Baltic Music Days
Developing a contemporary music network within the Baltics is our common wish, therefore, the Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian Composers’ Union are joining forces to tighten our musical ties.
Estonian Music Days, a festival with 42 years of history, will bring together the first edition of Baltic Music Days 2021 which this year takes place online and is free for all!
Every year the Estonian Music Days festival has a theme permeating its concerts. The focus of the 2021 festival is “DNA”, which seeks a dialogue between our biological genetics, cultural origins, musical thinking, and science.
The following festivals are planned in Kaunas (2022), in Riga (2023), and again in Estonia, Tartu (2024).
Festival theme “DNA”
The key topic of the Estonian Music Days 2021 is “DNA”
Every year, the festival focuses on a key topic around which the compositions and concerts revolve. In 2021, the festival focuses on DNA, seeking a dialogue between science, our biological genetics, cultural heritage and musical perception.
Behind our desire to know who we are and where we come from is the inner need to be connected to the essential network of life. DNA is the carrier of essential information.
Genetic DNA testing is becoming more and more popular. The gradually emerging (mis)understandings revealed by these analyses can radically change our perception of origin. However, our genetic DNA might not express our cultural DNA – the experience of living.
What is our cultural, musical DNA? In our work, how much do we dare to revert to our honest inner expression no matter how strange and inappropriate it may be? How much do we try to respond to certain trends that meet the expectations of a narrow circle? A wider circle?
What are the current functions of music and creation that give an environment and a sounding board to our musical DNA? What reflects it and gives it the right to exist?
Children carry our DNA – including our cultural and musical DNA. But what might be the DNA of a musical instrument that young students should connect with from the very beginning of their studies? We invite every composer who creates a new piece for the Estonian Music Days to think about this and also write a children’s piece for an instrument of their choice.
The genetic DNA of Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians is very similar but our cultures are quite different. With the transformation of the Estonian Music Days into the Baltic Music Days, this musical meetup with our Baltic peers will allow us to observe what unites and distinguishes us.
Artistic directors of the Estonian Music Days Helena Tulve, Timo Steiner and Märt-Matis Lill
DNA-themed compositions for the youth
DNA-themed children’s compositions at the Estonian Music Days
This year, the composers of the Estonian Music Days have an additional DNA-themed challenge: to express their musical DNA in compositions for children. Thus, most of the Festival’s composers got to write two pieces, one for big ears and the other for small ears – they will be premiered by adults but in the future, they are meant to be performed by children. As for the audience, it is not even necessary to specify it, since what is created for children often transcends the limits of age. However, listening to two pieces by the same composer might provide a deeper insight into the composer’s secret musical codes. And the children who are going to play these compositions will most certainly be inspired to become the next link in the DNA chain of new Estonian music.