Audio Selections

 

I. 1993. gada 22. jūnijā, Rīgas radio stacijā, Gunars lasa dzeju, "Mājnieks" - ar ievadu

 

On June 22, 1993, Gunars reads his poem, "Mājnieks" ("Back home"), recorded at Riga Radio (with spoken intro)

Mājnieks - (Gunars Saliņš)
00:00 / 00:00

II. Alter Ego (for large orchestra) - based on Gunars' poem "Pēc ērģeļkoncerta" ("After the organ concert")

Composed by Dimitris Maronidis; commissioned by the State Orchestra of Athens, Greece, performed Jan. 2012; director: Michalis Economou

 

 

 

Manī ir ši katedrāle.                                                                                             Within me this cathedral.

Manī ir vesela debesu valstība.                                                                         Within me an entire kingdom of heaven.

Manī ir šis pasaules iesākums un gals.                                                            Within me the beginning and end of this world.                             

Un tad vēl Tu.                                                                                                       And then you. 

III.

This is my setting of my father's poem, "Bērēs ("At the Funeral"). The performance took place in Dec. 2009, at the Cell in NYC, at the invitation of the Center for Contemporary Opera. Performed together with: Bill Schimmel, accordion; Machiko Ozawa and Marc Levine, violins; Leo Grinhauz, cello. 

 

 

 

At the funeral

 

At the funeral we couldn't be

bothered to treasure

mere trifles and farewells,

but only death’s pleasures.

We kicked over tables,

then drank great mugs of beer

and fell into the arms of

naked souls without fear.

Eat of me, drink of me,

you never will have all of me 

I’ll ravish this night in song, in love,

and let it be forgotten…       

Musicians no longer play on strings,

they play on windows, ledges, floorboards, bowls,

on dripping candles, shins and breasts,

play on naked souls.

eat of me,

drink of me…

At dawn our eyes were awakend threefold 

by the blue, the green and the crimson sun 

as if well rested in their graves,

bones put on some flesh to wear 

souls shivered through the shoots of their hair.

                      

                      (trans. by Laila Salins)

 

 

 

IV.

I set my dad's poem, "Atraktais" ("Unearthed") for a vocal quartet (of myself), with some percussion effects and other-worldly breathing from Bill Schimmel's accordion... 

 

Unearthed (Gunars Saliņš-Laila Salins)

 

Unearthed

 

So this is what my

resurrection looks like --

no eye in the forehead,

no tongue in cheek?

These bones are all ears --

does the earth still resound?

Undertaker,

help me out:

play on these hips and

shins of mine

play the clouds

play the sunshine

a last call-and-response between

high heaven and

this voice that is now

but earth and darkness.

And, before the brightness

turns my bones to dust,

let's have a reprise

of the eyes and the lips ---

ever-rejoicing over the stone

eyes, lips and bone.

 

          (trans. by Laila Salins)

 

 

© 2015, edited by Laila Salins (text); Lalita Salins (photography)