26.04.–05.05.2024 / Tartu
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Fri, April 26
Altera Veritas (Latvia)

Tartu St. John's Church
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Tickets: 21/15 €
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Anda Eglīte (kokle, bass kokle)
Ieva Mežgaile (kokle and bass kokle)
Artūrs Noviks (accordion)
Andis Klučnieks (flute)

Valdis ZilverisCantus in memoriam (2004) 

Mykolas Natalevičius Fractured Chant (2024, premiere) 

Lauri Jõeleht Musica Nocturna (2024, premiere)

Tõnis Leemets T/AI/M (2024, premiere)

Ēriks EšenvaldsCryptic (2005)


T/AI/M (2024, premiere). Tõnis Leemets: I sort of expected that moving from the capital’s hipster block to a rural area would change my attitude towards things such as petrol engines, regional policy, energy independence, crisis supplies and physical labour. What I did not expect was that the change would be even more comprehensive and impact the way I perceive TIME (increasingly cyclically instead of linearly) and my attitude towards composing. 

While before I was a firm (not to say adamant) believer in a layer of extra-musical meanings in my work, now I just strive to create favourable conditions for the music to thrive (and wither) by itself – like a PLANT (the title of the piece, ‘taim’, means ‘a plant’ in English), without any further “meaning”. The roles of dirt, water and sunlight are assumed by (with concessions and in random order) AI, algorithms and improvisation.

At the same time, it is a cultural plant meant for exhibiting to others: it must be groomed and weeded to some extent. 

And the seeds must be good.

Lauri Jõeleht: The piece Musica Nocturna (2024, premiere) written for ensemble Altera Veritas shares its title with a poem by Sylvia Figueroa:

Musica nocturna

Lanzarse al vacío
en la oscuridad
algo que ilumine

‘Nocturnal Music’

Jump into the void
in the dark
something that illuminates
(Translation by Lauri Jõeleht)

Fractured Chant (2024, premiere) for flute, accordion and two kokle players. Mykolas Natalevičius: The piece is based on transformed and distorted material of Gregorian chant Domus meus, which depicts the story of cleansing the temple, as well as material from the Lutheran Passion hymn O Mensch, bewein’ dein’ Sünde gross with a text written by Sebald Heyden in 1530, which was used in the famous Bach chorale prelude of BWV 622 with the similar title.

A melody of both sources is transformed radically and forms two different textures – the first one which is more active and with the second one based on sustained sounds and more reflective. Various transformation techniques are used, which can be called modulation of the score – this consists of stretching, distorting and compressing sonic parameters in a way that is used in electronic music techniques, rather than in scored music.

These transformations reflect the transformative power found in quiet perseverance and steadfast resolve, and the sense that defence of the truth and values requires action. This theme is found in the story of the Cleansing of the Temple from the Bible, where Jesus expels merchants and money changers from the Temple.

Known for offering exceptional experiences and an exciting combination of instruments, ensemble Altera Veritas (Latvia) brings us a selection of the newest music from the Baltic States. The audience will hear world premieres of fresh pieces by Tõnis Leemets, Lauri Jõeleht and Mykolas Natalevičius.

Altera Veritas has an extraordinary lineup that unites the unique sound of Latvian kokles (Latvian traditional folk instrument similar to the Estonian kannel) with that of the accordion and flute. The ensemble was founded in 1999, and since its inception, Latvian as well as foreign composers have dedicated about a hundred new compositions to Altera Veritas. Over the course of the ensemble’s nearly two-decade lifetime, they have created fascinating programmes in collaboration with world-renowned composers such as Ēriks Ešenvalds, Andris Dzenītis, Mārtiņš Viļums, Gundega Šmite, Peter Helms, Nic Gotham, Mirjam Tally, and others.

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