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The II International festival of contemporary folk music "Vendene",
Cesis, 19 July 2003

      On Saturday, July 19 in Cesis passed The II International festival of contemporary folk music Vendene. The concert began by a performance of Rekova folklore ensemble Dzintars, but, unfortunately, author of these lines was late for their performance.


      The second was Auli - a new ensemble of six bag-pipes' players and three drummers, basically - participants of other groups. The sound was powerful, that is not surprising with a such staff.


      The third was the folklore ensemble Ceiruleits from Livani. They formerly performed in a traditional folklore style, therefore was some kind of an intrigue. And there was enough of surprises: first, the performers were dressed in light modern clothes, instead of national costumes; secondly, the music was an experimental post-folklore of different genres - there was an influence of Latvian post-folklore veterans Ilgi and of Irish folk music, some songs were modern bands like, and some - multivoiced a capella. The ensemble has turned in the post-folklore, because it's participants have grown up and became young people wishing to sing differently, not how parents teached. The group searches, but has not found yet, therefore the performance was a little bit underdone.

Ze Laika pareģotāji

      Ze Laika pareģotāji (Ze Foretellers of time) from Kraslava played authors' compositions, but with use of many interesting musical instruments, including traditional ones, therefore the music sounded like a world music. Anyway, independently of genre classification, the leader of the group Alexander Mayer is a very talented hadicraftsman and player of different uncommon musical instruments, he is able to make a beautiful sound from anything. Other guys (Hawaiian guitar, electrical guitar and bass guitar, drums) create a modern support for exotical sounds of leader. Finally, the last song was with singing too, but, unfortunately, in English; it would be much more interesting to hear German or Latgalian singing (Alexander is a German from Latgalia).

Visi vēji

      The next have performed Visi vēji (All winds). In ensemble sing and plays youth of the same age, as in Ceiruleits, and musical tendencies also are similar - imitation of Iļģi and elements of bardic guitar music, some elements of typical choral arragements of folk songs, for example, singing of a melody without words. But, as against of the Livani ensemble, Rigans sings and plays post-folklore already a couple of years, therefore their music is much more matured. However, unfortunately, this time in singing sometimes we heard some false notes. Also, it is necessary to note, that the group has pleased spectators by nice new costumes.

Veronika Paviloniene and Petras Vyšniauskas

      As the festival was international, there were also participants from abroad - Lithuanian duet Veronika Paviloniene (voice) and Petras Vyšniauskas (saxophone). It was very interesting to listen to this professional, polished performance, where traditional execution of folk songs and even of fairy-tales (!) was mixed up with improvisations on a saxophone.


      The ensemble Muktukokles consist of Latvian psalterist Valdis Muktupāvels and three Rigans - performers of an Indian music: Sergey Antsupov (sarod), Vladimir Yerushonok (tabla) and Ludmila Zhurkova (tampura). The group has played in different combinations: all together, sanza with tabla, Baltic psaltery only, sarod with tabla, and at the end even Petras Vyšniauskas has joined the group with her saxophone. Kokle (psaltery) in ensemble with the Indian instruments sounded unusual and nice. Especial pleasure have afforded the relations between tabla and sarod players - they played with huge mutual goodwill.

Tigulis and comrades

      Instead of not arrived Biruta Ozoliņa at last moment was invited Raimonds Tigulis (synthesizer) with comrades Andrejs (guitar) and Kaspars (drums). Connection between their performance and subjects of the festival, unfortunately, was unclear. Maybe they were inwited because they music also sounds experimentally?


      In conclusion of the concert the group of Livonian songs Kalajeng has performed. It looked like a club of friends and acquaintances - because of the disposition on the stage, because of musically senseless duplication of guitars and because of interim performances of foreign friends - Estonian Swede on a violin and Lithuanian on two pipes simultaneously. The ensemble sang both well known Livonian folk songs and songs composed by leader of the group Julgī Stalte on words of Livonian poets. At the end of the performance was held a fight-play between Livonian warriors and crusaders: in result all Germans have killed, and all Livonians - survived. Then, with a song of peace, the souls of the killed together with the survived have piled armour and weapons and started to dance, involving the spectators too.
      After the concert till three o'clock in the morning near the scene were dances under a management of the Riga Dance club.
      Unfortunately, there was few spectators, probably, because of the overestimated price for tickets: 3,- lats (LVL) - to concert and dances and 2,- lats only to dances.

      Article: Ansis Ataols Bērziņš, 22 July 2003
      Photos: Ansis Ataols Bērziņš

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