In this Ultima commission, Lithuanian experimental musician Arturas Bumšteinas has extended his Lithuanian Works & Days Ensemble with oboe player Maxim Koolomiiets and saxophonist Ilia Belorukov.
Arturas Bumšteinas: Multi-track Simplicities (2022, WP)
Works & Days Ensemble is an international ensemble with changing formations. For this Ultima commission the ensemble consists of performers from Lithuania, Ukraine and Russia.
With the volatile mix of nationalities and its Fluxus-inspired soundscape of rhythm, groove and minimalist approaches, this evening’s world premiere Multi-track Simplicities embodies the concept of Ultima’s 2022 theme: ‘Freedom is around the corner’.
The theme of this year’s festival is originally a phrase coined by Danish composer and Fluxus Artist Henning Christiansen. In the 60s, Christiansen’s constructivist compositions Perceptive Constructions, Models and Informations pioneered ideas of ‘new simplicity’ and minimalism in music.
Bumšteinas has taken these ideas into this evening’s concert as a launch pad for a piece involving 15 short sound-objects for an improvising group, played against an electronic soundtrack. Bumšteinas has been fascinated by Henning Christiansen ever since he set eyes on the Danish artist’s green violin in a Fluxus exhibition in Vilnius. In 2016 he produced wood glue copies of Christiansen’s record Fluxorum Organum and used them in a performance on Henning’s native island of Møn in Denmark; in 2021 Arturas used the same records in his piece Double Life of Pipe Organ.
‘Unlike the complexity of musical modernism so far, my vision tends towards extreme simplicity. But, as I perceive it, it is a multi-track simplicity; after all, not everyone experiences a note or a line in a same way.’ – Henning Christiansen