Latvia provokes London with experimental concert

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The Latvian Radio Choir performed its ‘thought and sense provoking mulitmedia concert’ “Cage and Time” at St. John’s Smith Square in London Tuesday night, officially opening the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the EU and thoroughly enveloping the audience gathered for the experience.

The ambitious program presented itself as “designed to be provocatively connecting otherwise extremely opposite things and means of expression,” including picture and sound, rhythm and light, live sound and recordings, experiment and expression.

In addition to works by Latvian composers Pēteris Vasks and Jānis Mediņš, as well as central ‘provocateur’ John Cage and Kristaps Pētersons’ monumental homage to the postmodern American composer, the concert featured the polystylistic satire of Juris Ābols and interlude recordings by the late Hardijs Lediņs (1955-2004), multi-media artist and godfather of Latvian underground music and avant-garde arts with his legendary band NSRD ‘Restoration Workshop of Unprecedented Feelings’ during the 1980s.

 

„Culture has been sort of a limiting thing and Cage with his music urges emancipation from these limits, to remember that. It turns out that this concert is like a reminder about what seems healthy to me," said composer Kristaps Pētersons at the event.

On his part Latvian Radio Choir artistic director praised the organizers for daring to take on such challenging themes on foreign soil: "I'd like to applaud our Ambassador and the Secretariat of the Presidency of the Council of the EU that they presumed to present this risky, provocative assemblage of artworks. By all means it will stay in my memory as something completely different than other official evenings usually dominated by opera arias." 

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