Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis is a cult figure of Lithuanian art and a signpost of Lithuanian identity. Paradoxically, this internationally widely recognized extraordinary creator of music and painting has become a kind of abstract symbol for the young generation of Lithuanians, an icon worshipped out of habit and apparently not to be touched.
The trace of Čiurlionis in “Voicescapes” is generalized and abstract – on the background of fragments of choir pieces sung by the choir “Jauna muzika” , electronic and acoustic sounds, noises, and improvisations it can be also understood as an allusion to “The Creation of the World”, as if a kind of time machine would have transferred Čiurlionis into our nuclear age. We can only guess if Čiurlionis would have taken interest in synthesizers, or if he would have collaborated with contemporary jazz musicians. However, bearing in mind his interdisciplinarity, very progressive for his times, and his inquisitiveness for various art forms (music, art, photography), we are tempted to think that he would not have found the artistic expression of “Voicescapes” strange, all the more that as a musician and pianist Čiurlionis felt fondness for improvisation.
The creative adventurousness of the authors of “Voicescapes”, their indirect and informal relation with Čiurlionis’s work paradoxically does not obscure the glow of the genius, but on the contrary, remove him from the pantheon of the canonized saints of art and place him in the urgent present.
The composition “Voicescapes” was created on commission from the “Semplice” label and is dedicated to the 100th death anniversary of Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis (1875–1911). Its premiere took place during the opening concert of the international festival “Vilnius Jazz 2011” at the Church of St. Catherine in Vilnius.