9 August 2015

Juste Janulyte: Elongations of Nights

My last post was an introduction to the work of Osvaldas Balakauskas, this time I shall be casting an ear onto the work of Juste Janulyte. Born 1982, Juste is becoming one of, if not the, defining voice of her generation. A large portion of her success is owed the her signature aesthetic of monochromaticism. Like in the world of photography, Juste's monochromaticism refers to colour. This aesthetic is usually produced by writing for identical instruments, like in her work Psalms for 8 bass flutes; or alternatively by highlighting similarities in colour, like in her seminal work Observation of Clouds. 

As an introduction to her music, I shall discuss one of her early defining works Elongations of Night. Written in 2009 for the Lithuanian National Philharmonic, this work is quickly becoming one of Juste's most performed works; having already been performed in America, Britain, and Lithuania to name just a few performances. This piece is composed for a 21 piece string orchestra, and as the composer playfully suggests, if it were written by Morton Feldman would be called 'Fifths in my Life'. As you can hear from the recording, the opening is out of the world. The crystal whispering from the violins, evoke a world as magical as Rued Langaard's Music of the Spheres. From this, the low strings gradually enter in a canon, gradually building upwards. The climax of the work comes when the canon powerfully replaces the glistening harmonic trills. The end comes in a peaceful resolution as the canon continues moving gradually before coming to a quiet and restful end. 

This work has opened up Juste's musical world. Even though it is not her first monochromatic work, this piece is definitely her first solid mature work. From here she has continued to write profoundly beautiful works. In October, her new work for choir and electronics will get its premiere, I can't hold my excitement. If you haven't guessed, Juste shall be a regular feature of this blog, in future articles I intend to write full analyses of her works.

Visit Juste Janulyte's Website here

Information gathered from the following:

Her website: www.janulyte.info

and the music information centre www.mic.lt/en

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