25.10 at 7 PM Tallinn, Estonian National Broadcasting, 1st Studio (ERRi 1. stuudio)

Vortex of Time

Ukho Ensemble Kyiv (Ukraine) 

Helena Tulve (*1972)
“Languse ööl” (“At the Night of Decline”, 2006/2015)
for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, percussion, piano (16’)
Maxim Kolomiiets (*1981)
“Vinyl Snails” (2016) 
for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, vibraphone, piano (7’)
Alisa Zaika
“he only dreamed of places now…” (2022)
for flute, clarinet, violin, viola, cello, vibraphone, piano (6’)
Pierre Boulez (1925–2016)
“Dérive 1” (1984)
for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, vibraphone, piano (7’)
Jānis Petraškevičs (*1978)
“Kārtības rituāli” (“Rituals of Order”, 2021/2022) 
for violin, viola, cello, piano (14’) 
Gérard Grisey (1946–1998)
“Vortex Temporum” (1994–1996) 
for flute, clarinet, piano, violin, viola, cello (40’)

Vortex of time and other stories 

Reuniting for the first time this year with AFEKT’s assistance, Ukho Ensemble Kyiv will perform a masterpiece of Gerard Grisey his “Vortex Temporum”, “the only story of an arpeggio in space and time, below and beyond our auditory window”. In this piece, showing how time works in music, and how its auditory perception could be programmed by particular musical means, Grisey literally places the listener in the funnel of time. Written by a Frenchman in mid 1990s it sheds light, among other things, onto one of the funnels that listeners and musicians in Ukraine experience now daily that of time, running unbearably slow, intolerably quick, bending lives in its vortexes.
The “Rituals of Order” by Jānis Petraškevičs immerse us in a circular temporality and an infinite space: it’s impossible to describe the wonder inspired by the fascinating and mysterious sonic objects that magically appear and disappear within this temporal continuum.
The sounds of the French masters Grisey and Boulez resonate in Helena Tulve’s music, but they are transfigured by a poignant dreamlike lyricism of unsettling and seductive beauty, “At the night of decline”.
Maxim Kolomiiets, a composer and an oboist (Ukho’s own), wrote “Vinyl snails” in 2016 as a dedication to Pierre Boulez on his 90th birthday, based on the formation of “Derive I” but tried refraining from making it very serious. The key audio image is listening to a record, familiar from childhood, with post-romantic and post-serial music at the same time. The record constantly stalls and goes astray at the beginning, giving the old-fashioned melodies a contemporary color. Ukho’s new vinyl (snail?) with Grisey’s “Vortex Temporum” will reach its listeners by the end of 2023, published by a new recording label Kyiv Dispatch.
With an age gap of twenty years, Alisa Zaika and Maxim Kolomiiets belong to different generations of Ukrainian composers, both come from one teacher though Alla Zagaykevych. The ensemble first worked with Alisa when she was only sixteen; her piece, “he only dreamt of places now…”, was written for Ukho in November 2022, and until now has only been performed once.

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26.10 at 7 PM Tallinn, Estonia Concert Hall (Estonia kontserdisaal) 

U: 20 jubileum concert

Ensemble U: (Estonia)

Jüri Reinvere (*1971)
“Night Image with Sleeping Cupid” (“Ööpilt magava Cupidoga”, 2023, premiere, commissioned by Estonian Composers Union)
Tatjana Kozlova-Johannes (s 1977) for piano and ensemble
“Just Air” (“Ainult õhk”, 2023, premiere)
Morton Feldman (1926–1987)
“The Viola in My Life II” (1970)
for solo viola, flute, clarinet, violin, cello, celesta, percussion
Tristan Murail (*1947)
“Paludes” (2011) for flute, clarinet, violin, viola, cello
Mart Kangro / Ensemble U: 
“Harmony” (2009/2023)

Ensemble U: Tarmo Johannes (flute), Helena Tuuling (clarinet), Merje Roomere (violin), Levi-Danel Mägila (cello), Vambola Krigul (percussion), Taavi Kerikmäe (piano)
Special guest Garth Knox (viola), also Mart Kangro (stage direction of “Harmony”) and Kalle Tikas (technical solutions of “Harmony”)

On its 20th birthday, Ensemble U: presents a selection of works by composers most important to them. The group is an avid commissioner and performer of Estonian new music. Of course, the jubilee concert will feature premieres, this time from Jüri Reinvere and Tatyana Kozlova-Johannes.
The second half of the concert features a remake of the contemporary dance and musical theatre work “Harmony”, which was a 2009 co-creation. of Ensemble U: and Mart Kangro. The performance centres on a selection of paradoxes in the life of music performers. What do musicians actually do when playing music? What does a musician think and how to use one’s time in the middle of a long suite, waiting for his five-stroke solo? Is this forced silence comical or maybe even tragic?
“Harmony”, (2009/2023, premiere at “NYYD”-festival). 

Idea & staging: Taavi Kerikmäe, Mart Kangro. 
Music: Arnold Schönberg, Sergei Prokofiev, Kimmo Kuitunen, Clarence Carson Parks, Doors, Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel, Jay Livingston, Ray Evans, Mike Leander, Rein Rannap. 
Technical implementation: Kalle Tikas.

In collaboration with Eesti Kontsert 

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27.10 at 7 PM Tallinn, Estonia Concert Hall (Estonia kontserdisaal)

Border State

Estonian National Symphony Orchestra
Lembit Peterson (narrator, Theatrum)
conductor and pianist Michael Wendeberg

Helena Tulve (*1972)
“Südamaa” (“Heartland”) for piano and orchestra (2012/2014)
György Ligeti (1923–2006)
“Lontano” (1967)
Kaija Saariaho (1952–2023)
“Ciel d’hiver” (2013)
Jānis Petraškevičs (*1978)
“Dead Wind” 
Galina Ustvolskaya (1919–2006)
Symphony No. 3 (“Jesus Messiah, Save Us!”, 1983)

This year, the “AFEKT” festival focuses on the idea of a border state both geographically and as an expression of ideas refined to an extreme in music. Next to the works of Galina Ustvolskaya, who is testing the limits of avant-garde music, and György Ligeti, who was born 100 years ago, the work “Dead Wind” by Jānis Petraškevičs, the most internationally recognized Latvian of his generation, as well as “Südamaa” (“Heartland”), a major work for piano and symphony orchestra by the Estonian composer Helena Tulve, who is making an ever deeper international mark and expanding her range of activity, will be played by Estonian National Symphony Orchestra. As a tribute to the recently departed great figure of modern music, the Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho, her work “Ciel d’hiver” will be performed. The concert will be conducted by the renowned contemporary music conductor Michael Wendeberg (who is also the soloist in Helena Tulve’s work) who has, among other things, been the pianist of the new music flagship Ensemble InterContemporain and collaborated with Pierre Boulez.

In collaboration with ENSO

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28.10 at 4 PM Tallinn, Theatre and Music Museum, Peeter Süda Hall

an absence of any kind of silence

Duo Taavi Orro (clarinet) and Robert Fleitz (piano) 

Mirjam Tally (*1976) 
“Warm Life at the Foot of the Iceberg” (2014/2016) for clarinet and piano (6’)
Minna Leinonen (*1977) 
“Pheme” (2011) for clarinet in Bb and fixed media (7’)
Ernests Vilsons (*1994) 
“an absence of any kind of presence” (2018) for solo piano (6’)
Agita Reķe (*1992) 
“Black Orchid” (2023, premiere) for electronics, bass clarinet and piano (8’)
Liisa Hõbepappel (*1994) 
“ANLAGE I: Whalesong” (2023, premiere) for solo clarinet (6’)
Jānis Petraškevičs (*1978) 
“Klusā Balss” (“The Silent Voice”, 2023) for solo piano (7’)
Platon Buravicky (*1989) 
Sonata “Plexus” (2020) for clarinet and piano (15’)

an absence of any kind of silence

“The universe makes a sound is a sound. In the core of this sound there’s a silence, a silence that creates that sound, which is not its opposite, but its inseparable soul. And this silence can also be heard.” 

—Etel Adnan

Within silence is not absence, but rather a potentiality — to listen closely, to perceive differently. The listener is invited to pay close attention to space — between sounds, between fundamental and overtones, between two performers, between reality and imagination, between beginning and ending. What silent voices are singing, unheard in the white noise of daily life? Duo Orro-Fleitz offers a warm place of reflection at the foot of the overwhelming sound of history.

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28.10 at 6 PM Tallinn, Estonian History Museum, Great Guild Hall (Suurgildi saal)


Duo Sarah Saviet (violin) and Joe Houston (piano)

Helena Tulve (*1972) 
“Awe” (2023, premiere)
Monika Mattiesen 
“In Nest” (2023, premiere), with Sander Saarmets – sound design, Max patch
Sarah Saviet and Joseph Houston 
“Unfoldings” (2021)
Rebecca Saunders (*1967) and Enno Poppe (*1969)
“Taste” (2022)

“Unfolding”. In this ambitious program the Saviet/Houston Duo explores different timbral universes that embrace and also direct away from the traditional interplay between violin and piano. In their jointly composed piece “Unfoldings”, the duo travels through a series of interlocking and slowly undulating chords, weaving together sustained resonances. Rebecca Saunders and Enno Poppe’s wildly virtuosic duo “Taste” has melody as a unifying thread: in the first half of the piece, the violin melody is “coloured in” by piano glissandi and clusters, which, combined with the sostenuto pedal, create ghost-like resonances, from which the violin melody emerges. In the second half of the piece, these complex piano resonances take centre stage and half-heard melodies emerge from the resonance, which are then augmented by wistful and fragmented violin lines. Monika Mattiesen and Helena Tulve have both written new pieces for the duo which receive their premieres in this program.

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28.10 at 7.30 PM Tallinn, Telliskivi Creative City, Green Hall (Telliskivi Loomelinnak, Roheline saal)

Born in Waves

Presentation of Elis Hallik’s CD (Kairos)

Kairos, a prestigious Austrian record label, has released the album “Born in Waves” by the Estonian composer Elis Hallik (*1986). The album features mainly chamber compositions as well as one orchestral work – a concerto for two violins and a string orchestra named “Stoicheía”. The album brings together the most important themes of the composer’s oeuvre of the last decade. Listeners will discover the composer’s varied soundscapes, shaped by her composition studies in Estonia and France, and in particular by her exposure to spectral and electronic music. Hallik’s musical thinking focuses on sound and its various qualities, the juxtaposition or fusion of ‘pure’ and distorted sounds through extended playing techniques, timbre and harmony as building materials.

Free entrance


28.10 at 8 PM Tallinn, Telliskivi Loomelinnak, Roheline saal / Green Hall

“AFEKT” & “ÜLE HELI” festival present: Terra incognita

Curators Aivar Tõnso & Sander Saarmets

The “Terra incognita” is an evening of listening dedicated to spatial sounds. Aivar Tõnso and Sander Saarmets search from both historical and personal archives for works that transcend the boundaries of time and genre and still speak to us today.

Bar is open 

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29.10 at 4 PM Tallinn, MUBA Chamber Hall

Listen Twice

Triin Ruubel (violin), Paula Ernesaks (French horn), Kärt Ruubel (piano); comments about the work by musicologist, professor of Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre Kerri Kotta

György Ligeti (1923–2006)

Trio for violin, French horn and piano (1982)

The “AFEKT” festival celebrates the 100th anniversary of the birth of contemporary music classic György Ligeti with a concert by the AFEKT Soloists, which will feature Ligeti’s seminal work “Trio” performed twice. Between the two performances, musicologist and professor of the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre Kerri Kotta will comment the work and the performance.

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29.10 at 6 PM Tallinn, Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, black box

Figments of Limits

Master degree students of audiovisual composition of the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre: Karl Korts, Artjom Jurov, Adla Cameselle Barbosa and Lucija Mrzljak.

Curator Einike Leppik.

The keywords of the concert project are remix and collective creation. The students involved in the project will probe and push the boundaries between their own and others’ work, creating new connections, breaking up existing ones and weaving opposing ideas into a whole. The concert will feature both new works and remixes of works previously created by EAMT’s audiovisual composition course.

Free entrance


30.10 at 7 PM Tallinn, St. Michael’s Church (Rootsi-Mihkli kirik)

Speculative Harmonies

The Harmonic Space Orchestra

Thomas Nicholson (*1995)
“Minimal surface 2” (2023, premiere) 
for voice, quarter-tone flutes, trombone, violin, viola and cello (15’)
Marc Sabat (*1965)
“Jean-Philippe Rameau” (2012) 
for quarter-tone alto flute, trombone and cello
Liisa Hirsch (*1984)
“Vseva’s Light” (2008) for solo piano
Liisa Hirsch
“Page One” (2003/2023) for solo piano
Marc Sabat (*1965)
“Nocturne” (1996) for solo piano
Marc Sabat
“Etude” (2017) for solo piano
Catherine Lamb
“The Additive Arrow” (2021/2022) 
for quarter-tone bass flute, cello and secondary rainbow synthesizer

Members of Berlin-based just intonation specialist ensemble Harmonic Space Orchestra presents a program of works by Estonian composer Liisa Hirsch as well as members Catherine Lamb, Thomas Nicholson and Marc Sabat spanning ideas of resonance, harmonic fusion & roughness, Jean-Philippe Rameau’s theories of intonation and a merging of inside/outside into a tonal field.

Members of Harmonic Space Orchestra: Catherine Lamb (voice), Rebecca Lane (quarter-tone flutes), Marc Sabat (violin), Thomas Nicholson (viola, piano, synthesizer), Lucy Railton (cello), Weston Olencki (trombone) 

The concert is supported by the Goethe Institute

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31.10 at 7 PM Tallinn, Estonian History Museum, Great Guild Hall (Suurgildi saal)

The Borders of Identity

Spółdzielnia Muzyczna contemporary ensemble (Poland)

Helena Tulve (*1972)
“Rimlands” (2012) for clarinet, cello, piano (20’) 
I Secret garden – blanc
II Secret garden – noir
III Pathless land
Ville Raasakka (*1977)
“Vanishing Point” (2013) for piano solo (5’)
Dobromiła Jaskot (*1981)
“Hagalaz” (2004) for clarinet, cello, piano (12’)
Maxim Kolomiiets (*1981)
“Shadow Speaker” for solo cello
Georges Aperghis (*1945)
Trio for clarinet, cello, piano (10’)

Supported by Adam Mickiewicz Institute

The program we have chosen raises questions about the connections between geographical boundaries and the cultural identity of composers. What qualities can we find in the music of a Greek settled in France or a Pole living in Australia? Do we distinguish the distinctiveness of music from the Baltic countries? In a global culture, in a reality where thoughts and ideas flow freely and expressively, do such questions have any significance? We will propose diverse music, both in terms of sound and meaning, and perhaps (hopefully!) exceed and expand the boundaries of the listener’s perception.

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