Ticket sales begin today for Skaņu Mežs 2012, the tenth edition of the festival, which takes place on October 6th, 11th, 12th and 13th. Commemorating the anniversary, this year’s festival will be larger and more diverse than previous years. Ticket and pass prices are at the end of the release.
The October 6th concert will be of interest to admirers of contemporary music – presented in the studio of Latvijas Radio 1 and commemorating John Cage’s centennial. Representing this monumental personality are American experimental composer and the last representative of the New York composition school, Christian Wolff, together with percussionist Robyn Schulkowsky, who has worked with all the greats of contemporary music, from Mauricio Kagel to Cage and Iannis Xenakis. This evening is also the debut of a new Skaņu Mežs project – with three performances from the event series Vārdrūme, which focuses on interesting and sometimes unexpected creative forms from independent musicians and poets, in order to create a specific sound world, where poetry and daring sound experiments join in one whole. This evening Swedish and Japanese soloists will also perform a work by the young and talented Estonian-Russian composer Tatjana Kozlova, seldom heard in Latvia until now.
Alternately, October 11 will interest fans of avant-garde, free jazz and pop music, happening at the Splendid Palace theatre (formerly the “Riga” cinema). This date has an eclectic program, beginning with free jazz greats Peter Brotzmann, Mats Gustafsson and John Thcicai (a colleague of Albert Ayler and John Coltrane), who perform together under the name Sonore Special, to the 80-year-old world famous musique concrète veteran Francois Bayle, and a concert where highly-regarded psychedelic trip hop project Forest Swords perform in an expanding composition. This evening will also hear a performance of the prominent abstract electronic project Machinefabriek, performing a sound work inspired by Latvian writer Imants Ziedonis’ “Krāsainās pasakas” (Colour Tales). This performance is accompanied by visualizations from the Dutch design studio collective Lesley Moore, working with Latvian designer Zigmunds Lapsa. Special to Skaņu Mežs is the premiere of contemporary composer Santa Ratniece’s first work for non-classical instruments – namely, five guitars.
Continuing on October 12 in the Palladium concert hall is a rhythmic music night, where international dance and electronic music innovators like house music dissident Ital (Daniel Martin-McCormick), synthizer visionary Stellar Om Source, dubstep legend Kode9 (who works with the Red Bull Music Academy), American ‘dirty techno’ pioneer Container (Ren Schofield) and surreal vocalist Laurel Halo will honour you with their presence, as well as local talents Elvi & Dunian, Oriole and DJ Krii.
On October 13, Skaņu Mežs closes with a concert at the Anglican Church, where the public will be entertained by artists like American electronic cosmic dreamer Bee Mask (Chris Madak), who records with label Spectrum Spools, seductive Norwegian vocalist and composer Jenny Hval with the duet Nude on Sand and prominent fuzz guitar and electronic music creator Fennesz (Christian Fennesz), who will release his long-awaited new album next year.
Passes for the three festival days (October 11-13) are 16 lats through Biļešu Serviss, but are limited to 300 (due to the capacity of the Anglican Church). Passes for October 11-12 cost 14 lats. Passes are available only through pre-sale. Individual tickets for shows are 10 lats for October 11 and 12 and 7 lats for October 13. Passes are not accepted for the October 6 show, as the studio of Latvijas Radio 1 has only 150 seating places. Prices for door tickets will be higher.
We hope this program leaves room to add more acts we are still finding out about.
Skaņu Mežs is a partner of the European experimental music festival association European Cities of Advanced Sound. This network is supported by the European Union Culture Programme 2007-2013 and the Latvian Culture Ministry. The festival’s main commercial sponsor is iRobot.