On the 11th October I had a great day in the city of Siauliai and I want to share some images.
The program for the day was originally start the day with a visit and a didgeridoo presentation in the Geguziu Progimnazija school as previously arranged with the teacher Daiva Stakvileviciene. The school has a very artistic environment with artwork by the students in every street and avenue, there are no corridors on the school but streets and each room has it’s own adress.
After meeting the principal of the school we started the session. The students were ver and participative all the time and made interesting questions. I was doing the session in english with some lithuanian translation by my wife.
In the end I received a box of lithuanian chocolates, three book markers with works from the children and three pencils red, green and yellow, the colours of Lithuanian flag. It was a great start for a big day.
It was clear the great work this school has been doing with their students and it is always a pleasure to participate in this process with the didgeridoo.
Next we headed directly to RS2, a local radio to meet Vita Grigutyte. Vita was a very important part of the process to go to Siauliai because as soon as she found out I was coming to Lithuania she contacted me to organize the concert.
In the radio we had the interview with Dovydas Petkus, a very nice radio man that did a great work helping us feel comfortable at the studio. We spoke about the instrument and my work with it and I also played some songs with didgeridoo and mouth harp.
All the people from RS2 were very nice to meet.
In the end it was time to record some happy birthday and merry christmas messages in portuguese!
After the radio we went to visit Sielai
, the bookstore that was hosting the concert that night. We droped the things, prepared the space for the night and went for a visit to the historical and religious place Hill of Crosses
, an impressive pilgrimage destiny with thousands of crosses.
This visit was kindly organized by Sonata Deduraite, the cousin of my wife who was giving us the house to stay for those days.
No visit to Siauliai is complete without coming to this amazing place. And the weather was helping to set the mood.
After lunch and a walk on the city it was time for warm up and final set up for the concert.
The place is perfect, in this bookstore you can find new and old rare books in many languages, you can have a tea or a coffee, listen to a concert and visit an art gallery. When we entered Raymondas Raspoliauskas, a gifted multi intrumentalist was tuning the vertical piano in 432Hz.
Gintaras Miltenis, owner of the place, keeps it with a great feeling and audience and it was clear that a good ambiance was set for the concert.
Lithuanian audience has been amazing, the silence, concentration and respect for the music are a constant feeling and it is always a pleasure to play in this country! In this particular concert, because of the space I was completely surrounded by people in 360 degrees around me, it was a nice experience.
After the concert we did a short break for more tea and snack and we started the jam session.
Algis Dragunas, that was in the frontline during the concert went to the car to get a bag full of instruments and a didgeridoo made by him some years ago after he met an aboriginal player passing by Siauliai. Algis is a very generous man and he started distributing instruments to the people around and teaching, explaining and encouraging them to join us.
Lights went down and music started, djembés, overtone flutes, didgeridoo, clapsticks, a 432Hz piano and other instruments was discovering each other in a improvised and unique moment, sometimes really unique and special.
In the end Algis suprised me by offering me one of his self made flutes of Hemlock flower stems.
A big day was coming to an end and another surprise was prepared for us at home: a super tasty and salty smoked fish and a delicious lithuanian dish made in the oven that felt like heaven in that cold night.
It was a great day and, because I feel so lucky and privileged, I want to send a very big thank you to all those people that I mentioned above and all the others who made it possible.
Like they say in lithuanian: Labai ačiū!