Skaņu Mežs’2015 announces full program

Riga’s Skaņu Mežs festival for adventurous music and related arts is having its lucky 13th edition on October 2, 9 and 10. After announcing such acts as Squarepusher, James Holden and Paal Nilssen-Love, the festival is now announcing its full three-day-long program of concerts and workshops.



The first concert evening of the festival will take place at the Palladium concert hall on October 2, and it will be largely devoted to rhythmic music and experiments within this field. Performances by Warp Records’ classic Squarepusher and Diagonal Records’ Powell, producer of dirty-sounding, abrasive and sometimes confusing techno, will be complimented with a string of acts from the newly formed SHAPE platform for innovative music and audiovisual art. These acts include: trance music deconstructionist Lorenzo Senni, Hungarian computer music composer Gabor Lazar, Latvian experimental techno project N1L, Portugal’s afro-house star DJ Nigga Fox and Pasajera Oscura – a collaborative project of Chra and Irradiation.

The festival will then continue on the next weekend – it will change the venue to music hall “Daile”, a former movie house, now transformed into a concert venue. Unlike the first evening of the festival, these last two will be stylistically quite diverse, ranging from contemporary composition and free improvisation to noise rock and avant-pop within one evening.

Peter Brötzmann, Steve Noble

Steve Noble, Peter Brötzmann

October 9 will see Peter Brötzmann, the German pioneer of European free improvisation, return to the festival with one of his recently formed groups – a quartet with Chicago vibraphone player Jason Adasiewiczwhich also features John Edwards and Steve Noble – London’s leading bass/drums tandem. Also, Zs, whom The New York Times described as “one of the strongest avant-garde bands in New York”, will have their first ever show in the Baltic states. Another guest of this evening is Christoph Heemann, whose compositions have often been described as “ear-movies”, in which he fuses field recordings, acoustic instruments, electronics, and electro-acoustic sounds into audio narratives. The Norwegian quartet Lemur will present their own unique version of improvised music, drawing from the fields of noise and contemporary music. Norwegian singer Stine Janvin Motland will present her solo show In Labour, which sees her equipped with a wireless microphone, and improvising whilst moving throughout the venue, followed by electronic musician Ame Zek – also a SHAPE artist. Finally, the composer and virtuoso pianist Frederic Rzewski – one of the strongest personalities to have come out of the American avant-garde of the 60’s – will play some of his own compositions. The evening will be wrapped up with a performance by the mysterious experimental techno producer Rrose.”
October 10 will welcome the British DJ and producer James Holden onstage with his three-piece band and a show based on his critically acclaimed second album The Inheritors, named by Mojo Magazine and The Wire as of the best releases of 2013. Norwegian singer-songwriter Susanna Wallumrød, known as Susanna, will perform her eerie, low-key songs, followed by a duo of improvised music heavyweights, who haven’t played together in ten years: the British saxophonist John Butcher, recipient of the Paul Hamlyn Award, and Paal Nilssen-Love, who, in the beginning of this year, was hailed by The Guardian as “one of the world’s best drummers”. The improvised part of the evening will also feature Swiss percussionist Christian Wolfarth. A dimension of contemporary composition will be represented by a performance of Jakob Ullmann’s work by Dafne Vicente-Sandoval, Molly McDolan and Ellen Fallowfield. A new piece by Latvian composer and visual artist Voldemārs Johansons will be performed by Rolf-Erik Nystrøm, and will feature electronic treatment of sounds, provided by improviser Frode GjerstadHild Sofie Tafjord will perform her solo show, equipped with French horn and electronics.

As part of the festival, a commissioned installation by Norwegian artist Jana Winderen will be exhibited at the National Library of Latvia.

Information:, tickets –

This edition of the festival also includes activities from the project „Experimental music lighthouses: Riga – Tromsø”, a collaboration with the Norwegian festival Insomnia. The project benefits from a 99 000 € grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA Grants.
Skaņu Mežs is a member of the SHAPE (Sound, Heterogenous Art and Performance in Europe) platform for innovative music and audiovisual art.

Skaņu Mežs’2014 is supported by EU programme “Creative Europe”, Riga City Council, Latvian State Endowment for Arts (VKKF), Trust for Mutual Understanding, Austian Embassy in Riga, iRobot, Red Bull Music Academy, Kolonna hotel group and Valmiermuiža beer.

Media partners: TVNET, Delfi, Latvian National Radio, Rīgas Laiks, Mūzikas Saule, VETO Magazine, Ir,,,, Kultūras Diena, Studija and Boom.FM.

Full list of artists:

October 2.



Lorenzo Senni

Gábor Lázár

DJ Nigga Fox


Pasajera Oscura

October 9.

Frederic Rzewski

Peter Brötzmann, Jason Adasiewicz, John Edwards, Steve Noble



Christoph Heemann

Ame Zek


Stine Janvin Motland

October 10.

James Holden (Live)


John Butcher & Paal Nilssen-Love

Jakob Ullmann

Christian Wolfarth

Hild Sofie Tafjord

Voldemārs Johansons featuring Frode Gjerstad & Rolf-Erik Nystrøm

1/2h 1/2w

Jana Winderen

Full list of workshops and lectures

Four workshops and lectures by guests of the Skaņu Mežs festival will be organized at the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music.

As part of the SHAPE project:

Free improvisation workshop by upright bass player John Edwards (October 9)

Lecture by composer Jakob Ullmann (October 9)

Lecture by pianist and composer Frederic Rzewski (October 8)

As part of “Experimental music lighthouses”:

Free improvisation workshop with the ensemble LEMUR (October 9)

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