For the past four years, Latvian composer Ēriks Ešenvalds has been working on a multimedia symphony about the Aurora Borealis phenomenon, entitled ‘Ziemeļu gaisma’ (Nordic Lights).
For research purposes, Ešenvalds travelled to Scandinavia, Iceland, Greenland, and Alaska, where he met with indigenous peoples, and filmed them talking about their beliefs and legends about the Northern Lights. During his travels, he met with 23 storytellers and, with the help of a professional film crew, recorded more than 40 different myths and songs.
Ešenvalds also spent time in Tromso University in Norway to study the Northern Lights, and there began a collaboration with Kjetil Skogli, an ‘Aurora chaser’. Skogli’s video clips are used as part of the performance of the work.
The world premiere of the work is April 27, 2015 at the Latvian National Opera. Performers include the Liepāja Symphony Orchestra, the State Choir Latvija, and conductor Māris Sirmais.
Worldwide performances are planned starting in the autumn of 2015.
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