Riga, Latvia’s Skaņu Mežs festival for adventurous music will happen October 4-5, 2024. Portland avant-garde music ensemble Smegma is the first confirmed act. Limited amount of early bird tickets/festival passes will be available till the end of October at www.bilesuserviss.lv/ for only 30 EUR.
Music writer Giovanni Panetta describes Smegma in the following words: “Smegma is a band with free-noise-outsider musicians from Portland, Oregon; even if those main characters originated from the collective of weird, music and art performers of Los Angeles Free Music Society; it was formed in 1972, Pasadena, and then moved to Portland in the few following years. LAFMS organized music and visual performances, workshops, art installations, etc in the name of art-damaging attitude, over-passing a certain ’60 idealism with a proto-punk, nihilistic way. But if that collective had certain avant-arty pretentions, some of that collaborator, like Smegma more properly, have more extemporaneous intentions, playing with visceral free improvisations and outsider sounds, without not professional performer and music writer, especially with a suburban creativity.”
In 2023 Skaņu Mežs held its 21st edition, consisting of 32 concerts, 3 sound installations and 9 workshops/lectures. It was headlined by Berlin-based duo Amnesia Scanner.
“Under The Radar Magazine” characterized this festival edition as “sudden, challenging and adventurous” as well as “full of wonders”. Meanwhile, German newspaper “Tagesspiegel” emphasized the respectful way in which the festival presents the work of its participants, and lauded its unwillingness to “to lull you or anesthetize you with clichés”. “For 20 years now, Skaņu Mežs has been exploring the limits of what can be said with sound, and, doing so, has managed to reach a wide audience,” writes the newspaper.
Chris Bohn’s review of the event will be published in next month’s issue of The Wire Magazine.
In 2024, the festival will return with central events on October 4-5, a free entry opening event and an extensive workshop and lecture program.
Skaņu Mežs is a member of the SHAPE+ platform for innovative music and audiovisual art as well as the project tekhnē, supported by the European Union and the Latvian Ministry of Culture.
Previous edition of Skaņu Mežs festival was supported by the State Cultural Capital Fund, Danish Cultural Institute, Riga City Council, the Latvian Ministry of Culture, Goethe-Institut Lettland, Danish Cultural Institute, Trust for Mutual Understanding, and the Nordic Culture Point. Sponsors of the festival are Valmiermuiža and Very Berry.
Media partners were TVNET, Satori, Mūzikas Saule, Kultūras Diena, Rīgas Laiks, Radio NABA, Ir, and Latvian Radio.
Skaņu Mežs is a member of the international network ICAS (International Cities of Advanced Sound) and the Northern European music festival network NERDS (North European Resonance and Dissonance Society).