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Contemporary Livonian poetry and original music project ‘Kuolm randõ/Three Shores’ releases second single ‘Vaga Värded Ķäubed/The Gate of Silence Opens’

‘“Vaga Värded Ķäubed/The Gate of Silence Opens” is generally about the death of language and the rebirth of new life in all its ways. It’s also about misunderstanding and comprehension. And definitely it speaks about Love which is the final reality after every fire and apocalypse. I think it could be a poem of the Easter and the Midsummer Night at the same time,’ contemplates Kempju Karlis, the author of Livonian poetry.

The artists of the project ‘Kuolm randõ/Three Shores’, inspired by the contemporary Livonian poetry, have enclothed Livonian language in nowadays original music. It is chamber music with
layers of different sound nuances and moods, bordering between the discovery of new musical horizons and following traditional canons. The musicians are united by their interest in the
shades of academic, jazz and world music.

Livonian is a language of indigenous peoples of Latvia, and it is listed in the UNESCO Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger as one of the most critically endangered languages in the
world. This year starts the Decade of the World’s Indigenous People (2022–2032) with the aim to draw global attention on the critical situation of many indigenous languages and to mobilize
stakeholders and resources for their preservation, revitalization and promotion. Kempju Karlis is the only poet in the world who writes poetry in the lost and mysterious Vidzeme dialect, which is
also called the Salaca Livonian language, using his own orthography. A song is an opportunity to immerse oneself in the language, get to know its sound, use it, preserve it and carry it to a
wider audience.

Double bass player Stanislavs Judins, the author of lyrics, says about the single: ‘Language, poetry and people impact my thoughts and ideas. In recent years, I have focused on free
improvisation, contemporary music, but only when I met musicians in this project, I wanted to compose a simple melody in the senses of poetry.’

The poem ‘Vaga Värded Ķäubed/The Gate of Silence Opens’ is taken from the book ‘Trilium/Trillium’ (2018) published in both Livonian and English by the Livonian Cultural Center. It
is the first contemporary poetry book in Livonian language, which was widely recognized: it received the Annual Latvian Literature Award in special nomination (2019) and the Estonian
Literature Award for the related nations program (2020). In 2021 the book was published also in Estonian and Latvian languages.

The performers who took part in the recording of the single: Elina Ose (singer and artistic director of the project, producer), Janis Rubiks (double bass), Austris Kalnins (keyboards) and
Ernests Medins (percussions), string quartet JUNO, Kristaps Krievkalns (sound engineer, producer), Armands Treilihs (mix/master).

The single is made in cooperation with the University of Latvia Livonian Institute and the State Culture Capital Foundation and is a part of the upcoming album ‘Kuolm randõ/Three Shores’,
which is planned to be released in the second half of this year.

The project ‘Kuolm randõ/Three Shores’ will be performed on April 20 at the Estonian National Museum in Tartu and on May 5 as part of the music festival Tallinn Music Week within the
Fenno-Ugria Night in Tallinn

MEL editor

MEL editor

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