Raminta Šerkšnytė - De profundis (1998)
'Raminta Šerkšnytė first appeared as a vivid presence on the Lithuanian musical scene in the last decade of the last century and has up till now successfully maintained her position as one of the best known Lithuanian composers of recent times. In her creative work the language of postromantic music combines in a way that is individual to her with certain stylistic features of (post)minimalism, jazz, and the avant-garde' (Words by Mic.lt)
We’ve selected this particular piece by Šerkšnytė, originally from Kaunas, for our Autumn playlist for a very important reason. The piece was performed by the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, conducted by a globethrotting Lithuaniand conductor Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, in Lucerne Festival in August, 2016. Gidon Kremer, the Latvian classical violinist, has described De profundis 'The finest calling card of Baltic music'. In fact, Gražinytė-Tyla has just conducted another piece by Šerkšnytė, 'Fires' (2010), in New York, where she performed with the Juilliard Orchestra.
Wolfsome - I Was Young
Wolfsome are one of the most promising rock bands in Kaunas - and Lithuania, for that matter. The modern mix of hard rock,blues and garage rock was creating a buzz around the band ever since they formed. In May’2016, the band released their debut album 'Origin.412', and the video for 'I Was Young' was used as an appetizer. By the way, sounds of Wolfsome were used on Top Gear. Yep, the same Top Gear.
Candee Train - Threads: A Phantasmagoria About Distance
A French conceptual artist Saâdane Afif took part in the Kaunas Biennial in 2015. One of his projects, 'Threads: A Phantasmagoria About Distance', involved various writers, poets and art critics he chose to write lyrics based on artworks prior he travelled to Kaunas. Here, he met Candee Train, a local psychedelic/funk/rock/pop/noise band that prefer to call their music loungecore. To make the long and very interesting story (which is actually questioning the concept of autorship) short, members of Candee Train wrote songs to the lyrics Afif provided them and it all ended up in a limited edition (300 copies) vinyl record. We know the musicians have some, so drop them a message on Facebook if you’re interested in hearing more than the teaser!
Ugnies medžioklė su varovais - Metalinio rublio žvangesys
As a blog called 'Soviet Groove' elegantly puts it together, 'in 1974 a musical 'Ugnies medžioklė su varovais' (Fire Hunt and Beaters) by composer Giedrius Kuprevičius, librettos by Saulius Šaltenis and Liudas Jacinevičius, was presented to the audience. Theatre critics appreciated this musical as the first lithuanian musical. This musical was a natural answer to the aesthetical and spiritual needs of then youths, discussing unquestioned statements of the soviet ideology. According to Giedrius Kuprevičius, the musical can be called the first rock music work of main form which was accepted by soviet government – always suspicious about novelties; and of course rock music and musical genre associated with propagandizing hippy movement of individual freedom, pacifism and disdain of regime'. We’ll only add that the musical was for some reason first shown in Latvia and only later in Lithuania. This makes it 40 years old this year and that’s why we’ve decided to include it in our Autumn playlist.
The musical became wildly popular and was shown 185 times in 7 years, both in our country and abroad. We’ll absolutely get back to Kuprevičius in our blog as he’s one of the most #kaunastic personalities out there (and, psssst, kind of responsible for the birth of Lithuanian electronic music).
Copies of the vinyl record are still available in flea markets and vintage record shops in Kaunas. We hope you get one!
Kaunas Zoo - Live @ Jazzlong
Kaunas Zoo is the sighing and echoing, the looping and the tresspassing, the city that does not to be created, projected or hoped for. It just is, and it sounds. The music of Kaunas Zoo is discovered by the everchanging cast each and every time it meets, whether it’s a hip cafe or a place in a park or a sandy beach or a factory up the hill. Chances you’ll end up hearing them live if you spend at least a week in Kaunas are quite high. The recording we’ve included is live and it’s actually the only one we’ve ever seen online.
Lawrence Brownlee - Allegro io son
'Sometimes sweet, sometimes scorching, Lawrence Brownlee’s voice is on 'Allegro io son' always like silver gleaming through silk; a voice that generates its own sunshine', says music critic Joseph Newsome on voix-des-arts.com, nominating a disc recorded in Kaunas the recording of the month (August 2016). Brownlee, one of America’s most acclaimed singers, was accompanied by Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra and Kaunas State Choir during the recording that took place in Kaunas Philharmonic and was conducted by world famous Constantine Orbelian. It’s one of the newest albums recorded there; yet not the first one. In 2013, Brownlee and Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra recorded 'Virtuoso Rossini', an album nominated for Grammy. Wishing all the best to 'Allegro io son', too.
Buy 'Allegro io son' on Delos Music
Lilas ir Innomine - Tu privalai skambėt
The duo of Lilas and Innomine is one of the most popular hiphop acts in the country (they pulled off a solo show in Žalgiris arena last year!), and, in the summer of 2016, they decided to share their love and support for the Lithuanian olympic team. The result of that was a track about the long way to becoming an olympian. It was premiered in the wake of the opening ceremony of Rio 2016 here in Kaunas, as the official fan zone - the LTeam Olympic village - was set up in the Town Hall square. 'Tu privalai skambėt’ was played in the city (and elsewhere in Lithuania, supposedly) many, many times during the two olympic weeks, and it was played out loud.
Main photo: Lilas and Innomine at the Town Hall Square. Photo by Artūras Bulota