Vox Populi's Concert Performance "Awakening Of The Birds" Goes To Japan

7 Aug 2023

Lindude äratamine

Originally scheduled for the year 2020, the plan to bring "Awakening the Birds" to Japan had to be postponed due to the widespread impact of the coronavirus. However, this coming fall will see the realization of this plan, as Vox Populi is set to perform Tormis' music at three locations across Japan: the Indigenous People's Museum in Upopoy, Sendai, and Tokyo.

The inspiration to bring "Awakening of the Birds" to Japan emerged during Veljo Tormis's exploration of "Finnish-Ugric Landscapes," where an intriguing parallel between Japanese folk tunes and the Khanty melody became apparent. After engaging with the Japan-Estonia Friendship Association (JEFA), it was revealed that Veljo Tormis's compositions held a special place in their hearts, motivating the decision to bring the concert production to Japan. To offer a glimpse into the essence of this concert, a video recording of the performance was shared with potential audiences, along with an invitation for Japanese choirs to participate. Numerous choirs have already expressed their enthusiasm, and prior to the performances, workshops are conducted with the directors to delve into the deeper layers of both the production and the songs. Vox Populi's conductor, Janne Fridolin, shared these insights.

Working closely with directors Türnpu and Kolidts, Vox Populi has curated various concert productions dedicated to Veljo Tormis's music. One remarkable instance was the performance "Meditations with Tormis", held on the composer's 85th birthday in 2015, which Tormis himself attended. The choir also took this performance to the United States that same year. Prior to that, the choir presented "Ingrian Evenings," which led to a visit to Ingria itself. The participation of the folklore ensemble "Röntyska" from Ingria in the Vabamu performances served as inspiration for Tormis's choir cycle "Forgotten Peoples".

Vox Populi has also recorded Veljo Tormis's music, as featured in "Awakening of the Birds," on a vinyl record. The record will be premiered at Artium in Viimsi on October 17. Shortly after this presentation, the journey will take them to Japan, where they will share the artistry of Tormis with a new audience.

This concert tour is made possible through support from the Estonian Ministry of Culture and the Estonian Cultural Foundation.

Photo: Aron Urb