In collaboration with the Norwegian festival Insomnia, the experimental music festival Skaņu mežs has started work on LYRA, a project for kids and teens that is supported by the EEA Grants and Norway Grants funded by Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway. The first project activity is Latvian Beasts, an audio-visual joint work created by composer Linda Leimane, director Mārtiņš Grauds and director Sabīne Moora based on the eponymous collection of stories by Inese Zandere. It will be presented on 25 September at 13:00 at Hanzas Perons Culture Centre. Admission is free. It will be followed by listening masterclasses in Riga, Liepaja and Daugavpils.
In Latvian Beasts, five stories for kids written by the contemporary Latvian writer Inese Zandere were told in audio and visual form. In the winter of 2022, composer Linda Leimane was in an apartment where by chance she discovered this captivatingly designed book for kids Latvian Beasts, whose concept was authored by the artist Mārtiņš Grauds. In the summer of 2022, inspired by the book’s texts and visuals, Linda Leimane and Mārtiņš Grauds joined forces to work on a new joint work in a project named LYRA, recreating the book for the pleasure of kids with the help of audio rhythms and cinematographic sound effects, and enhancing the experience through live movement and games involving shadows. In 2009, not far from Madona, this unique book project was photographed with the help of a whole team of actors, costume artists, photographers and directors. This summer, Linda Leimane and Mārtiņš Grauds met deep in the forest by the River Ārona in order to capture the sounds described in the book and to create a joint work – a unique soundtrack for an audio-visual work for the LYRA concert project for kids.
The project title LYRA is a fusion of two words – the Norwegian word “lytte” (“to listen”) and the Latvian word “radīt” (“to create”). The result is LYRA – a reference to both the ancient musical instrument and the northern hemisphere constellation of stars.
Composer Linda Leimane’s (1989) creative interests are focused on the phenomenon of gesture and physicality in sound. Her body of work includes stage compositions, as well as compositions for orchestras, ensembles and soloists, in addition to which she experiments with electronic music and collaborates with other media artists. Linda Leimane’s works have been performed in Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, France, Italy, Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, United States and Australia. In 2022 her electronic music was presented at an online festival organized by the SHAPE platform and Crack Magazine.
Mārtiņš Grauds (1973) is a director, cameraman and photographer. He studied at the Riga Video Centre 1st Actors’ Studio, Tallinn University’s Baltic Film and Media School in Boris Frumin’s Directing Masterclass. He is the Chairman of the Board of TANKA Film Studio, has directed hundreds of TVCs and music videos, and has received a new of Music Recording Annual Awards, AdWards and other awards. One of most notable recent works is the JRT series The Agency in which Mārtiņš was involved as a cameraman-stager and editing director.
In his creative work, Grauds regularly turns to photography. His photo album Lūkot ies (Neputns) was published in 2006 and contains his collected impressions of trips to Laos, Cambodia, India, China and Nepal. His photographs have also featured in theatre productions including Tango (Daile Theatre, M. Gruzdovs, 2004) and Cemetery Festival (JRT, A. Hermanis, 2010). The latter was later published in a book Cemetery Festival – Coming Together (Neputns, 2016).
Following the presentation of this work in Riga, it will be presented in Norway, while the Tromsø festival Insomnia will arrange for a joint work by musicians Jenny Berger Myhre and video artist Annie Bielski to be performed in Riga.
First masterclasses in the LYRA project
Skaņu mežs invites kids aged 7 to 12 years to take part in the following Constructive Listening Workshops:
- Daugavpils, 28 September at 16.00, Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Centre (Mihaila Street 3, Daugavpils);
- Riga, 29 September at 16.00, NOASS Art Centre (AB dambis, Riga);
- Liepaja, 30 September at 16.00, Pegaza Courtyard Cultural Venue (Kuršu Street 20, Liepaja).
Using a teaching approach to the process of listening and experiencing unusual ways of making music, the goal of the workshop is to help to develop its participants’ understanding of sound as an exciting phenomenon. Participants will be encouraged to listen to their environment, to recordings and themselves, to learn concepts and the dynamics allowing them to perceive sound as a means of expression and audacity. In this workshop, the accent is placed on ways of creating new music, new creative solutions and worlds.
The workshops will be run by Filipe Felizardo (Portugal), musician, visual artist and thinker who has been conducting music teaching activities since 2011.
Age of participants: 7-12 years.
No. of participants: up to 12 participants per seminar.
Duration: 2.5 hours to 3 hours
Participation – free of charge.
The seminar will be held in English with translation. No previous musical experience is required.
Application in free from by e-mail to: email@example.com or calling: +371 27485473.
LYRA receives grants in the amount of EUR 206,256.00 within the framework of the EEA Grants and Norway Grants funded by Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway. The project aims to introduce kids and teenagers to experimental music and to get them involved in its creation. As it is democratic and non-hierarchical in essence, experimental music gives trained and untrained kids the chance to take part in making music. Since the project crosses social and ethnic divides, it is also socially inclusive.
Total LYRA eligible costs: EUR 202,510.00, European Economic Area financial instrument programme Local Development, Poverty Reduction and Culture Cooperation support sum: 85% or EUR 85,000.00, of which:
European Economic Area financial instrument co-financing: 85% or EUR 175,317.60;
State Budget co-financing: 15% or EUR 30,938.40.