Baltic Music Days
Estonian Music Days

Online festival 2021
YXUS & Iris Oja (Estonia)

Wed, April 28 2021, 19:00
Online from Laulasmaa, Arvo Pärt Centre

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YXUS Ensemble:
Mihkel Peäske – flute
Meelis Vind – clarinet
Talvi Hunt – piano
Regina Udod – double bass
Leho Karin – cello

Iris Oja (mezzo-soprano)

Open chat

Spiral Leap

Mirjam Tally (*1976) – Spiral Leap (2021, premiere)

Maria Kõrvits (*1987) – Center of All Centers, Core of Core for flute, bass clarinet, cello, double bass, piano, voice (2021, premiere) 

Eugene Birman (*1987, Latvia) – Pensées for voice and ensemble (2017)


Spiral Leap (2021, premiere) was composed for ensemble YXUS inspired by:
Spiral Leap
A NASA simulation
in fuchsia: the orbit
without the orbiter. Or
the spiral you draw on the air
as you whirl
(Text: Jennifer Atkinson) (Mirjam Tally)

Center of All Centers, Core of Core (2021, premiere). Text compiled by Maria Kõrvits based on the English translations of Rainer Maria Rilke’s poems. Translation into English by Stephen Mitchell and Erik Bendix, translation into Estonian by Pirjo Jonas.

Not to be cut off
Not through the slightest partition
Shut out from the stars
The inner — what is it?

Center of all centers, core of core, of all the seeds the seed
All this universe, to the furthest stars
to all the stars this is what you feed
And beyond them…

Now you feel you sense nothing
Your vast shell reaches into endless space in the infinite is where/
outside a radiance pours in/
High above you

 illuminated in your infinite peace
a billion stars go spinning through the night
glowing and full as around they are spun
But something has already started in you
that will survive every sun/

But in you is the presence that
will be, when all the stars are dead. (Maria Kõrvits)

Pensées (2017). The composition is inspired by Anatole France’s thoughts from his book Pensées de Riquet. Perhaps more so than any other piece so far written, this one has been in my thoughts for a very long time. Two, three years, or so – perhaps, more, when I discovered that the human voice is not just simply something to sing notes with, or even something intimately the property of a trained professional singer and no one else. But I needed silence. I needed peace. I needed space…wide, boundless space. Then, the voice comes in, through, and somewhere forward. In fact, no, not forward. It goes somehow deeper into something new and very risky. And this is a very risky piece indeed.

I have tried to turn the dream into reality, to break the spell, to create thirteen miniature masterpieces that are inseparable and, most importantly, definitive. Of me? More so of my music and where it might go towards now. But also of this very special moment in space and time, where both are magically freed of constraints and so am I. (Eugene Birman)

I Les hommes, les animaux, les pierres grandissent en s’approchant et deviennent énormes quand ils sont sur moi. Moi non. Je demeure toujours aussi grand partout où je suis.
II Quand le maître me tend sous la table sa nourriture, qu’il va mettre dans sa bouche, c’est pour me tenter et me punir si je succombe à la tentation. Car je ne puis croire qu’il se prive pour moi.
III L’odeur des chiens est délicieuse.
IV Interlude No. 1
V Je parle quand je veux. De la bouche du maître il sort aussi des sons qui forment des sens. Mais ces sens sont bien moins distincts que ceux que j’exprime par les sons de ma voix. Dans ma bouche tout a un sens. Dans celle du maître il y a beaucoup de vains bruits. Il est difficile et nécessaire de deviner la pensée du maître.
VI Interlude No. 2
VII Tout passe et se succède. Moi seul je demeure.
VIII Une action pour laquelle on a été frappé est une mauvaise action. Une action pour laquelle on a reçu des caresses ou de la nourriture est une bonne action.
IX Interlude No. 3
X Interlude No. 4
XI Prière. Ô mon maître Bergeret, dieu du carnage, je t’adore. Terrible, soit loué ! Sois loué, favorable ! Je rampe à tes pieds : je te lèche les mains. Tu es très grand et très beau quand tu dévores, devant la table dressée, des viandes abondantes. Tu es très grand et très beau quand, d’un mince éclat de bois faisant jaillir la flamme, tu changes la nuit en jour. Garde-moi dans ta maison à l’exclusion de tout autre chien. Et toi, Angélique la cuisinière, divinité très bonne et très grande, je te crains et je te vénère afin que tu me donnes beaucoup à manger.
XII Interlude No. 5
Invocation. Ô Peur, Peur auguste et maternelle, Peur sainte et salutaire, pénètre en moi, emplis-moi dans le danger, afin que j’évite ce qui pourrait me nuire, et de crainte que, me jetant sur un ennemi, j’aie à souffrir de mon imprudence.
(Text: Anatole France, Pensées de Riquet)


Inspired by musical experiments and an innovative approach, the YXUS Ensemble aims to connect with the audience and involve them in music in an unexpected and special way. The YXUS Ensemble is not just a group of musicians – it is like a laboratory for crazy ideas, involving musicians, composers, video artists and directors who are willing to experiment. The YXUS Ensemble mostly focuses on performing contemporary chamber music, bringing the world’s contemporary music to Estonia and introducing Estonian music to the audiences abroad. The ensemble’s instrumentation varies according to the requirements of the programme and they mostly perform without a conductor. Occasionally the ensemble collaborates with experienced musicians from Estonia and abroad. This time they have invited mezzo-soprano Iris Oja, who is a member of the vocal ensemble Theatre of Voices steered by the internationally renowned conductor Paul Hillier and works as a singer and chorus master in several others of his ensembles or choirs.

The concert will be broadcasted by EMP TV, recorded by Klassikaraadio, and transferred across Europe through the EBU (European Broadcasting Union).

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Aaro Pertmann Age Juurikas Age Veeroos Aleksandr Žedeljov Alisson Kruusmaa Alvils Altmanis André de Sousa Vieira Andres Kaljuste Andris Dzenītis Anna Ķirse Anna-Margret Noorhani Antoine Beuger Arash Yazdani Ardo Ran Varres Art Leete  Arturas Bumšteinas Arvydas Malcys Beat Furrer Bronius Kutavičius Diana Čemerytė Eladio Barreto Aguilar Elis Hallik Elo Masing EMTA Sinfonietta Ensemble for New Music Tallinn Ensemble of the Estonian Electronic Music Society (EMA) Ensemble U: Eugene Birman Evelin Seppar Evija Skuķe Fie Schouten Georgs Pelēcis Gintaras Sodeika Gundega Šmite Helena Tulve Janika Oras Jievaras Jasinskis Jonathan Harvey Justina Repečkaitė Kadri-Ann Sumera Kaspar Mänd Kristiina Tambets Kristjan Kõrver Krists Auznieks Lauri Jõeleht Lepo Sumera Liina Sumera Liisa Hõbepappel Linda Leimane Madis Arukask Madli Marje Gildemann Mads Schang Olsen Maija Einfelde Malle Maltis Maria Faust Maria Kõrvits Mariliis Valkonen Märt-Matis Lill Mihhail Gerts  Mirjam Tally Mykolas Natalevičius Oliver Dubon Onutė Narbutaitė Paul Daniel Piano Quartet Quadra Platon Buravicky Rasmus Puur Régis Campo Riho Esko Maimets Riivo Kallasmaa Rita Mačiliūnaitė Santa Bušs Santa Ratniece Sinfonietta Rīga String Quartet Synaesthesis Taavi Kerikmäe Taivo Lints Tallinn Chamber Orchestra Talvi Hunt Tatjana Kozlova-Johannes The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir (EPCC) Timo Steiner Tõnis Kaumann Twenty Fingers Duo Ülo Krigul Vytautas V. Jurgutis Yang Ren YXUS Ensemble Žibuoklė Martinaitytė