Egidija Medekšaitė – “Textile”

    1.  I am not qualified to review this
    2.  I really, really like the album “Textile”

So, with those provisos out of the way, shall we dance the dance? You listen to me ramble on a bit about the beauty of this composition & recording? Or, do you rush out and buy yourself and all of your loved ones a copy of “Textile”?

I recommend you do the second option – what I am going to write here, in this review will seem paltry in comparison to the work I am reviewing.

Available as a compact disc and as a download, this release allows the composer, Medekšaitė, to indulge in her two long-standing creative interests – the connection between textile patterns and musical structures. Whist doing so, Medekšaitė focuses on the idea of Classical Indian Culture, the sounds, modes and expressions of the music therein.

I have been told that virtually all of Medekšaitė’s compositions, written post-2005, are grounded in the technique she discovered of mapping textile patterns on to a musical parameter – almost weaving with sound.

The initial formula is fixed in the form of geometric textile patterns: the warp & weft determine the pitch, timbre, dynamics, duration etc. Later, this principle is combined with other varied compositional techniques like, for example, minimalism or micro-tonality. The composer, Egidija Medekšaitė, has stated in the past that all of her music could be called ‘Textile’ regardless of the tracks individual name.

There is evidence of the influence of the Indian Sub-Continent here in this album: a lot of the tracks on this seven track album are named after Indian ragas. For example: ‘Âkâsha’, ‘Praktisha’ & ‘Sandhi Prakash’. Although, like with neo-classical music, I am no authority on the subject.

The heavy influence of South Asia makes for an interesting clash . Almost an exotic Klangfarben when played with Western instrumentation. An example of this is the second track: ‘Oscillum’. A heavy, drawling beast of a drone that empties the mind but fills the heart.

Featuring musicians from Vilnius City Municipal Choir, Lithuania National Symphony Orchestra & London’s All-Australian Chamber Orchestra the quality of the musicianship matches the artistic integrity of the composition.

Available as a CD & Download from Music Information Centre Lithuania this release has a duration of 73’55”.

The piece is divided into 8 sections, which each time extends followed by a number sequence: 3, 2, 3, 2, 3, 2, 3, and 2. In this case, the last section becomes twice longer than the previous one, representing the effect of longing, which means Pratiksha in Indian language. The harmony is based on the chromatic transposition down of the chord of three pitches until it supplement the first chord (upper tetrachord) to the full Indian raga scale.

Also, I was inspired by gamaka’s definition that they are basically connective forces and the manner of travel from one note to another. There are 32 ways of gamaka’s, which are mainly responsible for the aesthetic enjoyments in the entire performance, differing from each artist. My intention not to represent gamaka’s, but use them in such a way, that they could transform into microtonal ornamentation of the melodic cycles.

The work is commissioned by the Wigmore Hall with the support of André Hoffmann, President of the Fondation Hoffmann, a Swiss grant-making foundation. The work is dedicated to the ensemble Apartment House.     – Egidija Medekšaitė

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