Giesme wakarine | Pieśń wiecźorna | Evening song

Our most beloved project lately, Giesme wakarine | Pieśń wiecźorna | Evening song is a harmonious and tender dance between Polish and Lithuanian identities and between Catholic and Reformation beliefs. We featured in this program the prominent composers of 16th Century’s Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth: Mikołaj Gomółka (c.1535–c. 1609), Cyprian Bazylik (c.1535- c.1600), Krzysztof Klabon  (c.1550– c.1616) and Wacław z Szamotuł (c.1520–c.1560). These composers belong to Lithuania as much as to Poland, therefore it was important for us to use both languages in our program, from authors like Jan Kochanowski (1530–1584), Saliamonas Mozerka Slavočinskis (c.1630–c.1660), Steponas Jaugelis-Telega (c.1600–1668), Mikołaj Rej (1505–1569), Andrzej Trzecieski (c.1530–1584), and Merkelis Petkevičius (c.1550–1608) who were the fathers of these countries’ languages and literature.

For our debut concert at the trigonale – festival der alten musik we had the pleasure to work together with two singers from Lithuania: Nora Petročenko and Nerijus Masevičius, and two singers from Poland: Radosław Pachołek and Maciej Gocman.

The verses from different stanzas are switching from Old-Polish to Old-Lithuanian, in an attempt to catch the universal appartenance of this beautiful heritage, an aspect which is of more importance for us than an intuitive venture into trying to display the historically correct moment.

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.

Morgaine at Marco Scacchi festival in Vilnius

After half a year of the concert break, Morgaine and soprano Anna Maria Wierød met again in Vilnius for the Marco Scacchi Early Music Festival of Early Music in Vilnius. But why Marco Scacchi? And who is this guy?
During the reign of the Vasa family, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth became one of the famous work destinations for musicians from Italy, among them, the prolific Marco Scacchi, who became the leader of the Wladyslaw Vasa’s capella in the 1620’s and brought it to fame with numerous stagings of drammi per musica. Due to the fact that most of Scacchi’s works were lost, little is now remembered of the controversial and polarizing personality Scacchi was. His resolute musical views, in which the spoken word was the engine of the musical discourse, as well as his openly dismissive attitude towards some of his colleagues, gained many supporters as well as critics.
After almost 30 years of work in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Scacchi returned to Italy, where he taught several young musicians, including Angelo Berardi.
The Italian town Gallese, where Marco Scacchi retired for the last years of his life, is hosting an annual festival in his honor for sixteen years now. In Vilnius, the “Marco Scacchi Festival” is still young, just having closed its third edition this May.
Morgaine created their new program “Per Te, Amor” especially for this year’s festival.

Welcome to our homepage!

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Now, after a little bit more than one year since we had our debut concert, we came to the conclusion that, after all, a “real” website still makes sense. Our goal was to design it as simple, sober and informative as possible, mainly for you, dear concert organizers, so that you can find everything you need in the blink of an eye. We hope that we succeeded in doing so, and we promise that we will keep this website up to date.
And now, for those who would like to know more about us, we would like to tell you the unceremonious history of our ensemble. At this point we need to “warn” you that the main target of our News section is the group of friends, colleagues and fans of Morgaine, and that the style of our blog will be rather informal.

The first time Alina and Darius started to talk about founding an ensemble, which would be focused on the music of the 16th and 17th Centuries, was about one and a half years ago. Part of Morgaine was born out of the ashes of Alina’s first ensemble (Luxurians) which she had founded during her study years in Bremen, but which did not work unless resuscitated, over and over again. There are many reasons why an ensemble can or cannot work, and everybody knows that of course. It needs experience to understand these reasons, and this experience is priceless.
Karin and Michele joined the boat, and Morgaine had their debut concert on March 2016 at the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania in Vilnius, with the programme “Lifetime Images”, a reminiscent from Luxurians days, now well-groomed and in the right character. We love this programme and hope to perform it for many years to come, until everyone gets tired of it!
Our second concert took place at the SEMF in June 2016, we were happy to be a part of that. In September 2016 two concerts followed, in the spectacular Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania, which became a main concert venue for us (which we will do our best to keep). For the Vilnius Opera Day, we invited Soprano Anna Maria Wierød, a musician we do not plan to let go of. The premiere of “The Three Ravens” was fabulous, and luckily we have a bunch of great photos from that concert to prove it. When we find the time, we will dig into our audio material and publish some samples. After that, at Banchetto Musicale Festival for Early Music, we performed “Melancholia” with actress Eglė Mikulionytė, a project on Shakespeare sonnets.
Right before Christmas 2016, Morgaine performed three more concerts in Lithuania, with “Lifetime Images” and “The Three Ravens”. Karin was not able to join us for those, having concerts with Quadriga Consort (an ensemble that we love) and being busy with her job at the Conservatory of Graz, but we found in Carolina Pace and Paweł Iwaszkiewicz most worthy “replacements”.
Our “Lithuanian” projects: “Giesme Vakarine / Evening Song” and “Two Habsburg Ladies”, with 16th Century music of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, are fruits of Darius’ research work. Members of Morgaine performed these programmes together with the Lithuanian vocal ensemble Brevis Choir in the past, as well as in June 2016. These are programmes that we would like – better said, we need! – to perform in the future on stages abroad, because this valuable musical heritage has to be shown to the world.
Now, after five months of concert break, we are launching in our new project “Per te, amor” which we will perform in Vilnius end of May at the Marco Scacchi Festival.

If you like us, stay tuned, follow us on Facebook, we’ll be active sharing our experiences, plans and thoughts with you.