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For the celebration of Latvia’s centenary, the premiere of the concert programme JŪRD.SAKNES.ROOTS (and the album) took place on 18th of November, 2018. Its aim was to survey our Vidzeme coastal region’s cultural heritage and to popularize Livonian culture and its impact on Latvia. In a broader sense – to put Livonia on the map of the world’s culture. Especially for this event, world-famous Latvian composer Uģis Prauliņš composed a cyclic composition “The Call of Livonians”. Uģis was inspired by the unique culture of the Livonians of Vidzeme and Kurzeme as well as their related peoples – Latvia’s Finno-Ugrians. The concert programme comprises also the compositions of Edgars Beļickis and Laima Jansone. Laima is a composer and a virtuoso of Latvian lap harp called the kokle. The Livonian folksongs’ arrangements and original compositions of JŪRD.SAKNES.ROOTS unite the elements from choir, ethnic and world music.

A conductor Laura Leontjeva is the artistic director of the concert programme and the author of the idea itself. Laura inspired and brought together many like-minded people as well as a range of professionals to have this musical event realised. The range of performers involved in JŪRD.SAKNES.ROOTS is a varied one – mixed choir ANIMA, group of soloists, including Livonian singer Julgī Stalte, instrumental ethno band, which unites Latvian lap harps (kokle), percussions, flutes, Latvian woodwind instruments (stabule), violin, and contrabass. The composer Uģis Prauliņš plays keyboards.

There is so much to be heard in JŪRD.SAKNES.ROOTS – vitality, unique vocals, and the opposites ranging from etherial a cappella singing to a wild folk-rock. UNESCO has declared 2019 the Year of Indigenous Languages, and Livonian has been proclaimed by Official Language Law as an indigenous language of Latvia. Furthermore, it’s crucial for Livonian language to be preserved, protected and developed. The Livonian traditional culture is included in Latvia Cultural Canon and it makes a part of National Cultural Heritage of Latvia.

We express our gratitude to the creative team of JŪRD.SAKNES.ROOTS, the culture management centre “Lauska” and Valts Ernštreits – the researcher of Livonian language! You can learn more about the concert programme and Livonian culture in CD’s booklet. CD JŪRD.SAKNES.ROOTS is available for purchase on website lauska.lv