Baltic Trail is a gathering of electronic music professionals – producers, vocalists and musicians – bringing everyone together from the three Baltic States for an intense session of making music.
Baltic Trail is named after the Baltic Way (1989), a historical event during which approximately two million people joined hands and formed a 600 km long human chain across the three Baltic States to express their unity, disapproval towards the Soviet Union and desire to regain their independence. Soon after that the Soviet Union fell down and the Baltic States, followed by other republics, became free.
There have been two gatherings so far. The first took place in Liepāja, Latvia (Fontaine Palace and Art School) in August 2013 and the second one happened in Riga, Latvia (Kombināts Māksla) in August 2014. The third Baltic Trail is scheduled to visit Lithuania for the first time and will take place in Nida Art Colony on November 13th-22nd, 2015.
To make the long story short, what happens in the gatherings is that the artists divide themselves into pairs or groups and work their magic together in pop-up studios, share their knowledge of music production, showcase and enjoy their time together. The gathering usually lasts for a week.
The main goals of the gatherings are to unite the electronic music communities in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia and to inspire and motivate musicians for further progress in field of creating music.
The aim of the Baltic Trail in 2015 is to create new or rediscover existing platform, digital or analogue, that would be the best format for an artist to reach its listener/consumer/evaluator. The result will be presented in the most effective way possible, bearing in mind that the time frame for the creative process is rather short. The objects have to be not only started but also finished during the time and in the space of Baltic Trail.
The key word here is Baltic. We want to get to know our neighbours via their musical heritage, which is very different in all the three Baltic countries. The means to do that start, of course, with the inaugural night, but we aim for recognition process that extends to the studios and workshops. The participants will share their personal musical backgrounds and the history of their local scenes with the new colleagues. Folk, traditional songs and instruments will be encouraged to be included in the process, either by inviting local artists or sampling the heritage available in the archives.
The idea of Baltic Trail was coined by Kristaps Puķītis, the main man behind the Dirty Deal Audio label and artists collective from Riga, Latvia together with Vitalij Puzyriov aka Vaiper Despotin, a diligent Lithuanian producer, DJ, MC and father of a generation of beatmakers. In 2015 the team has been joined by Milda Januševičiūtė, the manager of one of the most interesting Lithuanian bands called Without Letters, and Kotryna Sokolovaitė, the communications manager of Opium nightclub in Vilnius, Lithuania and freelance music blogger. Henrik Ehte, an underground entrepreneur of the Estonian music scene, was also warmly welcomed on board. As Baltic Trail will be held in the Curonian Spit this year, Linas Ramanauskas, the producer and curator of the Nida Art Colony, has kindly offered his insights and knowledge and is helping to set up shop for the theoretical part of the gathering as well as taking care of the imaginary footprint that will be left on the Curonian Spit by the Baltic Trail. Linas is also the head of Neringa FM, a radio station broadcast from Nida Art Colony, and this opens doors for even more possibilities for the participants of the gathering.
The participants will spend a lot of time in the brand new studio of Nida Art Colony and will then dive into sessions of field recordings, workshops and lectures. Lithuanian producer Domas Strupinskas, Estonian sound artist and composer John Grzinich and Icelandic visual artist Gunnhildur will hold the latter. The outcome of Baltic Trail will be presented in the form of an interactive sound exhibition, accompanied by bits and pieces of sound art in various forms.
The Nida Art Colony or NAC is a new subdivision of the Vilnius Academy of Arts. It was developed under the EEA and Norway Grants support and opened in March 2011.
NAC is a meeting place for experienced and emerging artists, designers, architects, curators, art critics and researchers from around the world. Artistic, curatorial and educational process lies in the core of its activities, which mostly focus on professional development of artists and informal art education for the young. NAC offers time, space and professional support for exchange, work, reflection, research, production and experimentation in contemporary visual culture.
NAC is located on the Curonian Spit, which is a peninsula dividing the Curonian Lagoon and the Baltic Sea. The spit is on the UNESCO World Heritage List as one of the most beautiful and unique cultural landscapes of Europe. It is also the Neringa National Park with sand dunes and Scots Pine forests as characteristic features of its landscape. Nida settlement is the administrative centre of the Curonian Spit or Neringa. The whole spit counts some 2300 permanent residents. It is a popular holiday destination and the number of residents during the summer months increases ten times. http://nidacolony.lt/
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