Avant garde folk group releases first album

An avant garde Latvian folk music group, Bišu gani, has released its first compact disc of songs that examine the cycle of life.

Formed in 2004, Bišu gani is led by Solvita Lodiņa-Šķēle. On the album, titled Dzīvie dūmi, Lodiņa-Šķēle is credited with composing the music as well as crafting many of the instruments, according to a press release announcing the CD release in Rīga.

Latvian dainas and traditional melodies form the basis of the songs, but they are accompanied by spoken word and nontraditional instrumental performances.

The 13-track recording includes “Svētu rītu,” “Sajāja Brammaņi,” “Atnākšana,” “Kam der kalni,” “Es Dieviņu pieminēju,” “Tumsa tumsa,” “Pirts dziesma,” “n/a,” “Bišu dūmi,” “Gaisma nāca līgodama,” “Tirgus dziesma,” “Bitīt, Dieva kalponīte” and “Dieva cirvis.”

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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