diversity of Lithuanian music to foreign cultural professionals. As the content of the publication is also relevant in the national context, all the texts are published on the website of the Lithuanian Music Information Centre mic.lt in both English and Lithuanian. The publishing of this issue was funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture, the LATGA Association and Vilnius City Municipality. The activities of the Lithuanian Music Information Centre are also supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania.
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Translated from the Lithuanian by Julija Gulbinovič
Lithuanian Music Information Center info