Félicia Atkinson has joined the Skaņu Mežs 2021 line-up; she will perform on the concert evening of October 8. The workshop programme of the festival, including both online lectures and workshops at the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music, has also been revealed.
Félicia Atkinson is a French musician and artist born in 1981 in Paris. Her work deals with topics of deep listening, cut ups, silence, noise, and language and is a combination of improvisation and superimposed composition, as an abstract woven material, where the voice meets electronics, acoustic instruments, and field recordings. Her latest albums are Everything Evaporate (2020), The Flower and the Vessel (2019), Hand in Hand (2017) and A Readymade Ceremony (2015), as well as working with Jefre Cantu-Ledesma on Limpid As The Solitudes (2018) and Comme Un Seul Narcisse (2016), all released on Shelter Press.
She played recently at Berlin Atonal, Barbican in London, Semi Breve festival in Braga, Unsound Karkow, Le Guess Who Utrecht, ISSUE Project Room New York, Festival Presences Electroniques Paris and Zebulon Los Angeles.
Her appearance at Skaņu Mežs 2021 is supported by the French Institute in Latvia.
On September 29-30, Skaņu Mežs will conclude its online lecture series of 2021:
September 29, 16.00 EEST
Perpetual Frontier: The Properties of Free Music
Downbeat Magazine called guitarist Joe Morris, “the preeminent free music guitarist of his generation.” Will Montgomery, writing in WIRE magazine, called him, “one of the most profound improvisers at work in the U.S.” He was born in New Haven Connecticut in 1955. He began playing guitar at the age of 14 first playing rock music, progressing to blues, then to jazz, free jazz and free improvisation. He released his first record Wraparound (riti) in 1983. He has composed over 200 original pieces of music. In 2000 he began performing and recording on double bass in addition to guitar.
He has lectured and conducted workshops on his own music and on improvisation in Canada, Korea, Portugal, Northern Ireland, and Sweden and at Princeton University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Bard College, The University of the Arts, Virginia Commonwealth University, Mannes College of Music, University of Alberta, and University of Guelph. He was the recipient of the 2016 Killam Visiting Scholar Award at University of Calgary. He has taught at Tufts University, Southern Connecticut State University, Longy School of Music of Bard College, and New School. Since 2000 he has been on the faculty in the Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation Departments at New England Conservatory of Music. Morris is the author of the book, Perpetual Frontier: The Properties of Free Music (Riti Publishing 2012).
September 30, 16.00 EEST
Frances Marie Uitti
The Composer Cellist: an Informal Talk
Frances-Marie Uitti, composer/performer, pioneered a revolutionary dimension to the cello by transforming it for the first time into a polyphonic instrument capable of sustained chordal (two, three, and four-part) and intricate multivoiced writing. Using two bows in one hand, this invention permits contemporaneous cross accents, multiple timbres, contrasting 4-voiced dynamics, simultaneous legato vs articulated playing. György Kurtág, Luigi Nono, Giacinto Scelsi, Jonathan Harvey, Richard Barrett, Horatio Radulescu, Lisa Bielawa are among many who have used this technique in their works dedicated to her.
“…arguably the world’s most influentially experimental cellist.”
Tom Service, The Guardian
On October 8 and 9, artists of Skaņu Mežs 2021 will host workshops and lectures at the LMT Chamber Hall of the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music (Krišjāņa Barona 1):
October 8, 10:00
Alvin Curran – „Music Outside Concert Halls”
Synopsis of the lecture in the words of Curran himself: „It will be an overview of my extensive work creating music for musicians in large outdoor spaces, as well as installations using architecture, urban and suburban spaces as new forms of sonic-theater.
I will also demonstrate my collected library of thousands of sound-files- „Endangered Species” – which can be played directly from an 88 key midi keyboard. I might ask the students to create a spontaneous performance on this keyboard…”
Democratic, irreverent and traditionally experimental, Alvin Curran travels in a computerized covered wagon between the Golden Gate and the Tiber River, and makes music for every occasion with any sounding phenomena — a volatile mix of lyricism and chaos, structure and indeterminacy, fog horns, fiddles and fiddle heads. He is dedicated to the restoration of dignity to the profession of making non-commercial music as part of a personal search for future social, political and spiritual forms. Curran’s music-making embraces all the contradictions (composed/improvised, tonal/atonal, maximal/minimal…) in a serene dialectical encounter. His more than 200 works feature taped/sampled natural sounds, piano, synthesizers, computers, violin, percussion, shofar, ship horns, accordion and chorus. Whether in the intimate form of his well-known solo performances, or pure chamber music, experimental radio works or large-scale site-specific sound environments and installations, all forge a very personal language from all the languages through dedicated research and recombinant invention.
October 9, 11:00
Adam Matlock – „Borderless Cartography: The Scores of Anthony Braxton”
In this lecture, accordeonist, composer, educator, and current member of the Anthony Braxton Diamond Curtain Wall Trio Adam Matlock will give an overview of the various types of scores, used in Anthony Braxton’s music. Visual examples will be provided with the kind help of the Tri-Centric Foundation.
Anthony Braxton (born 1945), the Chicago-born composer and multi-instrumentalist, is recognized as one of the most important musicians, educators, and creative thinkers of the past 50 years. He is highly esteemed in the experimental music community for the revolutionary quality of his work and for the mentorship and inspiration he has provided to generations of younger musicians. Drawing upon a disparate mix of influences from John Coltrane to Karlheinz Stockhausen, Braxton has created a unique musical system that celebrates the concept of global creativity and our shared humanity. His work examines core principles of improvisation, structural navigation and ritual engagement – innovation, spirituality, and intellectual investigation.
At Skaņu Mežs, Braxton will perform with his Diamond Curtain Wall Trio featuring accordion player Adam Matlock and trumpet player Susana Santos Silva. They will perform his Diamond Curtain Wall Music as well as a new music type called „Lorraine”.
October 9, 12:30
JACK Quartet workshop
As part of this workshop, the members of the quartet will play music of their choice, followed by a discussion amongst the players, and a Q&A with the participants of the workshop.
Hailed by The New York Times as “our leading new-music foursome”, the JACK Quartet is one of the most acclaimed, renowned, and respected groups performing today. JACK has maintained an unwavering commitment to their mission of performing and commissioning new works, giving voice to underheard composers, and cultivating an ever-greater sense of openness toward contemporary classical music. Over the past season, they have been selected as Musical America’s 2018 “Ensemble of the Year”, named to WQXR’s “19 for 19 Artists to Watch”, and awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant. At Skaņu Mežs, JACK will perform works by Iannis Xenakis, Gyorgy Ligeti, John Zorn, Rodericus and Anthony Braxton.
Attendance to these events will be available only with a valid Covid-19 digital certificate, confirming that the visitor has been vaccinated against Covid-19, has tested negative or has recovered from Covid-19. Therefore the workshops may only be attended by persons 12 and up this year.
The lectures/workshops of Adam Matlock, JACK quartet and Alvin Curran are also supported by the SHAPE platform for innovative music and audiovisual art, co-funded by the „Creative Europe” programme of the European Union.
The Skaņu mežs festival is supported by the State Cultural Capital Fund, the Riga City Council, the Ministry of Culture, French Institute in Latvia, Goethe-Institut Riga, the Trust for Mutual Understanding Foundation, and the US Embassy. Media sponsors: Mūzikas Saule, Resonance FM, Latvian National Radio and Radio NABA. The sponsors of the festival are hotel Monika, iRobot and Valmiermuiža. Skaņu mežs is a member of the international network ICAS (International Cities of Advanced Sound).