Polyps – Young Generation of Academic Music Composers in Lithuania


Hold your breath – a fresh start again. The sounds of the Nemunas, the catching bus and the vaults of the Liškiava monastery can be heard in it. A weightless moment removes the burden of the past and shrinks the bonds of the future. It is the only condition of evolution and the secret of longevity. When the cantatas in G major and the symphonies in D minor are repeated, here the traditions of nostalgia are diluted with the excitement of innovation. The explosive creativity of the meeting point gives birth to a live art performance, sound performance, audiovisual installations and other experiments. Probably due to the beginning, the festival “Druskomanija” is the oldest in Lithuania.
Creativity is a constantly evolving and changing organism that is difficult to feel. The progress of natural selection due to evolution is like an eternal debut. It is individual to each developer, which is why each time Salt Mania shows so much of its floor that it is even difficult to see as a whole. There is a huge driving force for culture in the younger generation. With each beginning, the general currents branch into even more directions, and the cultures of composing, performing, and perceiving music expand. The beginning determines both biodiversity and the future of Lithuanian academic music. It also causes immortality.
In the natural world, “youth” and “biological immortality” are common knowledge as the two words that most accurately describe the life of Turritopsis dohrni. A special jellyfish in old age is able to return to the stage of early youth when turned around. Her body falls to the bottom of the ocean, where it regresses into a larva and forms new polyps. Like “Druskomanija”, every few years, during a kind of transdifference, it radically renewed its creative and organizational groups. The exceptional survival skills of both organizations allow them to adapt to changing conditions and their threats. Instead of death, a “second chance” in life is chosen, based on a never-ending return to youth
The festival has a unique historical value, during the continuous history of the festival, for the first time, several generations of music professionals have experienced it here, which has determined the direction of further Lithuanian music. In addition to debuts, the following older composers are mentioned here every year: their anniversaries are celebrated, new works are commissioned. Aging is part of the life program, leaving places for the next generation. Every tradition needs an old one to link the generations living now with the ancestors who ensure the continuity of their lifestyles. At the same time, it must remain relevant today, responding meaningfully to the needs and realities of today’s urban population. In this way, the festival becomes like a chronicler, capturing the Lithuanian musical world – the changing ideas, experiments, worries and hopes of musicians. It is a milestone in the life of Lithuanian music, whose concert programs are time-translated diary pages that connect now with the past.
The composers, who make their debut at the festival every year, are looking for themselves in the world of new music, seeking uniqueness and freedom from influence, common creative currents. They are also looking for a home for their creators – a listening space, a platform, a listener. In Druskomania in 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014) – individual and sincere. International cultural influences allow them to create a unique language of composition and thus expand the creative gene pool of Lithuanian music. Emerging new community initiatives, interdisciplinary projects, color events of the last decade of cultural life.
As in nature, where all organic beings are common ancestors – members of the same family, so generations of young composers are part of the general school. Julius Aglinskas and Beata Juknevich, in their creative path, started court in Makakač, later at the academy Julius Aglinskas and Dominik Digimas devoted themselves jointly to the class of Rytis Mažulis, and Beata Juknevich graduated in the class of Vaclovas Augustinas. The new creators present a tradition of surprises, and the Druskomanija festival has acquired the opposition character of previous generations.
J. Aglinskas’ author’s debut album Daydreamer, which has recently been seen by the world, reveals his work as a field of abstract, intuitively controlled senses. The experience of music here is imbued with experiences of loneliness, melancholy, nostalgia. Chamber, electronic and theatrical music is also used to create Dominykas Digimas. His ascetic, simple, moderate works require concentration and self-analysis. Careful to the smallest detail, the positive musical material forms an abstract, slow-moving construct. Music for a composer is a sharing of how he works in the moment he is in. Ideas are born to him by listening to what is going on in the circle.

In this way, the works become resonant with the listener, musical expressions of emotional states or reflections close to each other. Only last year, Beata Juknevich, who joined the starting line but is extremely bright, creates themes of existence and death, identity, religion and nature, intimate experiences. The melancholy, sensitive, gloomy shades of her works are distinguished by timbre color experiments and sonorism in music. “.It is inspired by the transcendence of music and its impact on humanity. “It’s the truest miracle for me,” says the creator.
The three portraits of “different” generations, measured by “Druskomanija”, are also united by interdisciplinarity. The composer, sound director and keyboardist Julius Aglinska, who introduces himself as a multimedia artist, also teaches sound design, organizes events, and was a producer of the popular groups Freaks On Floor, Ba, and Brass. Another artist, Dominykas Digimas, who combines the organization of events and the creation of music, contributed to the creation of the contemporary music ensemble Synaesthesis. Beata Juknevich, a creator of classical, electronic and heavy music, also appears on stage as a vocalist of the Gothic metal band Deliriance, a soloist under the nickname Lelia or the contemporary music ensemble Fluorescence. These individualities share a common starting line.
From the Bernardine Garden to the Lithuanian National Philharmonic in Vilnius; from Čiurlionis house to Dainava sanatorium in Druskininkai, Liškiava, Kaunas, Trakai and Palanga – in May the international contemporary music festival Druskomanija will be “occupied”. Taking together last year, but reflecting today. Charles Darwin concludes his most famous work with the words, “There is greatness in this picture of life.”
The unexpected conditions of 2020 led to another evolutionary leap for “Druskomania” – armed with the slogan “for the first time”, the festival survived a pandemic with more artificial life-supporting prosthetics, which enveloped the daily life of each listener. The new format of the event presented to the world for the first time four radio shows, twenty musical and interdisciplinary compositions, a documentary and a magazine. The sound released from the concert halls has moved to a technological environment where music becomes even more durable, and perhaps immortal, reborn anywhere and anytime, with just one click.
As the world’s scientists hope to create eternal human avatars (Dmitry Itskov’s “2045 initiative”) and invent digital immortality, classical composers – like Bach, Mozart or Beethoven – have preserved their personalities and their life experiences in music, like the resin of ancient trees, inclusion. Their music is accessible to 21st century people anywhere, anytime, and they would find it easier than today’s academic musicians to survive by making money from listening to their music on online broadcast platforms. They still live in society in a cultural, technological form. However, since philosophically immortality means the continuation of personal identity, this phenomenon remains inaccessible in its full form. Johan Sebastian Bach, who has three million followers of Spotify, and Turritopsis dohrnii, immortality, as well as the exchange of generations for the half-century-old “Druskomania”.
Flexibility or repetition, challenge or security, freedom or tradition. Aren’t they two parts of the same animal? The snake of tradition and innovation bears its own tail. On this is written “Youth Music Days”, a twisted belly reads “Young Music”, and on the nostrils – “Druskomanija”. Generations carry traditions forward and cleanse the memory track to the past. Taking what is most valuable brings a torch to tomorrow. tail and Ch. Darwin’s laws ensure the evolution of music in the future. By selling whatever elixir of youth, the key to Druskomanija’s success may even become a medicine for the actualization of classical music in the 21st century. And representatives of the young generation of Lithuanian music and technological innovations promise a long and unpredictable path for Druskomanija in the future.

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