25 June 2016

Obligatory response to the Referendum

Britain has voted (52-48) to leave the EU. For many this was not a surprise, and for others this has been a hard and heavy shock. The true ramifications of this are yet to be truly felt across the globe, but it will send shockwaves across the world for a long time to come. I know this blog is not a political one, despite some of my strong political leanings, but something this major needed to be addressed somehow. So I have done all that I think I can do now. Celebrate Lithuanians within the UK!

So here goes! The first Lithuanian composer I wanted to natter about is Vitalija Glovackyte. The Mancunian based composer is a intriguing one for me. She has celebrated successes like being Apartment House's embedded composer, and has had works featured in the Panufnik scheme. For me, her real strength comes in her electronic works. Pieces like Sunday is gritty, grimy, and just glorious! Despite being almost completely dysfunctional, the music finds itself and also shows a quirky sense of humour which many composers tend to shy from. Listen to her music here on Soundcloud.

For those of you who read my blog I haven't always been positive of Egidija Medeksaite's work. I admit the pieces I have heard over this past year haven't been the strongest especially when I have heard stronger pieces from her too. When I first came across Panchami about 3 years ago, I was struck by its melodious rolling patterns and the humming electronics which blurred the field. Egidija's obsession with textiles does produce some intriguing musical reconstructions, and I feel as she grows more and more as a compsoer she will tap into something far more elegant and fluid. Listen to her music here.

Juta Pranulyte, is a composer I have had quite a soft spot for. Ever since I met her, I have been intrigued by her drive, sharpness of mind, and desire for more in her music. The resulting music has either been very elegant and striking pieces or works that show she is working towards something even stronger. Currently based in Glasgow, Juta has written for a large expanse of musical settings. Her choral pieces have been quite a strong area within her work. Her deus ex machina is a dark and brutal musical landscape, with a powerful sense of focus. The work is a major step for her as composer as it really poignantly shows off her abilities in the craft. I feel if she beings to produce works with a stronger more brutal message behind it she will stun thousands. Listen to her work on Soundcloud.

Ruta Vitkauskaite was the first Lithuanian composer I met in person five years ago. We have found ourselves every so often bumping into each other, and she has constantly been on the periphery of my work in the Baltic. Funnily enough, the day we met has since proven to be quite a poignant day for me as it is the day that started leading me towards eventually moving to the Baltic. Ruta's work show a desire to break from everything. A desire to find something new, all encompassing, and welcoming. Having written or produced improvisations for outreach projects or questioning the very nature of opera, Ruta shows a desire to not get stuck. Here is her For Many Thousand for solo accordion, the very work that was performed the day I met her.

To round off this lovely article, I'd like to quickly talk about a strong ally of Lithuania from Britain. Anton Lukoszevieze the cellist of Apartment House is of Lithuanian decent and has for quite a few years now been quite a champion for Lithuanian composers from Rytis Mazulis and Jugis Maciunas to Egidija Medeksaite and Antanas Rekasius. His desire and drive to promote these composers is commendable and deserves as much praise as he can get. What pointing out what Anton is doing with the wonderful Apartment House does is it proves despite Britain's choice, there are still strong allies fighting to show how great the rest of the world is. Listen to Aparment House do the third movement of Antanas Rekasius's Musica Dolente et con brio.

The next post will be far less political I promise!

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