Skaņu Mežs announces lectures and workshops by Murail, Maneri, Basinski

„Skaņu Mežs 2018” announces its discourse program, featuring a lecture by „spectral” composer Tristan Murail, a workshop by microtonal improvisation viola player Mat Maneri and a Q/A session with ambient music composer William Basinski. All events will happen at the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of music. Entry is free of charge.

The schedule of the festival’s discourse program is as follows:

Lecture on methods of spectralism by Tristan Murail – October 4, 15:00, LMT chamber hall;
Mat Maneri’s microtonal improvisation workshop – October 11, 12:00, room 328;
Public interview with William Basinski (moderated by musicologist Dāvis Eņģelis) – October 13, 15:00, Čē bar.

The leading exponent of so-called “spectral” music, Tristan Murail has done more than any other living composer, not only to challenge accepted ways of writing music, but to redefine our understanding of the very nature of musical material itself. Returning to the fundamental acoustic properties of sound for his inspiration, Murail has invented (or simply discovered) a musical world of huge originality and often disconcerting strangeness. But for all his work’s theoretical novelty and sophistication, his overwhelming interest in harmony, sonority and musical colour places him firmly in the line of great French composers stretching back through Boulez to Messiaen, Ravel and Debussy. Among Murail’s awards are the Prix de Rome (presented by the French Académie des beaux-arts in 1971), the Grand Prix du Disque (1990), and the Grand Prix du Président de la République, Académie Charles Cros (1992).

Mat Maneri, a leading improvisational voice of his generation, was born in Brooklyn in 1969. He began studying the violin at the age of five, but since borrowing a viola for a jam session at the 1998 ECM festival in Badenweiler, he has made the viola his instrument of choice. Important influences on Maneri’s work include Baroque music (which he studied with Juilliard String Quartet co-founder Robert Koff), Elliott Carter, and the Second Viennese School of Schoenberg, Berg and Webern, which was also of central importance to his father, the late, great saxophonist, clarinettist, composer and educator Joe Maneri. Of his studies with Koff, Mat Maneri has said: “Studying Baroque music helped me to find my sound. [Koff] brought me into the world of contrapuntal playing and a way of using the bow that sounded more like a trumpet, like Miles, to my mind.”

William Basinski is a classically trained musician and composer who has been working in experimental media for over 25 years in NYC. His haunting and melancholy soundscapes explore the temporal nature of life, resounding with the reverberations of memory and the mystery of time. His epic 4-disc masterwork, “The Disintegration Loops”, received international critical acclaim and was chosen as one of the top 50 albums of 2004 by Pitchfork Media. The Temporary Residence deluxe LP box-set reissue from 2012 was awarded best re-issue of the year and a score of 10 on Pitchfork.

All of the aforementioned artists will also be performing at Skaņu Mežs festival on October 12 and 13.

The Skaņu Mežs discourse program is supported by the State Culture Capital Foundation as well as SHAPE platform, which is co-funded by EU’s „Creative Europe” programme. Basinski and Maneri’s activities are also supported by the US embassy and Trust for Mutual Understanding.

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