A Review of the Opening of the SOUND DAY Festival

The annual international festival “Sound Days” opened on 27 and 28 May with an exhibition and open workshops. The festival took place from 27 May to 4 June in Liepāja, 20 Kuršu Street, Liepāja University and in the cultural space “Pegasus Courtyard”.

The 2023 festival is dedicated to the search for an in-between space in visual arts, audio culture and literature. “Sound Days is a meeting and collaboration platform for young artists, musicians, students, professionals and others interested in sound, art, music, language and technology.

On Saturday, 27 May at 19.00, the festival exhibition dedicated to the study of the interaction between sound and text opens.

Artists Artūrs Punte and Jēkabs Voļatovskis, exploring the intonations and rhythms of the poem, have created an electromagnetic acoustic string instrument that reveals the musical impulse of the poem. The media artist Diana Lelis has recorded her stream of consciousness in time and space, taking the form of text and sound. Emerging artists Mikus Svikulis and Raivo Mihailovs, students of New Media Art at the Liepaja University, also participate in the exhibition with sound art installations. Mikus Svikulis has created an interactive photoacoustic installation, while Raivo Mihailovs gave a performance at the opening and invited everyone to answer the question – “who will win now?”.

In Diana Lelis’ workshop “If every single / Chain ant / Had a name”, participants unleashed their imaginations by working in collage – using texts, images and shapes to create poems, stories, characters and other imaginative scenes.

Paula Vītola and Krista Dintere created the workshop “Senses – Sounds” within the framework of the project “Skolas soma”. It was open to a wider audience on the day of the festival’s open workshops. The artists introduced visitors to the fascinating world of sounds, demonstrating wind harps and learning different listening methods. There was also the opportunity to learn about and try out the audio-visual synthesiser, which creates sounds with stroboscopic light and rotating discs using a photoacoustic effect.

The interplay between sound and text will also be discovered and explored in other festival activities taking place throughout the week: workshops, audiovisual performance evenings, an exhibition, readings of poetry and other creative texts, artist presentations, demonstrations, etc.

The workshop leaders are various artists from Latvia and abroad working in and between the fields of sound, visual and various other arts: Olivia Jack (US/DE), programmer and developer of the live visualisation tool Hydra; Antye Greie-Ripatti (AGF) (DE/FI), sound sculptor and inclusive feminist activist; Friedemann Dupelius (DE), experimental musician, DJ and text artist; Tobias Hartmann (DE), researcher and digital sound artist; Reinis Semēvics, acoustic artist and one of the creators of the Internet radio platform “Tīrkultūra / Unexpected Sources Audio Gallery Radio”; Platonas Buravickis, electroacoustic music composer, pianist and improviser; Maxime Shenteliev, sound artist, researcher and architect; Artūrs Punte, poet and artist, member of the Orbīta collective.

On 30 May, a performance by Juan Duarte Regino (MX/FI) and Anton Filatov (DE) will also take place at 9 Market Street, where you can experience a deep listening improvisation that uses drone sounds and textures to reflect the changing seasons and soundscapes of the weather. Duarte is a Mexican artist based in Finland who creates artworks with environmental sounds, exploring ways of perceiving nature and technology. Until 30 June, Duarte is an artist in the Baltic-Nordic Art, Science and Techno-ecology Residency Programme organised by the new media culture centre RIXC. Anton Filatov is a Berlin-based artist from Karelia who works in the interspace between digital, physical and spoken media and creates audiovisual experiments in close connection with physical space.

On 2 June, there will also be activities dedicated to literature and experiments – readings by Elina Bakule-Weir and Ivars Šteinbergs and short-form workshops, in which the authors will give insights into their research and present different methods of creating sound poems. The evening will also include readings by young writers from the University of Liepaja and multimedia performances.

On Saturday, 3 June, we invite you to the closing event of Sound Days, which will take place on three stages throughout the festival area, both in the Pegasus Courtyard and in the Liepaja University building.

The evening will start at 17.00 with presentations and performances of the results of the festival workshops.

From 19.00 onwards, a diverse and experimental programme of audiovisual performances will follow, with the participation of workshop leaders Friedeman Dupelius, Platonas Buravickis, Reinis Semēvics, Artūrs Punte and Maksims Šenteļevs. Rabenau and Mellamellene with aural music, text and media artist Diana Lelis in synergy with electronic music artist Mahi F. Bukimi, media artist Paula Vītola, audio-visual organism Trihars and others.

“Sound Days” is organised by ASTE. Art, Science, Technology, Education and Liepaja University Art Research Laboratory (MPLab), in collaboration with the Liepaja University Writing Studies Programme and the cultural space Pegasus Courtyard.

Supported by the Liepaja Municipality Culture Board, the State Culture Capital Foundation (VKKF) and Liepaja University.