This year the adventurous music festival Skaņu Mežs will take place in Riga on 6, 11, 12 and 13 October. A related event on 8 September will be held in the Anglican church, as part of the city’s all-night cultural event Baltā nakts/ White Night.
Skaņu Mežs will commemorate its 10th anniversary by organising retrospectives of the musical territories which the festival has been exploring over the past nine years. Presentations of recent developments in the various genres will demonstrate the link between traditional and ever-changing experimental forms. Skaņu Mežs is part of ECAS (European Cities of Advanced Sound) network and is supported by the European Union program “Culture”.
The concert in the Anglican church on 8 September will be a presentation initiated by Soundexchange as part of an international project hosted in Riga by Skaņu Mežs. This audiovisual performance is dedicated to the Latvian cult musician, artist and architect Hardijs Lediņš. The performance has been created by people prominent in the underground music scene in Riga, but the name of the artist responsible for the visuals will only be revealed at a later date. Musicians who have also been involved in the project include Andris Indāns (known for his multi-faceted electronic project Gas of Latvia), Stropu Jurka (from the industrial music collectives Strops and V.S.K.B), TV Maskava (a breakcore genre project), as well as Toms Auniņš (also known as Atomola).
A studio of Latvian Radio 1 will be the location for the events of 6 October. Among others Christian Wolff, the late John Cage’s colleague and associate, will be performing together with percussionist and composer Robyn Schulkowsky. On the same evening the first three performances of a new Skaņu Mežs project – ”Vārdrūme” (Word Space) – will also be presented. ”Vārdrūme” will evolve into a series of events focusing on interesting and unusual pairings of independent musicians with poets, who will collaborate to generate sound worlds in which poetry and the sonic entwine into one complete experience.
The events of 11 October will take place in the Splendid Palace cinema. This night’s programme is eclectic and will commence with the giants of free jazz Peter Brotzmann, Mats Gustafsson and John Thcicai playing as Sonore Special followed by perfomances by Francois Bayle, world-renowned composer of acousmatic music, and psychedelic trip-hop project Forest Swords. The evening will also include the premiere of a new work by Santa Ratniece.
Setting the tone for this year’s festival is the appearance of abstract electronic sound artist Machinefabriek whose pieces have been inspired by Latvian author Imants Ziedonis’ work ”Krāsainās pasakas” (Multicoloured Tales). This performance will be accompanied by visuals created specifically for Skaņu Mežs by the Lesley Moore studio from the Netherlands together with the Latvian designer Zigmunds Lapsa.
In keeping with Skaņu Mežs’ traditions an evening of dance music will take place on 12 October in the Palladium concert hall as well as an evening of accoustic and electronic performances in the Anglican Church on 13 October as part of the event series „Experimental Music in Sacral Spaces”.
Further information: www.skanumezs.lv