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October 11, 2007

“Err, shhh, haa” – testing the human instrument

Baltic Times (Latvia):

A 28-year-old student from the Lithuanian Music and Theater Academy is thrilled to be one of the youngest composers to lead a world-famous vocal ensemble at the Gaida 2007 festival. “The ensemble has a lot of practice with local techniques, and how to make noises like ‘ERR’ ‘SHHH’ and ‘HAAA,’” composer Egidija Medeksaite told The Baltic Times. “You can’t even imagine how it can be composed because it is so unique.”

Medeksaite is among the many performers and composers who will explore the most intimate musical instrument - the human voice - at Gaida 2007, held in Vilnius from Oct. 19-30, and Nov. 27.

The Lithuanian word “gaida” translates to “music note.” This year’s festival introduces visitors to “vox nova,” or “new voice” music in different combinations of symphony, chamber music, to voice theater and experimental. Famous names in the international scene and local singers and composers will showcase their talents at the National Philharmonic Hall, Congress Hall, Contemporary Arts Center, the Domino Theater and St. Catherine’s Church.

Gaida’s Managing Director Remigijus Merk-elys told The Baltic Times that as one of the leading contemporary music festival in the Baltics it is “one of the key catalysts of the new Lithuanian works and new music scene in general, also presenter of the time-tested legends of contemporary music.”

“Gaida sets the criteria of contemporary music festivals in many aspects - as a principal collaborator with the similar organizations on the international new music scene, as instigator of large-scale projects traveling through all the three capitals in the Baltics, as the festival which sets the criteria for performance excellence and production quality,” said Merkelys.

Medeksaite’s piece of work is titled “Sophismata”, and she uses three singers - soprano, tenor and bass. Ricardas Kabelis’ piece “Farce” features all six ensemble members. One of the challenges she finds, however, is how to compose an a cappella with three singers. “Less is definitively harder because when you have 20 people or more you can make changes in the quality of sound and sound mass,” she said.

Posted by acapnews at October 11, 2007 12:22 AM

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