In keeping with tradition, Skaņu Mežs will return to the Anglican Church for White Night 2015. This year, four performances of genre-wise diverse experimental music will be punctuated by „screenings” of the classic minimalist film by Anthony McCall – Line Describing a Cone. The minimalism of this „solid light” film will be mirrored by the musical performances, all of which – in various degrees and forms – demonstrante an influence of the minimalist movement. This will be a free-entry event.
The evening will be opened by the duo of improvisers Tony Bevan and Rhodri Davies. Even though they’ve played with each other before, their duo comes across as an interesting experiment, seeing as they both come from very different “schools” of improvised music.
In the early 1970s Tony Bevan started playing soprano saxophone, inspired by Captain Beefheart and Terry Riley. Lol Coxhill gave him his first lesson and a sense of the instrument’s potential. Subsequently Bevan has also taken up tenor and bass saxophones. After completing a philosophy degree at Southampton University, he participated in open sessions at the London Musicians Collective, where he met Steve Beresford and other second generation improvisors. Later Bevan became involved with the Oxford Improvisers Collective. In 1988 he played with Derek Bailey’s Company and issued his first CD on Incus. Bevan runs his own Foghorn label. In his performances, the bass saxophone now takes the lead role, and Bevan has been described by TimeOut magazine as „the world’s greatest improvising bass saxophonist”.
Free improviser and interpreter of contemporary music Rhodri Davies was born in 1971 in Aberystwyth, Wales and now lives in Gateshead in the northeast of England. He plays harp, electric harp, live-electronics and builds wind, water, ice and fire harp installations, and has releasedfour solo albums so far. New pieces for solo harp have been composed for him by: Eliane Radigue, Phill Niblock, Christian Wolff and Yasunao Tone. He was one of the most prominent members of the London reductionist school of improvised music that was active in the late 1990s and early 2000s and which has been described as being extremely influential over the last decade.
Charlemagne Palestine is a highly influential experimental American musician, composer, performer and visual artist. He creates intense, ritualistic music, which he refers to as “resonant music”, in contrast to the “minimal music” of his peers, Phillip Glass, Michael Nyman, Terry Riley and Steve Reich. With his piano and organ works, he has developed a highly individual aesthetic centered around layered overtones, and electronic drones, which build and change gradually, gently harmonising. He also makes use of a technique called “strumming”, where dense hypnotic rhythms are created by percussive repetition.
His performances are often shamanistic, and overtly spiritual in nature. Indeed music critic Brian March notes, “there’s a transcendent timelessness about Charlemagne Palestine’s music that makes me feel as if it will always be around.” At his event, Palestine will present his organ music performance Schlingen-Blängen.
Plapla Pinky are the French duo of Maxime Denuc and Raphaël Hénard, working between Paris, Brussels and Bucharest. As part of this White Night event, Plapla Pinky will give a world premiere to their new live show Raver Stay With Me, which is based on material from their latest EP Appel. Appel comes out of Denuc and Hénard’s interest in religious music, specifically Christian masses composed for church organs, and its potential links with rave culture. The scores for the EP were performed by the Belgian organist Cindy Castillo and recorded at l’église du Chant d’Oiseau, Brussels. Castillo will also be joining Plapla Pinky in this performance. Plapla Pinky are artists of the SHAPE platform for innovative music and audiovisual art.
Dubna is a project by Latvian musician Māris Butlers, also known as a member of the group PuseH/PuseW. His music is influenced by noise, EBM, synthwave and dub. While references to noise-unrelated genres ensure a certain level of accessability, the main process of Butlers’ music is working with “non-musical” sounds in a manner that provides them with very specific connotations, therefore ensuring a feeling of a narrative to the music.
The event is supported by Riga City Council, Trust for Mutual Understanding and the “Creative Europe” programme of the European Union.
Line-up: 21:00 Anthony McCall 21:40 Tony Bevan & Rhodri Davies 22:40 Charlemagne Palestine 23:40 Plapla Pinky & Cindy Castillo 00:30 Liudas Mockunas 01:20 Dubna 02:00 Anthony McCall
Tony Bevan, Rhodri Davies
21.00 Anthony McCall – Line Describing a Cone
21.40 Tony Bevan & Rhodri Davies
22.40 Plapla Pinky – Raver Stay with Me
23.20 Charlemagne Palestine – Schlingen-Blängen
0.40 Anthony McCall – Line Describing a Cone