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Multipart Songs – Brone Sofija Gideikaite

Brone Sofija Gideikaite

We need art to help us to establish a correct balance of values in our lives / Menas reikalingas tam, kad padėtų nustatyti teisingą verčių pusiausvyrą mūsų gyvenime


Brone Sofija Gideikaite

We need art to help us to establish a correct balance of values in our lives / Menas reikalingas tam, kad padėtų nustatyti teisingą verčių pusiausvyrą mūsų gyvenime

Sutartinės: a capella folk song (multipart songs)– from the word „sutarti“ – to be in concordance, in agreement, singular „sutartinė“ – are highly unique examples of folk music. They are an ancient form of two and three voiced polyphony based on the oldest principles of multi-voiced vocal music. At present the sutartinės have almost become extinct as a genre among the population, but they are fostered by many Lithuanian folklore ensembles. Melodies of sutartinės are not complex, containing two to five pitches. The melodies are symmetrical, consisting of two equal-length parts; Sutartinės can be classed into three groups according to performance practices and function: dvejinės (“twosomes”) are sung by two singers or two groups of singers; trejinės (“threesomes”) are performed by three singers in strict canon; keturinės (“foursomes”) are sung by two pairs of singers. Sutartinės are a localized phenomenon, found in the north-western part of Lithuania.

The structure of the project „Sutartinės“ – 4 video samples made in a video clip manner (where performer reads text and at the same time explains his attitude to it in serious, ironic and funny way). All samples are based on the structure, rhythm and harmony of traditional Lithuanian sutartinės. The „sutartinės“ created within the framework of the project as well as their traditional counterparts are formally and conceptually grouped into twosomes, threesomes and foursomes (while performer remains the same). In the same way as in traditional sutartinės, a text and a pattern of vocal rhythm „spirals up“, representing a canon infinitum of equal voices, therefore the film has no particular and clearly set ending. During demonstration (exhibition) films are synchronized with each other depending on their duration and contents and make a mantra-like impression. At the background of sutartinės the performer recite a rehearsed text consisting of titles of songs from albums of various famous music bands. Making this, performer strives to explore and “extract” new meanings of unexpectedly constructed text and “explain” it to himself too (as well as to spectators).

This project should be presented as a small separate place (similar to coffee – bar) built in situ by combining four tables, ipads on it, some chairs. Spectators are welcome to sit there, watch video, drink cofee and eat some snacks, read the catalogue of the project.

The project emphasises the moment of engaging into communication through breezy exchange of information on somehow less personal issues, e.g. – music, which to much larger extent than any other topic reveals likes and dislikes of a person, his/her character, social background, belonging to certain subculture, etc. The very moment of entering into contact here is equalled to ability to come to terms/failure to do so or to come to an agreement – consent.

With the aid of inter-disciplinary strategies the project allows to observe the process of the very beginning of whatever communication system. A combination of laconic means of artistic expression – graphical black-and-white image and dynamic style of video clips, performance of dissonant sutartinės disclose controversial topical issues of the contemporary society. By this project the artist strives for merging with participants of the process of artwork performance – the characters personifying the existing social fabric and in this way to show the society a mirror reflection of inconsistency and socio – cultural dissonance of its own wishes and desires.

The key problem of the contemporary „acceleration“ and „virtual reality“ society is that a person loses a contact with reality, which is changing much more rapidly than the signs being attributed to such changes by the society. Each of us have „portraits“ illustrating our personal positions/roles: social, family, cultural, professional, etc., which overlap each other, disguise, supplement, replace or „substitute“ in due time. It’s a paradox, but the multicultural „self-fulfilment“ culture has deprived man of a dialogue possibility; and the fear to be utterly and completely deciphered, recognised forces us to „display“ the one and only „real“ portrait to the public, i.e. come to terms with the society. After all, even the most radical actions directed against the consumer culture serve economic – political interests in one way or another (radical art auctions become a safe method of import and export of democracy). Thereby cultural value is converted into economic value. The only way to relate aesthetic with information creating really „independent“, „non-conformist“ art, is to bring meaningful rites and myths back into art practices or to re-mythologise mind. In my project, sutartinės have become a tolerant and universal way of communication understood by any human being – both man and woman, both adult and child – of whatever nationality, race, religion, walks of life.

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