Liudas Mockūnas is one of today’s leading Lithuanian Free jazz musicians in Europe, a composer and a lecturer at the Jazz Department of the Lithuanian Academy of Mu-sic and Theater. He has played with such a great masters of this genre as Barry Guy, William Hooker, Vladimir Tarasov and Agustí Fernández. Arvydas Kazlauskas is a Lithuanian saxophonist living in Latvia, who is considered to be a significant personali-ty of the Latvian contemporary music scene. A. Kazlausks has performed as a soloist with the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, the Lithuanian State Symphony Or-chestra, the State Chamber Orchestra Sinfonietta Rīga and the Professional Wind Orchestra Rīga. Member of the free improvisation and jazz trio Endless Roar and as-sistant professor at the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music.
The session took place in two parts. The first record captures the free improvisation of the Lithuanian musicians in the autumnal splendour of the Latvian marsh, while the second record contains a concert that took place in an amphitheater made of peat, named Saulgrieži [Solstice], which was created by artist Janis Gutans-Grass. It is constructed as a meditative labyrinth with its entrance to the east and exit to the west. The titles of the compositions are listed in three languages – Latvian, Lithuanian and Old Prussian – thus attempting to linguistically get a feel for the unifying way that the Baltic nations percieve the world.
“It’s been a long time I had a dream to record in the nature with natural acoustics. The proposal from Jersika Records came just in the right time and the place we did it was as natural and as surreal as it could be, just perfect for two horn players to plunge into the wild.” tells Liudas Mockūnas.
“Even though I have known Liudas for many years, our musical paths crossed for the first time here in this special place. Like every visit to nature, the experience was non-binding, inspiring, and pleasantly strange at the same time. I hope the listener will en-joy this musical journey as much as we did in creating it.” tells Arvydas Kazlauskas.
“The duo’s euphoric sound world, where they unabashedly demonstrate their insatia-ble experimental spirit and cast spells with sound, sometimes sounds more like a kind of tribal ritual than a musical performance. It is filled with such a rich trance that if you are looking for the thrill of performance technique or the sympathy of improvisation, you might be bewildered. However, if you listen to this music with an image of vast grasslands and marshes in your mind, you will find that it is a blessing similar to the bountiful blessings of nature. The cover photo is an aerial view of a peat amphithea-ter, reminiscent of the Coliseum in ancient Rome or Amaterasu’s Amanoiwato (Gate of the Celestial Rock Cave in ancient Japanese legend). It is said that the origin of music performance was in the songs and dances that accompanied the rituals of shamanistic beliefs. The duo performance by two improvising saxophonists to awak-en ancient memories and sleeping spirits must be an attempt to reclaim the original form of music.” wrote Takeshi Goda on JazzToyko.
The album PURVS was recorded on September 15 and 16, 2020. The Recording en-gineer is Mārtiņš Krastiņš, but photographs of photographers Okskars Upenieks, An-na Ceipe and Vila Muhametšins have been used in the design of the cover of the al-bum.
The presentation concert of this album took place at Skaņu Mežs 2020.
Liudas Mockūnas / Arvydas Kazlauskas skaņdarba “Zilās sūnas” video:
2LP / DIGITAL on https://jersikarecords.bandcamp.com/album/purvs