Thu, April 22,
Live broadcast from Tartu, The Widget Factory, Hall of Love
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Ensemble of Estonian Electronic Music Society (EMA)
Theodore Lee Parker
Digital & Analog
Tatjana Kozlova-Johannes (*1977, Estonia) – Aria (2021, premiere)
Vytautas V. Jurgutis (*1976, Lithuania) – Tinohi (2018)
Märt-Matis Lill (*1975, Estonia) – Imaginary Soundscapes II (2021, premiere)
Taivo Lints (*1980, Estonia) – Rhythm Convergence (2021, premiere)
Platon Buravicky (*1989, Latvia) – Safety borders (2021, premiere)
Liina Sumera (*1988, Estonia) – Netrunners (2021, premiere)
Aria (2021). On my way to a residency lecture of the Estonian Association of Electronic Music, I imagined that a person so ignorant in technology as me couldn’t possibly write anything for such a lineup and I even was not sure if I would understand anything at the lecture. Sitting there, I found myself thinking about how I could compose something for them while remaining true to myself and without learning vast amounts of technological information. Quite soon I understood that in order to do that I should simply let go (largely but not entirely) of the parameter of sound colour. As if I was writing for an ensemble where I know the number of instrumentalists but not which instruments they play. And at the same time, all pitches are possible. This seemed intriguing, because sound colour is the very parameter I most often base my music on. I chose melody as the key structuring element of my composition – this also seemed interesting, as it rarely has a key role in electroacoustic music. The title Aria refers to a conservative approach in the composition of the piece, the importance of melody, the differentiation between the solo and the accompaniment, and an expressive approach to phrase development. (Tatjana Kozlova-Johannes)
“Tinohi” (2008). The title of this composition is artificial and the piece is based on active sound moments balancing between sound aesthetic levels and rhythms proportions. All sound materials were created originally and without help of samples. The Ensemble of Estonian Electronic Music Society from Estonia will perform an themself abridged version of this piece. (Vytautas V. Jurgutis)
Imaginary Soundscapes II (2021, premiere) approaches possible musical worlds. I based this piece on five different tuning systems, which I study and map throughout the sequence. Sine wave sounds helped me both in terms of timbre and emotion to create a suitable and necessary clean slate on which to build these different worlds. This process reminded me of my studies in Finland, when I conjured organ improvisations from silence in the organ class or at church in the evenings – the sine wave sounds sound quite similar to the organ’s clear flute registers. On the other hand, I remembered the God Shiva, who creates with one hand and destroys with the other in order to make way for new creation.
The title is an homage to John Cage’s Imaginary Landscape series, which, in a way very close to my soul, also explores the different worlds of musical possibilities. I composed the first piece by the same title almost ten years ago. (Märt-Matis Lill)
Rhythm Convergence (2021, premiere). This composition is created specifically for the Ensemble of Estonian Electronic Music Society (EMA), one of the goals and interests of whom is to advance the ways in which academic electronic music is performed in a live setting, where the most interesting aspect is not so much the exact reproduction of the sounds precomposed by the composer, but rather the freedom of the performers to improvise and make decisions themselves within a given framework and, while doing so, the skill to pay attention to the activities of the other members of the ensemble and to take the choices made by other players into account in such a way that the performance would nevertheless form a cohesive and interesting whole.
Such a mindset matches very well with my scientific background in modelling complex adaptive systems and self-organisation – thus, it was quite easy for me to put together one such set of rules that, on the one hand, give a lot of freedom to improvise, yet, on the other, hopefully provide a sufficiently firm framework so that every time the piece is performed the process of self-organisation would result in a cohesive whole with interesting dynamics. (Taivo Lints)
Safety borders (2021, premiere). Humanity has been striving all the time to expand its knowledge in order to improve its life and increase its population, which improves humanity’s pleasure and commodity. Many discoveries and inventions have been made completely genuinely, I mean – they were not made for mercantile reasons, but, as a rule, in a fit of creative search and curiosity in general. But the striving of humanity for “beyond the borders” (the cult of the frontier, the cult of cognization) caused for many dangers. Now, in my opinion, one of the new borders to cross is the border of comprehension of security. Not only elementary security at the tactical level, not only at the highest strategic level, but it is also necessary to develop a philosophical concept of security, because a Human does not like to read the rulebooks, the Human strives forward relying on his beliefs and the philosophy of his being. (Platon Buravicky)
Netrunners (2021, premiere) for six live electronic musicians. The cybernetically enhanced human brain is incomparably more powerful than the old, static silicon-based calculation systems. With such biologically perfected systems, it is possible to enter the secret forts of the information network and control the Great Information, manipulate with the truth and even mess with the thoughts of other interfaced people. Netrunners are hackers or crackers, guards or thieves, rebels or revolutionaries, who have invested in their cybernetic development on a higher level. Netrunners can travel in the vast cyberspace of information as electronic ghosts. Unfortunately, all voyages may not succeed, as running around cyberspace may end up in a lethal physical burnout due to a dangerous attacking code or a virus. (Liina Sumera)
Formed in 2017, the Ensemble of the Estonian Electronic Music Society (EMA) is dedicated to playing electronic chamber music. The group aims to transcend technological restraints and promote sensitive musicianship, responding to each other and keen hearing, making full use of all the incredibly rich sonic possibilities offered by electronic instruments. The ensemble comprises six musicians – Doris Hallmägi, Ekke Västrik, Mihkel Tomberg, Taavi Kerikmäe, Tarmo Johannes and Theodore Parker. The ensemble has performed at festivals such as AFEKT, ISCM World Music Days / Estonian Music Days, Üle Heli, Tallinn Music Weeks, etc. The Ensemble of the Estonian Electronic Music Society has been lauded for their flexibility and musicality, which, in the case of electronic music, can easily be lost among the switches and sliders. The range of available instruments varies from Buchla and Serge synthesizers to laptop-based live-electronics.
The programme of this concert includes new compositions created as a result of the collaborative residency between the ensemble and the Estonian Composers’ Union, where composers were introduced to the ample technological opportunities of the ensemble and which also involved the usage of live electronics in contemporary music. To promote cooperation among the Baltic States, the programme also includes electronic works by Latvian and Lithuanian composers.
EMP TV live broadcast.