About art and everyday life – an interview

A few days ago we had the pleasure to perform at the International Art Festival “Mažeikiai 2017” with our Lutheran program “Gesmes chriksczoniskas:
A musical journey through 16th-17th century Reformation churches in Germany, Prussia and Lithuania Minor”. Every performing group in the festival was asked the same set of 10 questions. These are our answers, in the uncut English version.

What do you think, can anyone create art?
Surely not, and not everyone needs to. There is a difference between being creative and doing art. Everyone can experience creativity, but that can only be a personal journey. Creating art, however, means first of all to establish the continuous flow between the inner journey and the act of transporting it to the outside. Second, art comes from abilities and accumulated knowledge, or as the Germans say “Kunst kommt von Können”. Someone who experiences creativity, but is not an artist, can stop the process at any time, while the artist cannot and should not. Furthermore, all this must be filtered through the ideals of Ethics and Beauty, as art should generally inspire to reflection upon better and greater things. Obviously, we artists need self-discipline and constant training in these matters as well.

Should art emerge from suffering?
It should not, but it usually does. In the same time, suffering does not guarantee the ability to create art, just as tragedies in life do not necessarily make someone a better person.

Is it important for an artist to live a bohemian lifestyle?
Touching on a bohemian life is inevitable for artists. For some people who usually have problems communicating “normally”, it can be a discovery of the extraordinary layers of expressing their deep hidden ideas, soothe the existential pain, or simply socializing. In addition, connecting with other artists always brings new strength and inspiration.

What do you think of the society in which we are now living?
Unfortunately, in Eastern Europe, as in most European countries, we witness a rise of far-right politics, which in our view is not suitable for a thriving cultural and artistic environment. We hope that times will change, and we as developers will try to influence it.

Do you think artists should be socially active citizens?
Yes, of course, this is part of our existence. An artist cannot be passive. Although sometimes it is difficult to talk to colleagues about it, we still have to join forces, start developing initiatives (such as in Germany) in order to improve the social security and the working conditions of artists from all fields.

Does the concept of truth have any meaning in your work?
We believe that it is impossible to be an artist without having a strong connection with the ideal of Truth. The moment this connection breaks down, everything starts to collapse. Unfortunately, not everyone realizes it at once, therefore some may prefer to avoid inconvenient processes and try to adapt to new situations, often searching for sensational solutions that turn art into “chaotic prostitution”. We are trying to stay away from this.

Does the artist need attention, awards, fans?
Artists need recognition and support; these encourage us to keep going. Awards in the past had a different meaning than nowadays. Competition is good, when it is not fierce fighting for the scene, which does not always bring good results.

What is your relationship with the daily home routine?
We have the same relationship with it as every other human being.

What is the significance of things in your life?
We are happy if the things that surround us are also beautiful, not only functional. We tend to decorate our homes with items which reflect our personal taste.

What are your next creative plans?
This year we still have some projects related to the celebration of the Reformation. In the next year, we will concentrate, as we usually do, on the musical heritage of Lithuania and Lithuania Minor.

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