The Umwelt of Walpurgis Night Brings Contemporary Art Music To The Estonian National Museum

One of the most exciting events of this year’s Baltic and Estonian Music Days festival is the Umwelt of Walpurgis Night in the late evening of April 30 at the Estonian National Museum in Tartu. 

The event unfolds across multiple exhibition areas, intriguingly intertwining diverse art forms, creating a staged encounter where new contemporary music and performance art seamlessly blend. The visitor will encounter six new electronic pieces performed by the Ensemble of the Estonian Electronic Music Society (EMA) premiering 6 new works: Margo Kõlar's Werewolf, Paul Beaudoin's Dhvani, Doris Hallmägi's Yakamoz, Jakob Juhkam's Little Nightmusic, Matis Leima's Mirror Maze Mind and Markus Robam's Clockworks

Furthermore, attendees have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the unique sonic realm of Sami Klemola‘s modular synthesizer and the surreal musical performance Brain Porridge Brought to a Boil by the collaborative effort of Repoo Ensemble and Andrus Kallastu. The expansive late-night affair is unified by the performance art of Al Paldrok and the collective Non Grata. This dynamic event ensures an immersive acoustic experience, showcasing the diverse exhibition spaces filled with the museum’s artifacts, historical tales, and expansive bridge area.

Al Paldrok (alias Anonymous Boh) is an Estonian performance artist, sculptor, and graphic artist and the international performance art group Non Grata leader. Renowned for his global tours, performances, exhibitions, and publications, Al Paldrok is one of Estonia’s most coveted artists. In 1998, alongside Reiu Tüür, he established the educational institution Academia Non Grata, distinguished by its integration of cultural disciplines, cultivation of versatile artistic personas, and unconventional teaching approaches.

The Ensemble of the Estonian Electronic Music Society (EMA) is committed to performing electronic chamber music. The Ensemble of the Estonian Electronic Music Society has been lauded for their flexibility and musicality, which, in the case of electronic music, can easily be lost among the switches and sliders. The range of available instruments varies from Buchla and Serge synthesizers to laptop-based live-electronics. Given the scarcity of repertoire for such a formation, EMA has commissioned and premiered over 20 new works throughout the years.

Sami Klemola (b. 1973) is a many-faceted and bold composer whose output includes sound art and installations in addition to conventional compositions. A substantial part of his output consists of electroacoustic music; accordingly, he is the founder and coordinator of Finland’s only electroacoustic ensemble, defunensemble. Many of his installations are interactive.

Repoo Ensemble is a conceptual music theater collective, comprised of composers, artists, writers, and performers from diverse creative backgrounds and nations. The ensemble’s name embodies a sense of theatricality (in Estonian, the word ‘repoo’ is ‘opera’ spelled backwards). The ensemble’s activities are managed by Pärnu Opera and its artistic director is Andrus Kallastu.

The Baltic and Estonian Music Days will take place from April 26 to May 5. This year, for the first time, the big event will take place entirely in the European Capital of Culture, Tartu. The festival theme is Umwelt, and the artistic directors are Märt-Matis Lill, Helena Tulve and Timo Steiner.

Tickets are available at Piletilevi and the festival passes at Fienta.

Photo: Sami Klemola by Juha Nenonen