Performers:Ensemble of the Estonian Electronic Music Society
Co-performance by Sven Grünberg
For this concert, Taavi Kerikmäe and Sven Grünberg will unlock the score of “OM” (1988) which so far is available only as a recording.
While Grünberg’s remarkable debut album“Hingus” (1981) has gathered about a mythical haze within Estonian music history. Now, decades later also “OM” – this four-part masterpiece, can be added to the list of top Estonian albums. It still remains at the very highest level of the diverse waves of domestic electronic music which began to roll out in the 1990s.
In order to understand how unique this piece is, we have to dig into the pre-awakening, frustration-ridden 1980s which may seem ancient to today’s electronic musicians. This includes influences from Grünberg’s own film music of the time (“Dead Mountaineer’s Hotel”, “Corrida”, “Dog-eat-dog”, “Requiem”, and “Mermaid Shallows”), from Linnart Mäll’s popularised semi-illegal Buddhist ideology, as well as a desire to modernise folk tunes and break out of an enclosed society. The pieces are built up on the energy of totality and beauty, which is why they still carry nurturing values.
Sven Grünberg has never identified himself as a composer who has been dedicated to electronic music but has instead synthesised artificial and natural sounds into one whole with his intangible elegance. Even so, his influence reached the new school of electronic music just as the desire was emerging for the surreal nature of the era of “Hingus”, with the more mundane and sensitive sub-currents at first being left aside.