The non-academic musical group Kopējā izteiksme [Expression in Common] released its first truly revolutionary album Putni maina virzienu [Birds change direction] in 2000(?). Welcomed as an alternative release and non-commercial happening on the contemporary Latvian music scene by many discerning listeners (among them Klāss Vāvere), the album stood out as an honest and substantive new-age project, having actually been honed to postmodern perfection by some practitioners of much more antique forms of music!
In December 2003 the group released its follow-up Klusināta mūzika [Muted music] featuring a broader use of vocals by rising young guest stars like the five-piece acapella sensation Cosmos and the richly emotional singer Līga Priede. No less sensitive are instrumental contributions by Nick Gotham on saxophone, Māris Kupčs on acoustic guitar, four violins played by Lāsma Muceniece, Raimonds Melderis, Liene Neija-Kalniņa and Līga Muceniece, and at last the essential cello and keyboard work of group leader and composer Ainārs Paukšēns.
Ainārs Paukšēns’ daily life revolves around baroque music, which he plays on the cello and its legless predecessor viola da gamba with the ancient music ensembles Collegium Musicum Riga and Ludus. For the last dozen years or so, however, he’s been pursuing a parallel career as a composer of his own music an alternative to the prevailing formulas of academic, pop and world music. It’s music created on an emotional wave, with a consistent aesthetic in mind, a series of vivid vignettes set to lyrics by various authors (Vizma Belševica, Veronika Strēlerte, Kaspars Vanags, Ainārs Asars, Maija Asara and the composer himself). If anything, there is more melancholy sentiment, even heartache, evident in the seasonal (for wintertime) Klusināta mūzika than on the migration-themed Putni maina virzienu, but it’s all quite lovely and listenable! This music is suitable for background music or grounded into your personal soundscape.
Rather than seeking definitive genre labels for this music, it’s better to think of it as a process. Meditation. An introverted dialogue. The thirst for peace of an individual tired of the daily hustle and bustle, which in this case is quenched by sound electronically and acoustically alive. As Ainārs Paukšēns says: “it’s up to you whether or not to take part…”