|BREVIS CHOIR PROJECT
The Lithuanian Composers' Union, in partnership with Sound and Music (United Kingdom), and Artist in Residence Krems (Austria) offered a unique residency opportunity for two composers from the UK, and Austria. The selected professionals participated in the international residency programme in Druskininkai, Lithuania, in the summer of 2015. By the end of the residency, each composer presented a new choral work, which was premiered in Lithuania.
In addition to providing an opportunity for composition and performance, the programme is aimed at broadening musical cooperation between different nations and enhancing the profiles of the selected composers at the international level.
The compositions written during the residency were performed by mixed choir "Brevis" (Lithuania), conducted by Gintautas Venislovas on 26 July, at the Sts. Johns' Church, in Vilnius, Lithuania. The pieces can be found on Souncloud: https://soundcloud.com/druskininkairtistesidence
The already selected composers were:
Renald Deppe (Austria)
Klaus Lang (Austria)
Camilla Saunders (UK)
Stephen Chase (UK)
***July was a pretty extraordinary month in which I was lucky enough to attend the Druskininkai Artists' Residence writing a piece for the Vilnius-based Brevis Choir conducted by Gintautas Venislovas which was performed on 26 July, in the resonant space of St John's Church, Vilnius. The performance can be heard here (along with the other, excellent, pieces by my fellow DAR-ers) though I am currently engaged in some structural maintenance with the piece. Sound and Music were the co-organisers and a post about my experience is up here at their blog site.
***The DAR residency has been a wonderful experience for several reasons:
Having complete solitude and time to focus on composing, without distraction or financial worries and with trees to look at out of the window.
The opportunity to meet other composers, share ideas and experiences and play music together. Getting acquainted with Lithuania, its landscape, language and culture.
I loved working with Gintautas and the choir. Gintautas put a lot of energy into the project and I felt we were really working together. From my perspective, as I wanted to use quite a lot of improvising, it would have been helpful to have a short session with the choir to demonstrate some techniques and talk about improvisation before, rather than after writing the piece. I think the choir would have enjoyed that too.
However, overall it was great, and the performances went well. I feel really fortunate to have taken part and thank everyone whose hard work made it possible. It has given me time to evaluate my own practice and think about some changes I want to make, including spending more time composing. I will certainly keep in touch with the other composers and we already have some plans for the future. Thanks again Egidija. You are brilliant!
***„It is a fallacy to believe: through common economical interests we can build up a european political unit. Common economical interests could not prevent two terrible european wars in our times. It is impossible to build up a world changing historic revolution like the idea of the european union through the back door of economy." Sebastian Haffner (London, Observer, 1948)
We need culture. We need culture to know ourselves. We need culture & art for understanding the foreign parts of life & for all the ostensible well known fields close to us. We need culture & art to build up the idea of a European Union. It's the only way to realize this historic revolution without violence, force and criminal damage: we need the European Union in our mind, in our heart, soul und intellect. Not only in our wallets, pocketbooks and bank accounts. DAR 2015 is a brilliant way to think obout this. DAR 2015 is a precious chance to practise to be (not only) a european. DAR 2015 is absolutely vital. Thanks a lot!
Renald Deppe, Vienna/Austria: Summer 2015
Brevis Choir Project
Foto: Egidija Medekšaitė
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