To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the First General Latvian Singing Festival, the Museum of Literature and Music offers visitors a unique - the first and largest permanent exhibition dedicated to the tradition of Latvian song festivals - THE TELPA OF SONG FESTIVALS. It is located in the north-west wing of the Mežaparks Grand Stage or Silver Grove.
The TELPA is built on two floors, which complement each other in terms of content and functionality. The backbone of the exhibition is the Latvian Song and Dance Celebration. The many stories of participants, personalities and events are interwoven with the School Youth, Gaudeamus and Nordic festivals, as well as with the festivals outside Latvia and the regions that are an integral part of the Song and Dance Festival tradition.
The first floor of the Song Celebration Hall is made up of four objects - the "Līgo Flag", the interactive treasure wall "The River of Time", chairs for listening to choral music and a multimedia installation "The World's Largest Choir". Each of the objects in the Song and Dance Celebration Space provides its own special key to interacting with the tradition of the Song and Dance Festival.
In the Song and Dance Celebration Hall, the eyes are delighted by the "Līgo Flag" - an exact replica of the Song and Dance Celebration symbol, delicately handcrafted in silk by Latvian craftswomen in the workshop of artists Inese and Ivars Mailītis.
The interactive treasure wall "The River of Time" blends visible and audible faces, voices, stories, tangible artefacts - garters, brooches, belts, testifying that the Song and Dance Festival is not just a grand event every five years, but an endless flow - a process with the formation of communities, coming together, singing and dancing together, rehearsals of orchestral and kokal ensembles, folklore, crafts, theatre and other expressions of the human creative spirit, which seeks to strengthen and enrich the identity of the nation and to pass on 150 years of tradition from one generation to the next.
The multimedia installation "The World's Largest Choir" is the central experience of the HYMNFEST - an emotionally philosophical story about the ongoing process of creating and preparing for the Song Festival. There everyone can experience the miracle of the Song Festival, getting as close as possible to the real presence at the Song Festival. The visitor is given the opportunity to create his or her own scenario of experience in the space, both as an observer and as an active participant; activating the visual composition with the impulse of his or her movement, bringing nature closer to him or herself and feeling like a singer in a multi-part choir of sopranos, tenors, altos or basses. Each of us can join in the summer solstice-inspired choral song "Jāņuvakars" by Emilis Melngailis, culminating in the anthemic song "Saule, Pērkons, Daugava" by the great Latvian composer Mārtiņš Brauns.
In five meditation places, where visitors can be alone with the pearls of Latvian choral music while sitting in the pines of Mežaparks - in the choral listening chairs, they can listen to the 12 most sung folk song settings and 12 original choral songs by Latvian composers, performed by the festival choir at different times during the Latvian Song Festival.
The second floor of the exhibition is dedicated to the SINGING TELPAS educational programme, a place to meet, discuss and listen. The open-access bookshelf with song festival catalogues, regional festival books, publications about personalities and groups gives the opportunity to learn and study the history of the song festival tradition in Latvia and around the world.
"There are as many opportunities to experience the exhibition HALL OF SONGFESTIVALs as there are steps in the festival procession. The combination of new information, audiovisual enjoyment and emotions of surprise that we experience here is inextricably linked to the journey that each of us takes to get here. The new permanent exhibition of the Museum of Literature and Music offers the audience a contemporary and inclusive environment where they can learn about the democratic, human and artistic values of the Latvian Song Festival tradition, a world cultural phenomenon inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, in a message that is accessible to today's audience," says Iveta Ruskule, Director of the Museum of Literature and Music.
During the opening ceremony of the Song Festival Hall, a collection of stories by writer Maris Bērziņš, "TALES OF THE SONGFESTERS", will be unveiled, which collects 21 emotional stories of Song Festival participants based on true events and creative imagination. These stories are also included in the content of the new exhibition.
The Song Festival exhibition THE TELPA OF SONG FESTIVAL has been created in collaboration with Riga City Council, the Latvian Ministry of Culture and the Latvian National Centre for Culture. The content of the exhibition has been developed by the Museum of Literature and Music in close cooperation with other Latvian memory institutions and individuals.
The management, creative and research team: Iveta Ruskule, lead curator; Iveta Grava, exhibition manager and project manager; Ilona Matvejeva, producer; Ieva Ezeriete, Daiga Bondare, Rūta Līcīte, Inese Žune, Laura Švītiņa and Liega Piešiņa, researchers and art experts, set designer Anna Heinrihsone, architect Austris Mailītis, lyricist Kristīne Želve, sound designer Sigvards Kļava, music editor Juris Vaivods, director Laura Groza, artist Ernests Kļaviņš, artist Lote Vilma Vītiņa, human story lyricist Māris Bērziņš, musician Jēkabs Nīmanis, video artist Roberts Rubīns and film studio "VFS FILMS", creative union Kvadrifrons, text editors Inga Žilinska, Lauma Malnace and Renāte Neimane, translators Brigita Stroda, Aija Abens, Inta Liepiņa and Marisa Gudrā, graphic designer Ivita Brūdere, exhibition graphic identity H2E.
The team of the "Līgo flag" flag replica:
Artists Inese Mailīte and Ivars Mailītis, machine embroidery master Mārīte Juška, Royal School of Needlework hand embroidery graduate Elīza Māra Kamradze, handicraft specialist Māra Avotniece, model maker, seamstress Lolita Sapata.
Ostas prospekts 11, entrance through gate 2
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