The XXII international contemporary music festival "Afekt" takes place in Tallinn, Tartu and Narva this year, with the theme "Border State" – a border state both geographically and as a musical expression where ideas are taken to the uttermost extremes.
This year's concerts also take place in Estonia's border city Narva, where one can still visit Cyberstudio's concert "t.i.m.e." and Sander Saarmets' concert "Signals" on November 1.
The opening concert of the festival in Tallinn featured Ukraine's leading new music ensemble "Ukho," whose program focused on the masterwork "Vortex Temporum" by the spectral music classic Gerald Grisey.
"The only story of an arpeggio in space and time, below and beyond our auditory window". In this piece, showing how time works in music, and how its auditory perception could be programmed by particular musical means, Grisey literally places the listener in the funnel of time. Written by a Frenchman in mid 1990s it sheds light, among other things, onto one of the funnels that listeners and musicians in Ukraine experience now daily – that of time, running unbearably slow, intolerably quick, bending lives in its vortexes, the organizers explain the opening theme of the festival.
The "Rituals of Order" by Jānis Petraškevičs immersed the audience in a circular temporality and an infinite space: "it's impossible to describe the wonder inspired by the fascinating and mysterious sonic objects that magically appear and disappear within this temporal continuum."
"Ensemble U," the flagship of Estonian contemporary music, celebrated its 20th anniversary with Garth Knox, a living legend of the contemporary music scene, and with the choreographer-director Mart Kangro.
The members of the Berlin-based Harmonic Space Orchestra, which focuses on just intonation, presented a program that included works by Estonian composer Liisa Hirsch and ensemble members Catherine Lamb, Thomas Nicholson and Marc Sabat.
Estonian National Symphony Orchestra's concert was conducted by the contemporary music specialist Michael Wendeberg and featured the actor and director Lembit Peterson as a reader.
The new album of Elis Hallik, an Estonian composer who has come to prominence within the last decade, was presented at the festival as well.
And in cooperation with the "Üle Heli" festival, an evening of listening dedicated to spatial sounds takes place. Curators are Aivar Tõnso and Sander Saarmets.
Also the Cyberstudio's "t.i.m.e." program in Narva centers around the concept of time. Sander Saarmets's new piece "Mosaic" presents the fragmented and disjointed nature of time, while Ülo Krigul's "streeeeeeech" explores the possibility of sound multiplying through temporal stretching. The centerpiece of this concert is Jüri Reinvere's multimedia work "t.i.m.e.", which is a metaphorical, structural and visual play with the notion of time.
The "Afekt" festival takes place from October 25 to November 1 in Tallinn, Tartu and Narva. The artistic director of the festival is Monika Mattiesen.
Editor: Kristina Kersa