Iļģi releases album of sauna songs, marks 30th anniversary with concert

Latvian postfolk ensemble Iļģi has released its latest album, Tur saulīte pērties gāja, a collection of songs and instrumental works about the ancient Latvian sauna tradition.

Members of the band include Ilga Reizniece on vocals and kokles, Māris Muktupāvels on kokles, Gatis Gaujenieks on trough fiddle and bass guitar, Egons Kronbergs on guitars, and Mārtiņš Linda on percussion.

The new album was presented Dec. 7 in the Rīga Pharmacy Museum’s “Black Sauna” exhibit room. Organized by Upe tuviem and tāliem Director Iveta Mielava, the event featured Reizniece and Muktupāvels performing a few songs.

Track on the compact disc include:

  1. Pirts kurināšana
  2. Ceļojums
  3. Ceļš
  4. Pēršana
  5. Lidošana
  6. Garā pupa
  7. Paldies

The event also featured a demonstration of proper sauna technique, provided by members of the Pirts skola, a school for those wishing to develop their sauna knowledge and skills. There was even a brief demonstration of sauna techniques, and, by some strange chance, these techniques were demonstrated upon your faithful correspondent!

In addition to the CD release, the ensemble celebrated its 30th anniversary with a concert at the newly refurbished Palladium concert hall in Rīga on Dec. 3. The concert featured songs from the band’s entire history. Also performing were a number of former members, such as Zane Šmite (vocals), Jānis Abens (guitar) and Arnolds Kārklis, among other guests. A highlight of the event was a medley of songs from the Spēlēju, dancoju album, featuring Irīna Mihailovska singing the part of Lelde. She also provides guest vocals on the song “Ceļojums” on Tur saulīte pērties gāja.

For more on Iļģi, visit the band’s website, www.ilgi.lv.

Ilga Reizniece

Band leader Ilga Reizniece performs during the Dec. 7 album release presentation in Rīga. (Photo by Egils Kaljo)

Tur saulīte pērties gāja

The latest album from Iļģi, Tur saulīte pērties gāja, focuses on songs about the sauna.

Egils Kaljo is an American-born Latvian from the New York area . Kaljo began listening to Latvian music as soon as he was able to put a record on a record player, and still has old Bellacord 78 rpm records lying around somewhere.

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