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Šarūnas Nakas


Photo: Arūnas Baltėnas

Šarūnas Nakas, a composer by calling and a cultural critic by necessity, earned a solid reputation as a 'transgressor' of accepted norms. In 1985 he wrote several of his most seminal works, planting some ideas and phenomena which have never taken root locally - Dada, Kurt Schwitters' Merz and futurism (Merz-machine, Vox-machine, Ricercars). Ten years later Nakas found himself fascinated the inspirations coming from various non-academic music worlds (jazz, improvisational and ethnic music), as well as to the aural impressions of everyday life (radio, MTV, street bustle, murmur of the water and the wind, bird songs, etc), first of all in the compositions Chronon, Fight and Escape, At Heaven's Door. Another important idea that has gripped Nakas' imagination in recent years is a kind of architectural approach to musical composition, beginning with graphic sketches of pitch structure, then piling blocks of different rhythmic patterns and putting them into separate uniform layers, kept together without any binder but by the sheer force of weight - just like in ancient pyramids, mausoleums or ziggurats (Ziqquratu, Aporia, Nude, Crown). Šarūnas Nakas: "My compositions could be compared, in some respects, to macro-systems, like lakes, oceans, rivers, nebulae, star clusters, or vast Northern landscapes: it makes no sense to single out individual sounds, motifs or episodes in my music, because changes occur here at a very slow and hardly perceptible pace."

Veronika Janatjeva


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