Introverted music festival starts off this week

The Ad Lucem (Latin for "towards the light") introverted music festival takes place this week, starting off with Kokle player Laima Jansone's performance on June 26 at the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design in Rīga.

The museum, which once housed St. George's Church, will provide a wonderful ambiance, with visitors encouraged to be as introverted as they like.

"The festival offers a chance to return to silence. To the very essence of things," Jansone told Latvian Radio June 25.

She is curating a special solo program for the festival, marrying ethnographic and modern styles of music, as well as tradition and improvisation. 

"I always expect this festival as I would a grand celebration... I feel great benevolence on the part of festival organizers--I don't feel pressed to put up a show or try to be interesting in any way," she said.

"It's a return to the inner world, and an invitation to listen, together," said the musician.

This will be the only public solo concert of the talented kokle player this summer. She'll be playing several of these traditional string instruments in an acoustic setting. 

"It's more correct to refer to the kokle as the kantele, which comes from Finland. My instrument has an unusually clear, muffled sound, which fits the festival. It's made from Karelian birch," she said. 

The introverted music festival Ad Lucem is to continue June 28 with a performance by the French pianist Marc Vella  in the Rīga Bourse. The Sinfonietta Rīga orchestra will perform on June 30 with British cellist Matthew Barley (Britain) at the Rīga St. Peter's Church.

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