May 2017 was very special to me. Why? Simple. It was a month when I finally played my last concert as a student. Now these days are finally over. Am I happy? Yes, definitely. I had an awesome time during these 6 years as a student, learning most favorite music in the world. By all means, it was not an easy journey. As all students I had sleepless nights, works submitted minutes before a deadline, festivals, concerts, exams… But it was worth it. I composed so many beautiful things, sang so many songs, participated in different projects (like collaboration of jazz department with ethnomusicologists, with choreographers, with video artists from other schools). Now I have a masters degree in jazz music and I feel so proud and honored, it’s simply indescribable.
My final recital was an adventure itself. Firstly I was late by one day to reserve a concert hall that I wanted, so I had to choose another date, that means that I had to change almost all the musicians in my band. Secondly I got Friday, which meant that a lot of the musicians were already busy somewhere else. Thirdly (is it even a word?), a day before the recital I had to go to another city for a very late concert, so on the day of my exam I had to take a bus early in the morning to arrive on time for the soundcheck. And finally, 3 of the tunes were composed maybe a couple of weeks before the concert, so the material was so raw, that I was scared to death and excited at the same time.
But this concert also means that I have a video of my latest work, which I consider a total hit. Maybe I am biased, but the tune means the world to me. So now I want to share it. Ladies and gents, I present to you “Lilacs”! Line-up: Pauls Kierpe on drums, Stanislavs Judins on double bass, Artjoms Sarvi on piano, Toms Rudzinskis on flute and saxophone, Dmitrijs Saligins (PM2THEAM) on turntables, me on vocals (well, who else?). I would like to say thank you to all the guys, you made this concert possible, you made the tune sound so amazing, you made it possible to receive a grade I received (not to brag, but it was the highest possible, 10 out of 10), thank you! This song will proudly join other songs in the repertoire of one of my bands – JAZZATOMY.
Although my trip to Italy has ended a long time ago, I still have a huge amount of pictures left and I really want to share them. What makes it even more hilarious, I already managed to go to Erasmus for the second time, come back and graduate from my Master studies. So now I’m determined to finally share everything that is left of my Italian pictures and start sharing my second Erasmus experience!
A little bit about the topic… Well, I like cars! In particular – vintage ones, and Italy was full of them. I swear, every day was like a constant trip to the past and I suppose that it is one of those things that make Italy so charming. Maybe I’m biased, or just so in love with that country, but it is truly amazing. I can’t possibly imagine myself driving one of those cars, or even drive in Italy, because they have their own rhythm and character which is pretty far from my semi northern mentality, but observing was exciting enough!
Here’s a little collection of cars I met while being in Rome and Naples! Yummy!
Recently I have participated in a very special concert, a tribute to Nic Gotham. Do you know, who he was? Well, let me tell you. Nic Gotham was an amazing man, musician, composer and one of the most inspiring teachers I have ever met. He was also one of the people that started jazz education in Latvia. I’ve heard multiple stories of him teaching jazz improvisation in some city with the population of 100k, of him performing in tiny cafes or big concert halls (have been to several concerts myself), changing the method of teaching solfeggio in the Academy of music, the list of what he did is endless. Unfortunately his life ended way before it was supposed to. After his death an Award has been funded. Every year either a student of a Composition class, or a student of the Jazz department, receives this award along with a scholarship. So a couple of years ago I was one of those, who received this Award, which made me incredibly happy and honored. Now this year there was a concert dedicated to Nic, every single student that received his award has participated and in the end it was splendid. The concert hall was full and the program varied from classical music to jazz, it ended with happy tears both from listeners to performers. And honestly? I was so happy to be a part of it, so I’m sharing a couple of pictures from this event made by one and only Vadim Kozhin!
Recently I decided that my life isn’t interesting enough and got involved in an interesting adventure — writing lyrics for a jazz tune!
Here’s the story: during my masters studies I had to prepare a 40-minute long program, I thought — well, it’s a new era of me becoming a cool jazz cat, why not make a tribute to someone really awesome, like, for example, Wayne Shorter? So it was decided, a tribute to Wayne Shorter it is! But here’s the deal, not all tunes I had chosen had lyrics, that’s when I decided that I just had to make it all with actual words, instead of singing shubadubidah in one of the tunes. As you can guess from the title of this post — the tune was «Lester Left Town».
Here’s a tiny demo of the tune with the brand new lyrics and the story about how I did it
So, here’s the fourth part of my Torino story! The first was about the Museum of Cars, the second about Sheila Jordan, the third about how I accidently injured myself and spent tons of hours experiencing Italian medical system in action! But this one, the last part, will be about what I managed to see and experience before my adventures started.
Torino is a wonderful city, my first impressions were so messed up, that I couldn’t even describe what I thought about it, but now, looking back on all the pictures I’d taken, flashes of memories are coming back, and the first thing that comes after «amazing» is, in fact, «right». I mean, the city is geometrically mmm… correct? It’s like people actually took some time to think about the convenience first, and then decided to decorate. And in fact, it wasn’t so complicated, since every time you’re on a crossroads you can see a wonderful view on the mountains.