Monday, 18 February 2013

Latvia VIII: Young Composers

"It is most difficult to create music without involving it with your personal grief, national sufferings, political intrigues, or illustrative scenes. It is a discussion concerning the ecology of the soul. Sounds should speak about external processes, of beauty and the laws of physics, about the untouchable and that which is not possible to explain in words." (Andris Dzenitis) 
In an earlier post, I pontificated about the apparent dearth of avant-garde music from Latvia. Well, a bit of digging around shows that there is an avant-garde tendency in Latvia after all. The tendency has been gathering pace over the last decade and is leading some of the younger generation of the country's composers away from the 'holy minimalist', 'neo-romantic' and 'nationalist' trends that have been the dominant elements in the music of the older generation towards music that draws its inspiration from the post-war Western European avant-gardists. Now that anti-modernist Soviet censorship is history and the urgent imperatives of national liberation have been satisfied, it seems to be the case that some young Latvian composers feel free to follow their own creative urges - as you can see from the quote above from Andris Dzenitis. Perhaps (adding a further layer of speculation), the country's entry into the European Union has encouraged this new outward-looking, pan-European spirit. And now a question: Is the avant-garde in Europe, which has been under threat from the tsunami of 'new tonality' for a couple of decades now, receiving a fresh lease of life from the East?  

Here are some of the young composers driving this new trend, followed by a piece of theirs to illustrate their art:

Santa Ratniece (b.1977)

Fuoco Celeste

Ruta Paidere (b.1977)

Das Feuer wahrnehmen 

Andris Dzenitis (b.1978)

Les Livres de ton Silence   

Austra Savicka (b.1985)

Two Reflections

Laura Gustovska (b.1986)

Warmth Lucidity Peace

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