This year, the Sansusi Alternative Chamber Music Festival invited those who do not have the opportunity to go to Aknīsti to form a festival embassy in their yard, gathering their closest friends at one computer or TV, and join the festival’s digital stage.
The pandemic period has not only moved concerts and theater performances to the Internet environment, but also festivals, following the current trends, have become active broadcasters of content in the Internet environment and have become committed to exploring the possibilities of the Internet environment. At the same time, the time of the pandemic has made people tired of Internet content – watching recordings and live broadcasts, new demands are being made on content and quality, on innovations in form and content.
A static camera that broadcasts and a moderator who creates applications will no longer be able to attract viewers.
Festivals of new, digital, smart media art in the world, in which the synthesis and points of contact of reality and the digital world are sought, will soon have a history of half a century. In Latvia, one of the oldest among the festivals broadcasting live is the International Music and Art Festival “Good Nature”, which since 2013, connecting all six stages of the festival, forming talks with artists, creates the festival atmosphere in the waves of “Radio Naba”. , gives impulses to imagination and the opportunity to live with the festival, while retaining its radio and analog art character, without including digital manipulations or special effects. The multimedia project “Nature Concert Hall”, which so far took the viewer to little-known places in Latvia to discover the magic of nature creatures, this year also offered to sit more comfortably on their screens and enjoy a computer-saturated concert video, beautifully processed, edited and polished. There are innumerable concert recordings in the LMT stream, from which you can choose your favorite musician or event, both alternative and popular music events can be found cut into concert pieces.
This year, for the first time, Sanssouci, while maintaining the focus of academic music, was looking for ways to complement the sound of this music with digital solutions that could replace the non-live sense of presence with new emotions.
A space was created for experiments in which the usual streaming from a festival stage was transformed into a digital interplay with face-to-face events, creating a parallel, distorted, augmented reality in the Internet environment. Varis Klausītājs – the festival’s voice and instructor – gained both a digital voice and at times reminded him of a cone, then a forest monster, during the piano concert accompanied by quarter-tone music, the piano began to generate symbols and objects, but night 20-minute discos allowed for real-time video and rhythm.
Documentary vs. artistic
Broadcasts from different venues can have different goals – documentary, informative, “for reporting” but when the event organizers announce that one of the festival stages will be on the Internet and only on the Internet, an artistic-conceptual aspect is added.
The live broadcast is no longer additional material, it is an event in itself.
Sanssouci concerts, performances, fights and other events were mostly filmed with two cameras, giving the live viewer moments of such close-ups that he would not notice when he was in the woods near the Dome. The dynamics, the colors of the camera (some of the concerts were filmed in black and white), made you forget about the feeling that you are just an observer of the documentation of an event.
However, it is not a concert film, the live broadcast remains live with its unpredictability – disappearing signals, internet connections, broken wires (it seems that nothing happened this time), or conversations of artists caught accidentally (not in vain it is added to the event descriptions that and photographed and anyone can get in the frame). Therefore, at a time when a pandemic teaches us to preserve our natural Latvian introverted nature, a garden with a good internet connection, a good screen and speakers can create unforgettable and lively feelings of presence.
Are “digital games” suitable for academic music?
On Saturday afternoon, in the forest sunshine, the Dome, there was a match between two pianists Ēvalds Lazarevičs and Pāvels Račikas, giving the greatest music gourmets a musical adventure previously unheard of in Latvia – two preludes of the Russian avant – garde Ivan Vishnegradska 24 preludes. A concert, as a bit from another world, which makes you ask questions while listening, especially to those who have not heard the name of Vishnegradsky before. In the middle of the compositions, the live image begins to be supplemented by symbols flowing from the piano, numbers that transform into objects over time.
Until now, only 20 minutes of discos and Varis had discovered the outlines of the digital world, but now the screen fills with elements of the digital world during the concert.
The rest of the concerts remain clean, without digital additions and transformations. As a result, the nature, biography and cultural heritage of the authors themselves become the inspirers of online content, allowing them to think not only about the composition itself, but also about the performer. In contrast, the video signal manipulations used in “20-minute discos” resembled The aesthetics, light and transformation of the disco made the audiovisual an online event that not only allows you to see the energy and sweat of the DJ, but to feel the rhythm by seeing moving and changing images, allowing yourself to be captivated by the bass rhythms.
Diversity of content on one screen
Viewers from the USA, Denmark, Great Britain and countless places here in Latvia joined the live broadcast of the festival “Sansusi”, allowing the magic of the festival. The unrestricted territory in which the content of an artistic event is available is clearly one of the main advantages of such live broadcasts.
The ability to provide high-quality live broadcast aesthetic enjoyment – sound and image quality, replaces the fact that it is not possible to be in the same room with artists.
During the rebuilding of the stage, this year there was one stage in Sanssouci, the possibility of looking at other activities of the festival was considered, this time no longer in video format. The musical-theatrical performance “Archipelago of Oblivion”, the “Dirty Deal Teatro” instructional show “Along Closed Eyes” and the “Adventure Spirit” family adventure game, which could be connected to real “avatars” in the festival territory, were performed online all day.
There are many ways to develop live events, Latvia’s compact cultural environment allows each live creator to find his or her own unique handwriting and write his or her name in the history of online live and digital content creators, as long as it is imaginative – combining professionalism with willingness to experiment. However, the existing achievements are pleasant, high-quality and evocative.