Portika logs

Portika logs

trešdiena, 2015. gada 29. jūlijs

Etnonakts by Steve White

Ermani Manor
The Concert
5.00pm Saturday

The audience arrive from near and far. Some from Aluksne, a few miles down the road, some from the capital Riga, others from Finland, England and Estonia, there are even 2 people who have travelled from Australia especially for the event! However, there is no great expectation or pressure on the performers.Music here is as much a part of life as eating and breathing.

A calm, relaxed atmosphere settles over the sun drenched Manor. The home made ice cream seller is doing a roaring trade with her delicious wares, picnics are being eaten, beer is effortlessly being drunk as people settle themselves into position, ready for the Maestro to appear to start the proceedings. 

There he is, resplendent in his white linen suit, long hair blowing in the gentle breeze and he steps forward onto the small,dirt arena in front of verandah and addresses the crowd. In Latvian. I understand not a word, and yet, understand everything! The musicians waiting their turn, sit among the audience, showing their appreciation of each act as it performs tune after beautiful tune. My friends from Faversham are at the back, on the bank of the stream, craning their necks to watch and to hear the reaction from an unknown crowd. Waiting their turn. They had a long wait……..

Folk music in this country is a serious affair. There is an academy in Riga dedicated to teaching this nebulous genre and indeed, the Professor of music is playing on the bill tonight along with some of his past and present students. He greets them with a warm affection, willing them to do well. And they do not disappoint him. Music is sung accompanied by the traditional Kokle (an ancient, flat stringed instrument that looks like something from an Egyptian painting), Mandolins, Bagpipes, Concertinas, Drums, Jaw harps, Ringing Bowls, Violins and others. The a capella singing with it’s intricate harmonies captivates all who hear it. This is sung not with lack lustre panache, but with the conviction of long standing tradition and is carried out over our heads and into the surrounding fields, reaching the ears of the storks who are taking their supper in the last rays of the sun. There is not one hair on my neck asleep. All are standing to attention.

At last, the English take to the stage. They are superb! Not a hint of nerves, that some lesser musicians might have encountered having to follow in such illustrious musical footsteps that had preceded them. They chose a very clever program, aimed at entertaining their foreign friends. Faultless playing and singing was eclipsed by Ruth and Barbara performing the only dance steps of the entire concert. They went down a storm!

The last act of the night quite rightly deserved pole position. A brilliantly understated percussionist, a lead singer, whose voice was a cross between Bette Midler and Janis Joplin, delivered mesmerising vocals, and a giant of a giant of a man with a Basso Profundo voice who resembled a cross between a Viking and Hercules! He started the act with some throat singing that was literally startling! A deep guttural roar was being coaxed out of his larynx, one minute soaring up high, the next rattling the clothes on your back. Quite, quite remarkable. They were simply exquisite. 

Here we were, deep in the countryside up in the north of Latvia and close to the Russian border, being treated to music that would grace Londons Albert Hall. I kid you not! Spine tingling, close harmony vocals and traditional instrumentals, played with passion and fervour took us to the end of the concert. The crowd wanted more. Now in darkness, apart from a light shining from inside the Manor and the flickering rays from the bonfire burning brightly in a hollow on the river bank, the playing area became a dance floor and as the band played Latvian dance tunes the audience rose to their feet and started dancing. I was taught steps that have been danced on this rough patch of earth for decades and we twirled through the night like fire flys! For the very last dance everybody joined hands and performed a ritualistic stomp, round in a circle to the sound of a shamen drum, percussion and a haunting vocal delivery. Beautiful.

The Manor now became a post concert party venue. More music with musicians joining in for an impromptu jam. Inga conjured up more food, delicious ‘hand pies’, made in the local school earlier that afternoon, cake, fruit, wine etc. The atmosphere was one of complete joy, new friends were made and animated chat relating to the wonderful night we had all just experienced echoed throughout the majestic wooden building. Eventually, I found my room and many guests headed up into the loft to bed down for the night on a cosy bed of straw.

The following morning, the sun was shining brightly and I could hear breakfast being eaten. More food. Where did it all come from? We had become one big family, pitching in to make tea, offering food around, clearing the plates away and talking about the previous evening.

Eventually, it was time for the overnight guests to leave for their homes. Some had many hours journey ahead of them. We took a ‘team’ photograph of the remaining guests and the Faversham musicians sang a beautiful farewell song which brilliantly conveyed the sentiment of the camaraderie and warmth that had developed among us all. I mus admit, I was by now very emotional and relied on my sunglasses to hide a few tears. As cars pulled away down the dusty driveway, the giant, Ernie, played a bagpipe lament from the tower on top of the house. I still had my sunglasses on….

The party was finally over.
If you’ve read this far, I hope I have been able to convey to you just how amazing this experience was. If I haven’t, well, I suggest you come to next years concert and witness it yourself. Bring your sunglasses.
Have a great day.

Steve White
Toomas Valk

Valdis Muktupāvels

Miks Čavarts, Julgī Stalte un Ernests Medenis

Ernests Medenis

Valdis un Rūta Muktupāveli

Anete Stuce un Zane Pērkone

Barbara Kelly un Ruth Cronk

piektdiena, 2015. gada 10. jūlijs

Etnonakts 2015

Etnonakts 2014. Foto Steve White
2015. gada 25. jūlijā 17.00 Ērmaņu muižas pagalmu atkal ievibrēs Etnonakts fantastiskie mūziķi. 

Pie mums viesosies Viļakas etnogrāfiskais ansamblis "Abrenīte", "Lāča duets" (Latvija/Somija), setu mūziķis, izcils ermoņikas spēlētājs Toomas Valk (Igaunija), prūšu dziesmu zinātāji Rūta un Valdis Muktupāveli (Lietuva/Latvija), setu vīru kopa "Ytsiotso" (Igaunija), Anglijas folkgrupa "On the Hop" un līvu tradīciju uzturētāja Julgī Stalte ar draugiem.

Jau no 16.30 Ērmaņmuižas pagalmā varēs satikt mājas maizes ceptuves "Donas" (Smiltene) meistarus, kuri organizēs īpašu sviestmaižu darbnīcu, piedāvājot pašu cepto maizi un dažādus latviskus pavalgus, maizīšu apsmērēšanai. 

22.00 sākas danči, bet 24.00 paši izturīgākie varēs piedalīties Etnonakts jam sesijā. Katrs, kas spēlē tautiskus mūzikas instrumentus, tos var ņemt līdzi un parādīt savu prasmi vakara noslēgumā.

Viļakas etnogrāfiskais ansamblis „Abrenīte” dibināts 1985. gadā.  Savu repertuāru „Abrenītes” dalībnieces veido no Abrenes novada dziesmām, dziedot novada balsos (garajā balsā, pusbalsā u.c.) tā, kā dziedāja viņu mātes, tēvi, vecāsmātes.
Ansamblis sadarbojas ar skolām un ir izaudzinājis jaunākās paaudzes dziedātājas. „Abrenītes” sievas tērpjas Abrenes novada baltajos tautastērpos.
Ansambļa vadītāja - Albīna Veina.
Pārpublicēts no Balvu reģiona kultūrvēstures datu bāzes.

Lāča duets

Duetā apvienojušās divas enerģiskas, jaunas etnomuzikoloģes Anete Stuce un Zane Pērkone. Anete Stuce pazīstama arī kā Mona de Bo, Rīgas Modes, u.c. grupu dalībniece. Zane Pērkone pēdējos gadus studē Somijā Sibēliusa akadēmijā Helsinkos, pētījusi arī somu deju sotīsi (sotiisi). Dueta repertuārā Dienvidkurzemes teicēja Augusta Lāča dziesmas.

Tomass Valks (Toomas Valk)

Tomass Valks ir izcils setu ermoņiku spēlētājs no Igaunijas dienvidiem. Visa viņa dzīve pakļauta setu kultūras un tradīciju kopšanai, etnomūzikas iedzīvināšanai ikdienā.

Rūta un Valdis Muktupāveli
Fantastiskie Baltijas etnotradīciju pārzinātāji un uzturētāji Rūta un Valdis Muktupēveli. Prof. Dr. Rūta Muktupāvela LKA rektore, antropoloģe, folkloras speciāliste, kas Latvijā ienākusi ar dzimtās Lietuvas tradicionālās mūzikas prasmju pienesumu. Multiinstrumentālists Prof. Dr. Valdis Muktupāvels viens no pirmajiem Latvijas jaunā folkloras viļņa kustības dalībniekiem, tam sekojošo jaunu etnomūzikas atzaru izveidotājiem, kā arī mūsdienu etnomūzikoloģijas zinātnes radītājiem Latvijā.


Igaunijas setu zemes vīru kopa, kura dibināta 2005. gadā. Līdera Urmas Kalla vadībā grupa izpilda senas setu dziesmas, cenšoties atklāt senākās Dienvidigaunijas un Sibīrijas setu muzicēšanas tradīcijas.  

Anglijas folkgrupa "On the Hop"

Kentas grāfistes tradicionālo kroga dziesmu un deju tradīciju nenogurstoši uzturētāji. Mūziķi,  kas nu jau gadiem, kopš jaunības muzicē kopā, neļaujot šai muzicēšanas tradīcijai izzust no vietējās ikdienas dzīves. Grupas repertuārā galvenokārt Anglijas, bet ne tikai, arī pārējo Britu pavalstu grupas iemīļotākās dziesmas un melodijas.

Julgī Stalte ar draugiem
Julgī Stalte - mūziķe un līvu sabiedriskās kustības aktīviste. Savu ievirzi un prasmes ieguvusi, uzaugot Latvijas folkloras jaunā viļņa aizsācēju, līvu tradīciju un kultūras kopēju Helmī un Daiņa Staltu ģimenē.  Dāvis Stalts līvu sabiedriskais aktīvists, kurš nezaudē saikni ar mūzikas tradīcijām, to uzturēšanu mūsdienās. Līvu Savienības priekšsēdētājs. Šī gada Etnonakts tiek veltīta Julgī un Dāvja tēva Daiņ Stalta nozīmīgumam un nezūdošai piemiņai.