KTL cancelled; three performances added to the festival program

The 19th edition of Skaņu Mežs festival for innovative music will take place on October 9 and 10 at concert hall Hanzas Perons (16a Hanzas street) with a free-entry opening event on October 2 at event space Fantadroms (74a Gustava Zemgala street, building „Heinrihs”). Tickets can be purchased at www.bilesuserviss.lv; one-day tickets costs 15 EUR, whereas a two-day pass costs 23 EUR. Due to public safety measures during the Coronavirus pandemic, all the concerts will be seated, and a limited number of tickets will be available.

Program changes and additions

The program of the festival has been revealed in a previous announcement, yet some cahnges have been made to it: the performance of KTL is cancelled, and three new acts have been added – NPVR (Peter Rehberg and Nik Void), Nadah El Shazly and Liudas Mockūnas with Arvydas Kazlauskas.

The performance of 19 Gadi Pirms Sākuma has been moved from October 9 to October 10.

NPVR is moniker taken on board by PITA AKA Peter Rehberg and Factory Floor’s Nik Void. 33 33 is their debut recording. Peter and Nik both share formidable reputations in the post industrial shape-shifting world of sound and form with a vast range of releases and collaborative endeavours over a number of years. Together they tie together their collective experience into a vast array of sonic devices unleashing an album of pragmatic imbalance and psychedelic orientation. Blurring the lines of techno, ambient, avant garde, noise etc.

Nadah El Shazly is an Egyptian singer and composer living and working in Cairo.

Starting out singing Misfits covers in a local punk band, then moving onto producing her own electronic tracks and making a name for herself in Cairo’s underground scene, Nadah El Shazly’s backstory is not that unusual. Her debut album, released on Nawa Records in November 2017, on the other hand, is an entirely unexpected story.

Two years in the making, Ahwar (Arabic for marshlands) is an otherworldly record, not unlike an abstract mythological story-tale. Opening with the mangled and filtered vocals of the album’s lead track Afqid Adh-Dhakira (I Lose Memory) like an alien dream, the drones of a bowed double bass lead us into a drum groove that lays the groundwork for El Shazly’s sultry and captivating presence, singing: “(I am) coming, from a time far away. Going, escaping. Alone in the wilderness”.

El Shazly’s concert is organized as part of the Skaņu Mežs-intiated project REMAIIN (Radical European Music and its Intercultural Nature) – a project that investigates non-European cultural influences on the experimental, avant-garde and innovative music of the present and the past. It is supported by the „Creative Europe” programme of the EU.

Liudas Mockūnas is one of the leading free jazz saxophonists in Lithuania. He plays an impressive array reed instruments and has performed with – among others – Barry Guy, William Hooker and  Agustí Fernández. At Skaņu Mežs he will perform a duo concert with Latvia-based Lithuanian saxophonist Arvydas Kazlauskas, who is an important force in the local contemporary  music scene, having premiered works by such composers as Andris Dzenītis, Linda Leimane and Rolands Kronlaks. Kazlauskas ir also a member of the live eletronics quartet Woodpecker Project. This concert is organized in collaboration with Latvian jazz label Jersika Records, which will publish the duo’s debut album „At the Peat Amphitheater „Solstice”” early 2021.

Workshop programme

The workshop programme of „Skaņu Mežs 2020” has also been revealed. It consists of three events, all taking place at the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music, more precisely the LMT Chamber Hall (Raiņa bldv. 23, Riga). The workshops will be hosted by: Hungarian-American saxophonist, composer and artist André Vida whose workshop topic is „Rehabilitating the Corporeal”; radical minimalist and member of the Wandelweiser collective of composers and instrumentalists Radu Malfatti; drummer, percussionist, electronic musician and vocalist Jason Kahn, who will give a masterclass in non-ideomatic improvisation.

Full list of workshops:

October 2, 12:00 André Vida

October 9, 12:00 Jason Kahn

October 10, 13:30 Radu Malfatti

The workshops are being organized in collaboration with the SHAPE platform for iinovative music, supported by the „Creative Europe” programme of the EU and the  State Culture Capital Foundation. Workshops of Jason Kahn and André Vida are also supported by the US Embassy in Latvia.

Skaņu Mežs festival is supported by the Ministry of Culture of Latvia, State Culture Capital Foundation, the Municipality of Riga, Creative Europe, Trust for Mutual Understanding, Goethe Institute in Riga, US Embassy in Riga, as well as iRobot, Valmiermuiža and Red Bull Music. Skaņu Mežs is also a member of I.C.A.S., an international network of festivals, devoted to adventurous sound.

And updated programme of the festival can be found below:


October 2, Fantadroms, 20:00

Music journalist Martina Seeber’s talk on Giacinto Scelsi***

Sonoskop Ensemble play Giacinto Scelsi***


Ieva Parša sings „Hô” by Giacinto Scelsi***

André Vida & Rashad Becker

Rrill Bell (SHAPE)*

Woodpecker Project


October 9, Hanzas Perons, 18:00

George Lewis – „Blombos Workshop”, world premiere by Agnese Egliņa

Marina Rosenfeld & Ben Vida – „Leaving”, world premiere (artists not present)

Nadah El Shazly***

Kinlaw & Franco Franco

Jay Glass Dubs (SHAPE)*

Oren Ambarchi & crys cole

Clausthome & Mārtiņš Ratniks


Liudas Mockūnas & Arvydas Kazlauskas


October 10, Hanzas Perons, 18:00

NPVR (Peter Rehnberg & Nik Colk Void)

Radu Malfatti

Jason Kahn

Ashley Paul & Otto Willberg


19 Gadi Pirms Sākuma**



*Artists of the SHAPE platform for innovative music and audiovisual art, co-supported by the „Creative Europe” programme of the European Union and the Latvian Ministry of Culture.

** This act is part of the UM-SCENE project, which has received grants from the European
Union’s “Creative Europe” programme and the Latvian Ministry of Culture.

*** This act is part of the REMAIIN project, which has received grants from the European
Union’s “Creative Europe” programme and the Latvian Ministry of Culture. Read more about the project here – https://www.remaiin.eu.


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