New album SVIESTS 8 and Ethno-Festival SVIESTS in Valmiermuiža in Mid-June

On 15th June the Ethno-Festival SVIESTS will take place in Valmiermuiža already for the third time.  

This year`s festival theme is “The Passage of Time”, exploring how people have perceived time in different ages and how they have celebrated special seasons – different cyclical festivities.

The daytime programme features the biggest homeproducers and farmers market “Gardu Muti”, as well as creative workshops, where different crafts people will show how traditionally time is being represented or measured – it can be seen in jewelry and other ornaments. The culinary workshops will introduce the public to different ways how to preserve food, thus “stop the time” for different food products – milk that is being churned into butter or fermented into cheese, beer brewing, the use of different herbs in food and also for health and beauty products that are supposed to stop the ageing process.

The daytime music programme features the local Ethno Kokles Group from Valmiera – leader Zane Sniķere, the folklore dance group DANDARI as well as “Rūžupis veiri” from Latgale. At 6 p.m. the Evening Programme will start with the best Latvian Ethno-Groups – the first post-folklore group “Iļģi” with their new programme, as well as the electro-folk group “ZeMe”, that unites the kokle virtuoso Laima Jansone with the internationally reknowned master of electronic music DJ Monsta.

This year`s special international guests are the Irish Folk-Punks Lankum from Dublin, that nowadays already are regarded as worthy successors of the Pogues according to their repertoir and way of presenting. The second international group will be Wipidoup from Britanny, France. Wipidoup is one of the leading players in the Balfolk movement in France. During the nighttime dance also Latvians will have the opportunity to dance Mazurkas and other French and Latvian dances.

One of each year`s high-lights of Ethno Festival SVIESTS is the burning of the firesculpture created by the Spanish artist Jordi NN . This year`s firesculpture is also dedicated to the theme of time – it represents an Astrolabe which is an ancient instrument for measuring time and space to provide orientation already for the ancient Arabs and Greeks. The burning will be musically accompanied by DJ Monsta.

After the burning follows the musical high-light – the staging of “The Pagan Yearbook” by Uģis Prauliņš, sung by the RTU male choir GAUDEAMUS with conductor Ivars Cinkuss and an Ethno-Rock group featuring a number of Latvian folk-stars. Exclusively for this performance the reknowned contemporary and video artists Katrīna Neiburga and Zane Zelmene will have prepared a special video scenography.

More information about the festival and about tickets can be found in the festival website

Just in time with the Ethno Festival SVIESTS the label “Lauska” is releasing thenew ethno-music compilation SVIESTS 8. This compilation SVIESTS is featuring the most actual groups and music projects in the field of Postfolklore in Latvia. It includes well-known groups such as Iļģi and Auļi with their new projects, but also unheard voices and new players in this field. This time there are a number of pieces that include international co-operations between Latvians and musicians from near and far countries.

The first piece of SVIESTS 8 is the project LOL “Atuy so kata”. Here the most well-known Ainu musician from Hokaido, Japan – Oki plays and sings together with the Lithuanian singer Laurita Peleniūte and the Latvian kokle player Laima Jansone. The song unites an Ainu and a Lithuanian folksong, both talking about mythological deep waters and the souls of the ancestors. The Ainu string instrument tonkori beautifully corresponds with the Latvian string instrument – the kokle.

The second piece is the newest project by the postfolklore group “Iļģi” “Kunigundes un Dabreļa kāzu deja”, which might also be played at the Ethno Festival SVIESTS on15th June in Valmiermuiža.