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  Martin A. Dege

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Trys Keturiose: sutartines in NL

Ensemble TRYS KETURIOSE - bezwerende polyfone gezangen (Litouwen) in Nederland!

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Zaterdag 12 mei 2012                                                                        Zondag 20 mei 2012
20:20                                                                                                                         15:00
In de Sint Willibrorduskerk                                                                            
Tropentheater, Kleine Zaal
Minrebroederstraat 21, 3512 GS Utrecht                        Linnaeusstraat 2, 1090 HA Amsterdam

bezwerende polyfone gezangen (Litouwen) in Nederland!


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Wie het vrouwenensemble Trys Keturiose voor het eerst hoort, denkt waarschijnlijk heel even 'gewone' vroege, meerstemmige zang te horen. Al snel echter wordt duidelijk dat de Litouwse sutartinès (afgeleid van het werkwoord sutarti: het eens zijn met elkaar) een eigen karakter hebben. Hun zang klinkt weerbarstiger, niet lieflijk gepolijst, maar vooral indrukwekkend door de bezwerende, plechtige lading. Ook de manier waarop de vrouwen deze traditionele liederen uit de zestiende eeuw uitvoeren is opmerkelijk: ze draaien om elkaar heen, stappen naar voren als een nieuwe strofe wordt ingezet en dansen zo een gedragen choreografie. Het ensemble staat onder leiding van Daiva Vyciniene, 'de koningin van de sutartinès', die de authentieke klankkleur van dit met zorg bewaart.

The group led by Dr. Daiva Račiūnaitė-Vyčinienė, titled ‘the queen of sutartinės’, for 20 years already has been perfecting the performing of the old polyphonic songs sutartinės and reconstructing the melodies that are held in archives and published. The singers do not aim to copy the archival recordings, but seek to retain the authentic colour of the sutartinės sound. They also seek to approach contemporary arts and collaborate with composers and video artists. In the project Lino laikas (Flax Time), sutartinės are organically combined with video art.

Description about Sutartinės:

Sutartinės (from the word sutarti – to be in concordance) is a form of polyphonic music performed by female singers in north-east Lithuania. The songs have simple melodies, with two to five pitches, and comprise two distinct parts: a meaningful main text and a refrain that may include nonce words. There are almost forty different styles and ways of performing Sutartinės. Mainly, they can be performed by two singers in parallel seconds; by three singers in strict canon, all performing both phrases of the melody at staggered intervals; or by two groups of singers, the lead singer of each pair singing the main text, while the partner sings the refrain, before the second pair repeats. The poetic texts encompass many themes, including work, calendar rituals, weddings, family, wars, history and moments of daily life. Choreography is uncomplicated and movements are moderate, often austere, such as walking in the form of a circle or star while linking arms and stamping feet. Sutartinės are performed on solemn occasions, as well as festivals, concerts and social gatherings. Their performance promotes the sharing of cultural values and provides a feeling of cultural identity, continuity and self-esteem. Sutartinės are usually sung by women, but men perform instrumental versions on pan-pipes, horns, long wood trumpets, fipple flutes and plucked zithers.

Biography by Mrs Daiva Vyčinienė

Since 1981 the group Trys keturiose specialises in the performance of traditional Lithuanian polyphonic songs sutartinės. These songs stand out from the rest of Lithuanian folklore due to their numerous use of seconds, entwined voices, accentuated rhythmic patterns and the simultaneous sound of two different texts (main and refrain). All these qualities of the polyphonic songs require an extraordinary concord of performers, a habit of singing together (the name sutartinės was derived form verb “sutarti”- to agree, to accord). Thus, it is not by accident that since the old times sutartinės have been sung in small groups of three or four women. Nowadays, the tradition of singing sutartinės in Lithuanian rural regions is dead. Various city folklore groups keep up this tradition.

Trys keturiose (lit. - “three in four”) are words of one refrain, which playfully reflect at times changing, at times constant composition of this group (sometimes there are three and sometimes there are four singers, or three singers permanent and the fourth changes). As the group Trys keturiose has long experience of singing traditional songs, it does not copy the sound of the 1935/37-archive records. The group pursues to develop its own sound as well as aspires to give modern meaning to the old songs.

The leader of Trys keturiose - Daiva Račiūnaitė-Vyčinienė, Ethnomusicologist, Doctor of humanities, Associate Professor, Department of Ethnic Music, Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre.

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