On October 6, Skaņu Mežs festival for adventurous music will hold a free-entry opening event at the art museum Riga Bourse. The line-up features experimental vocalist and performance artist Eartheater, legendary Lithuanian free improvising drummer Vladimir Tarasov, experimental rhythmic music producer N1L, dark ambient project Daina Dieva and ReDo who will perform Russian composer Dmitri Kourliandski’s third string quartet „Dolce Stil Nuovo”.
The composer Dmitri Kourliandski (b.1976) wrote the piece Dolce Stil Nuovo for a string quartet especially for the Latvian Centenary. The premiere took place in July in the Great Amber concert hall in Liepāja. The work is performed by the quartet ReDo – Konstantīns Paturskis (violin), Kristiāna Ozoliņa (violin), Dāvis Sliecāns (viola), Pēteris Ozoliņš (cello). Alongside Sergei Nevsky, Boris Filanovsky and Vladimir Rannev, the Moscowborn Kurlyandsky is one of the best known members of StRes/Structural Resistance (СоМа/Cопротивление Материала), a Russian group of composers. StRes is one of the most notable organizations for contemporary music in Russia. It has systematically built an audience and created a cultural space for radical, contemporary music in their native country, and during its existence have managed have managed to establish a bond between the music scene and art institutions and theatre. Kurlyandsky received the Gaudeamus International Composers Award in 2003. Other notable composers to have received this award since 1957 include the important 20th century composers Per Norgard, Pauline Oliveros, Unsuk Chin, Louis Andriessen, Vinko Globokar and Richard Barrett.
Nat Hentoff (Wall Street Journal) describes Vladimir Tarasov as a master of decorative brushwork, „a drummer of rare subtlety and cunning, who takes sensual delight in the very touch of his extensive array of instruments, from finger chimes to cymbals.” From 1971 to 1986, Tarasov was a member of the well-known contemporary jazz trio – GTC/The Ganelin Trio. With the Trio and many other artists and orchestras he has recorded more than 100 records and CDs including numerous solo performances. He has written music for orchestras, film, and theatre: Staatstheater, Stuttgart – 1995, Majestic Theater at The Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York – 1995; Josef Nadj Centre Choreographique National Orleans, Orleans – 1998, 2004; Theatre Vidy- Lausanne, Meierhold Centre, Moskow – 2003, Arte France, Paris – 2006, Eudeka Media, Poland, Yleisradio, Finland – 2009, etc. Vladimir Tarasov has performed with such musicians as Andrew Cyrille, the Rova Saxophone Quartet, Anthony Braxton, Lauren Newton, Butch Morris, Thomas Stanko, Gyorgy Szabados, Masahiko Satoh, among others.
N1L is the solo moniker of Martins Rokis, the sound artist and producer from Riga, currently based in Berlin. N1L intersects eclectic influences and backgrounds with genre fluid club music, abstract sound design, noir psychedelia and intense alien soundscapes. So far he has released on UIQ, Where to Now records and W – I. His latest Water Memory EP was released on Opal Tapes on June 7 this year and was compared to similarly envelope-pushing acts like Arca, Rabit and Ziur with violent, almost industrial treatments mixed with moments that you could almost describe as beautiful. Latest activities also include sound tracks for contemporary dance pieces by choreographer Sergiu Matis, performance in Berlin Atonal festival and remix for Mhysa (Halcyon Veil). N1L is an artist of the SHAPE platform for innovative music and audiovisual art from Europe.
Daina Dieva is a one-woman sound project from Lithuania. Meticulously composed pieces for her live performances offer a trip that oscillates between silences and drone-scapes, interweaving voice, guitar passages, flutes, bells, and occasionally other live instruments, layered field-recording based sounds and digitally constructed sequences. Daina’s sound is most likely informed and inspired by her interest in industrial, otherworldly, sub/non/trans-human, environmental, dystopian, cinematic, and natural as well as other issues of the body the soul. With her first release in 2009 on a net-label, she remains eclectic in her choice of release formats, often contributing to compilation cassettes, online projects or fundraiser-albums. She is open to collaborative processes; hence her sound practice extends towards soundtracks for video, installation, performance, as well as live sound for contemporary dance.
Eartheater (aka Queens based artist Alexandra Drewchin) once described as “a pop renegade in search for truth” distills foley-filled digital production, a three-octave vocal range, and classical composition into works suspended between obsessively detailed sonic tapestries and almost recklessly romantic and gestural electronica. A body of viscerally emotive live performance stands alongside her recorded output, realized by her fearless physical investment and gut-wrenching vocal sincerity. She actively performs in the band Guardian Alien and has been performing solo under the name Eartheater since 2009. Her music has been released on Thrill Jockey and Hausu Mountain. IRISIRI, Eartheater’s third full-length record, lays out a shifting network of abstract song craft, laced with sudden structural upheavals and collisions of mutated tropes from numerous sonic vocabularies. The transmuting landscape of IRISIRI is riddled with evocative poetry and evidence of Drewchin’s development as an artist. She has just finished composing work for the contemporary chamber orchestra, Alarm Will Sound that had a debut in May 2018. Her new live set sees her accompanied by the concert harpist Marilu Donovan.
This event is organized in collaboration with art museum Riga Bourse.
Skaņu Mežs happens on October 12 and 13 at music hall „Daile” with an opening event on October 6.