Musicians: Matīss Čudars (guitar), Kaja Draksler (piano), The Latvian Radio Chamber Singers, conductor Kaspars Putniņš
Honouring the theme of this year’s Cēsis Art Festival – ‘Landscape’ – some of the musicians have also come up with an offering of their own. And so the Slovenian pianist Kaja Draksler and the Latvian guitar player Matīss Čudars – a.k.a. the Čudars-Draksler Duo – will ask the Latvian Radio Chamber Singers and Kaspars Putniņš join them for a session of organized improvisation, hoping to surprise us with something unheard.
One of the most prominent jazz musicians of the younger generation, Matīss Čudars, like Kaja Draksler, has received excellent education in Amsterdam; anyone seriously paying attention to the developments on the non-academic music scene in Latvia will have noticed him. Matīss Čudars regularly performs abroad with various ensembles, and one of the latest trips took him and Kaja to South America.
In an interview for the Klasika Latvian Radio 3, Čudars described his creative outlook in the following way: ‘As often as I have tried to make myself move in one direction, choosing a single aesthetics and a single musical language, I never manage to hold on to it for long. Sometimes I get this feeling that I am a bit jumping from one thing to another. But the more I work, the more I realize that I gain something from each different style and that they all inspire me to come up with new ideas.’
The Cēsis sound landscape will be based on a partially prepared impro by Kaja Draksler, Matīss Čudars and the Latvian Radio Chamber Singers. The whole thing will start with sounds of the forest, wind and water; the presence of an animal or two is not ruled out. From these noises increasingly defined heights of sound will emerge; then the human voices will recede, giving way to the interplay of the guitar and the piano: there will be some echoes from the Middle Ages, some play of musical textures, and then an explosive culmination will be followed by peace, meditation and a chorale.