ARĒNA 2014

For the thirteenth year already the New Music Festival ARENA offers scenery of diverse genres. This year festival’s theme “Crossing Borders” indicates the authors’ wish to explore the tangency of diverse styles and expressions of contemporary music. The programme includes six concerts of interdisciplinary and conceptual projects, exquisite studies of the sound in the instrumental and the vocal media, as well as sacred music. The festival contains also lectures and discussions by both Latvian and foreign guests:- Ilma Grauzdiņa “Contemporary Music – Is It But a Serious Conversation Partner?”,- Boriss Avramecs “On the Crossroads of Rock and Academic Music”- Artūrs Mednis “Social Networking – How Does Music Cooperate with the Present Age?”,- John Palmer (Great Britain) “The Art of Listening to Contemporary Music” and- Javier Hagen (Germany / Switzerland) “Does Contemporary Music Possess a Nationality?”.
Conductor Sigvards Kļava has drafted a concert programme of sacred music HE AND SHE, which includes compositions by the American David Lang and the Spaniard Ramon Humet alongside compositions by Latvian composers Maija Einfelde, Santa Ratniece, Juris Karlsons and Andrejs Selickis. The programme will entail even first performances: the original work by Maija Einfelde “Jūras sagša”, as well as the traditional prayers in a new arrangement by Jānis Lūsēns. At the concert Latvian Radio Choir will perform together with the cellist Guna Šnē, the viola player Liene Kļava, the saxophonist Artis Sīmanis and soprano Kristiāns Jasinskis, a student of Līvāni Music School.

In cooperation with ensemble SARBAND (Germany / Middle East) Latvian Radio Choir and conductor Kaspars Putniņš will give an open master-class on the integration of traditional Middle East music and instruments in the modern art of sounds. This master-class is part of a wider project “Song of Songs”, in the framework of which new music is composed by Lasse Thoresen, Toivo Tulev, Mārtiņš Viļums, Santa Ratniece, Bushra El – Turk and Vladimir Ivanoff.

The dramatic materiality of THE HUMMING OF CLOUDS, performed at ARĒNA by the trio ART-I-SHOCK in cooperation with lights designer Mārtiņš Feldmanis and video scenic designer Arturs Dzirnis, encompasses beliefs on clouds and the poetically associative connection of a gong and the moon. The artists will perform opuses by Arvo Pärt, Andris Dzenītis, Osvaldo Golijov and Terje Rypdal, as well as a new composition by Agneta Krilova for this particular concert program.

The festival is particularly proud of its guests – the musicians of the Swiss / German duet UMS'N JIP Ulrike Mayer-Spohn and Javier Hagen, as well as the competent and versatile Australian contemporary percussion ensemble SPEAK PERSUCCION. The musicians of the duet UMS'N JIP will perform together with countertenor Sergejs Jēgers and organist Ilze Reine in program BAROQUE AND AVANT-GARDE, which alongside compositions by Monteverdi, Purcell and Gluck includes compositions by today’s composers Sofia Gubaidulina, Max Keller, Anton Svetlichny and others. The visual ornamentation of the concert, mixing baroque and avant-garde elements, is made by artists Ieva Taranda and Daina Gāga-Ēķe. As regards SPEAK PERCUSSION, it has brought “Circuit” to Riga, entailing opuses by Australian and Danish authors.

The most extensive first performance of this year’s ARENA is the extraordinary interdisciplinary project CLAYBIRD'S LULLABY by Swedish artist Knutte Wester and composer Santa Ratniece, conceptually combining drawings and sounds of specially made clay birds and voices. The concert will include the participation of the vocal ensemble PUTNI, and art historian Sarmīte Sīle.

See you at ARENA!