29 Aug 2016

MJR XIX: Coming Back Home

Summer is almost over and what could be better than say your goodbyes in a festival? I know that I should continue posting about my vacation in Poland, but I can't skip the events of the last weekend: for four years in a row I closed my summer season in Mėnuo juodaragis (my previous experiences at this festival can be found here, here and here )!



This year's Juodaragis was blessed with the sunny and quite hot weather! It was nice to put on sunglasses and shorts instead of rain boots and warm sweathers...






This year I spent most of my time in the Film and Lecture Tent, because my friends were giving their presentations there.




Since this year's theme was home, lecturers discussed many aspects of it: from architecture to the human body. It was interesting to listen and to see all those different views and opinions. Some of the presentations I had already heard in the Seminar of Indigenous Culture, but it was nice to hear them again, with some new insights and details. 







This year Mėnuo juodaragis invited some pretty interesting bands. 
   My first concert was the presentation of a new album by the band Ugniavijas. Those five men  singing can really take your breath away! They mostly sing Lithuanian war songs that are both sorrowful and melodious. 



Later I really enjoyed the performance by Lithuanian band Skylė. They played songs mostly from their new album Vilko vartai




One of my favorite Lithuanian bands is Žalvarinis. I discovered them in my early teenage years and they were one of the reasons why I got interested in Lithuanian folklore in the first place. Žalvarinis is celebrating their fifteenth anniversary (happy birthday!) so they performed songs also from their latest album, but the listeners where also pleased to hear the old songs!




There were many bands and artists from abroad, but I managed to listen only two. Hexvessel from Finland played before Žalvarinis, so I sat down to listen. Well, I guess they have fans, but I was not impressed by their performance: it lacked something substantial - the songs were about abstract and general things and I prefer when there's something personal in the songs, in lyrics, when you can grasp the inner turmoil of an artist.




The second band that I heard were the festival's headliners - Laibach. It is funny, because when I first heard about them, it was not in the context of music. When it was announced that they are going to play in Mėnuo juodaragis, my husband started to listen to their albums. And I even found a song that I liked! Their performance at the festival was of the highest quality and the people that I talked to the next day were very satisfied. 




Summa summarum this year's festival was this same, but also different. I don't know if it's the new place that it was held in or some other things, but the atmosphere in this festival changed. I still need some time to understand are those changes for better or worse, but I'm happy that I went here this year too. 


Photos © Vincas Razma and Asta Skujytė-Razmienė

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