SABIWA and bela to perform in Riga in May

Riga, Latvia’s Skaņu Mežs association for adventurous music continues its concert series “1 – 2 cauri!” with two concerts in May, featuring SABIWA and bela – both events are organized in collaboration with the EU-supported SHAPE+ platform for innovative music and audiovisual art, and will see the artists present new performances, developed with Riga-based visual artists and musicians.

Concert series “1 – 2 cauri!” is supported by the Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia and Riga City Council. Tickets to each event cost 10 EUR on and 15 EUR at the entrance.

On May 22, SABIWA will perform with Posverdad Trax and Sarma Gabrēna. The concert starts at 20:00. The venue: bar “Aleponija” (Ernesta Birznieka-Upīša street 22).

SABIWA is an experimental audiovisual performer. In her compositions, she manipulates and fragments the source material to the point of it becoming unrecognizable, leading to mesmerizing and transcendental new dimensions of sound. Drawing inspiration from ancient music that imitates nature, she incorporates her own voice, drawing from the musical traditions of the native tribes of Taiwan, resulting in a remarkable psychedelic narrative. She collaborates with numerous forward-thinking artists and musicians. Her live performances encompass various formats, including Live A/V shows with single or multi-projections, installations, and body performances.

Posverdad Trax is the computer music project of Andrejs Zālītis, previously known for his participation in projects PuseH PuseW, Pro Statik, Andriksons and Streets of Sex. “The Neutral Sin”, Posverdad Trax’ debut album, was published in 2020 by Opal Tapes. When asked for a bio text, Zālītis submitted an incomprehensible blurb, facilitated either by brain trauma or AI. It shall not be published here.

Sarma Gabrēna a.k.a. Sarma is a “sound witch”, currently collaborating with performance artists, writers and other musicians, and is a part of one of a kind band Grab.
She strongly believes that it’s all about the energy, honesty and true nature of humans. She plays different genres of music, learns a new instrument if the idea calls for a new sound and collaborates with people who seem to share that idea. She creates spaces for us to just be in, breathe and let our inner critics go quiet for a moment. Note for the listener – it’s totally ok, if you close your eyes and drift away. This is a perfect time for not thinking.

On May 23, bela will perform with Līga Stibe and Eleonora Kampe. The concert starts at 20:00. The venue: cultural space “Smilga” (Eduarda Smiļģa street 34A).

bela is a musician and a performance artist based in Berlin. On stage, bela growls through a diary of poems and slogans over a composition of electronic pungmul music. bela reclaims the depths of queerness and miscommunication through the process of a ceremony where celebration of club sounds meet their vision of Korean folk music.

bela’s debut album “Noise and Cries 굉​음​과 울음” was co-released by the label Subtext and the Unsound festival on April 12. Of it, The Quietus’ Jon Buckland writes the following: “Having combined traditional elements with modern modes of technology previously, this is the first time, however, that bela’s voice has featured on a recording. And what a voice. [..] They aren’t performing beautiful scales with fluttering trills, nor are they holding a high note longer than a pearl diver holds their breath. Their voice is grisly. Nasty, even. At times it sounds like Turkmenistan’s Gates of Hell has developed half a larynx and is attempting to croon its way into our good books.”

Eleonora Kampe a.k.a. eleOnora is an Estonian-Latvian singer and avant-garde vocalist. She works both as a solo artist and in collaborative projects that include free improvisation duos Tencu/eleOnora, Road To Saturn and avant/psych blues duo Ringhold. In her abstract voice work she displays a large palette of vocal textures melted into noise like free improvised soundscapes. Her stage presence has often been described as hypnotizing with moods varying from gentle to disturbing.

Līga Stibe works with analogue and digital photography, and utilizes photograms as well as found pictures, film reels and objects. She is interested in the borders between the private and the public, the intimate and the distanced. Her current focus is experimentation with sculptural forms and materiality within photo works.

This trio performance will be special in that it will have no amplification. It will explore the opposition of the private and the public, transformed into dissonant, fictional stories, forming an association with the concept of “unheimlich” defined by Freud, where the well-known becomes numbingly frightening and the border between fantasy and reality blurs. The two performers will generate noise using their voices and breaths to embody the memory held by the found objects, re-inviting them back from the forgotten. The sounds generated will be recorded and added onto the pre-embedded memories of the objects for the duration of the exhibition.
As visual sound objects interact with performative voice and movement, viewers will be encouraged to think about belonging, roots and memory of place.

Residencies and exhibitions in Madona

Both SABIWA and bela are participating artists of the SHAPE+ platform for innovative music and interdisciplinary art. Their aforementioned performances in Riga will be the result of week-long residencies in Madona in collaboration with the art organization MABOCA and its gallery MABOCA GALLERY VISUMA CENTER 2 (Poruka Street 4, Madona). The first two outputs of these residencies – a performance and an exhibition from each – will be presented at said gallery on May 18. You can find more info here:

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