Review of Hara Alonso about the project “The City Composing Kaunas“
The City Composing in Kaunas was a total success in terms of participation of the audience and work with the musicians. The Jazz Academy really put effort in spreading the project in different spaces around the city to enable diverse people to participate. The participation in the notebooks was immense, we received around 200 scores, made by kids, young and elderly people. Texts, melodies, drawings… many references to the Ukrainian war and also to folkloric Lithuanian elements. To compose with that material was a very beautiful experience, of course, we had to select a number of scores for the concert, 18 in total. Some scores were fully written and some were more inspiration for an improvisation. We created solos, duos, trios and full ensemble works. The musicians involved in the project were absolutely engaged in the project, working hard for one week rehearsing the music and creating interpretations together. The rehearsals week was very
intense but fruitful. 6 musicians were professionals and 4 were students, that created a very pedagogical approach in the process. Some of the musicians interpreted the scores in solos or duos, so they had time to work by themselves, otherwise we worked in full ensemble most of the time. Some scores demanded a lot of rehearsal time and other were more improvised. For example, the last piece of the concert was called ‘Slava Ukraine’ and it was a free improvisation, as a chant for freedom. Other pieces, for example ‘love song’, for voice and piano, were written
as a jazz standard.
The concert was a very special event, lot of different type of audiences came, families, the elderly, young groups of friends… The space of the concert, the Evangelist church created a very cozy atmosphere. Overall the project fulfilled the aim and the participants, both the audience
and the musicians were very engaged in the process. The production team, Arnas Mikalkenas and Daiva Masaityte, was absolutely brilliant, very attentive and committed to the project. The communication in social media and news was excellent, the project was followed by several newspapers and city cultural agendas. All activities around the project as the lecture on contemporary notation and the open rehearsal were a success, lot of audience and interest.
PROGRAM OF “THE CITY COMPOSING KAUNAS “Paišalynė” for ensemble (collective creation). “Dual patterns” for ensemble (arr. by Hara Alonso). “Emojis” for ensemble (arr. by Hara Alonso). “Rytas po ryto” for voice and accordeon (arr. by Arnas Mikalkenas). “Žaidimas kamuoliu” by Mantas, for flute and sax (arr. by Mindaugas Apulskis and Agnė Repečkaitė). “Love song” for voice and piano (arr. by Arnas Mikalkenas & Dana Indane). “Solo bouble bass” (arr. by Gediminas Stepanavičius). “Bėgikas” for trombone, piano and percussion (arr. by Povilas Jurkša, Arnas Mikalkenas and Austėja Marija Kimbartaitė). “Building melody” for ensemble (arr. by Hara Alonso). “Continent edge” for ensemble (collective creation). “Blind heart” for voice (arr. by Dana Indane). “#2” for piano. “Mamos gimtadienio tortas” by Eitvydas for voice ensemble (collective creation). “Towards the sun” for ensemble and electronics (arr. by Hara Alonso). “Echoes” for ensemble (arr. by Hara Alonso). “Roses are red, so is my love for you” for 3 voices (arr. by Dana Indane, Agnė Repečkaitė & Silvia Leonzio). “Looping measures (aka Batukada)” for percussion ensemble (arr. by Hara Alonso). “Spirit of Freedom” for ensemble (collective creation). Ensemble: Dana Indane – Surkienė (voice), Gediminas Stepanavičius (double bass), Agnė Repečkaitė (voice and flute), Silvia Leonzio (voice and electric bass), Arnas Mikalkenas (piano and percussion), Povilas Jurkša (trombone), Dominykas Vysniauskas (trumpet), Mindaugas Apulskis (saxophone) and Kristupas Gikas (flute), Austėja Marija Kimbartaitė (piano, voice and conduction).