Estonian Music Days

Tallinn / Tartu

Festival theme “Upside Down”

With the 2022 festival, we raise the following questions: why do we do what we do? Why do we do things how we do them?Could we do anything differently, and if so, what? Why do we (not) want to do things differently? And when life is suddenly turned upside down, unexpectedly and irrevocably – what do we do, feel and think then?

Estonian composer Eino Tamberg has said that he made a decision one day to compose completely differently – to turn his approach upside down. And then later he discovered that besides his feeling of doing things differently, his new composition was not that different after all.

But that drive, that desire to be different, to do things differently – to break out of one’s bounds, to struggle, roll or float out of them – where does it come from? Is it fear of monotony? Fear of boredom? Of vulnerability in the face of life or towards it? In other words, is it selfish?

Or, to be more kind and selfless – is it a wish to experience life from other sides, other viewpoints? Forgetting others within yourself?

Or, to be more unsettling – where has our right-side-up thinking and focus on “self” brought us? The earth groans under the weight of man’s selfish cleverness. The planet is overheating. We can’t go on like this. We must turn our approach upside down.

Festival Artistic Directors
Helena Tulve, Timo Steiner

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Festival is supported by Estonian Ministry of Culture / Cultural Endowment of Estonia / Estonian National Culture Foundation / LHV / Tallinn Culture & Sports Department / City of Tartu

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