LYRA - a new project for kids and youth

LYRA - a new project for kids and youth

In this year´s program, Insomnia will offer concerts and workshops aimed especially at kids and youth - under a new project called LYRA!

LYRA is a collaboration between Insomnia festival in Tromsø and the Latvian festival Skaņu Mežs in Riga. LYRA is composed out of two words "to listen" in Norwegian and «radīt» in Latvian which means "to create".

The project will last for two years and aims to introduce electronic music to kids and youth, through workshops, commisioned works and by presenting a music program tailored for a younger audience. LYRA has two parts, where the first part (2022) focuses on listening, while the second part (2023) focuses on creating.

For Insomnia, it is important to honor the electronic music tradition in Tromsø, which has raised and exported many local stars within the genre. It is about time we expand our audience to include the younger voices of the north, to focus on offering quality sound- and listening experiences for a younger generation.

In 2022 we have commissioned two works to premier at Skaņu Mežs in Riga in September, and Insomnia Festival in Tromsø in October.

Jenny Berger Myhre and Annie Bielski create The Grinder

From the Norwegian side we have artist and composer Jenny Berger Myhre with artist and writer Annie Bielski, who have created The Grinder.

The Grinder is an audiovisual concert by Jenny Berger Myhre and Annie Bielski, based on a Norwegian fairytale about two siblings, a trip to hell and back, and the devil’s magical grinder that can give you anything you want, as long as you know how to make it stop.

The fairytale was collected and published by the famous storytellers Asbjørnsen & Moe in 1852, and is a humorous take on why the sea is salty, as well as a friendly warning to be careful what you wish for. Created with a musical grinder of unpredictable synths and electronics, Jenny and Annie are passing the story on through experimental, rhythmical songs and foley art, together with 3D animated visuals rendered from painted, abstracted dioramas created by paper, fabric, aluminum and glass. The Grinder is an energetic concert that will hopefully be of pleasure to kids and adults of all ages.

Jenny Berger Myhre is a multidisciplinary artist working with sound, video, live visuals, performance and photography. Coming from the DIY scene in Oslo, Jenny's approach to music making is versatile and open, with an apparent love for the unpolished - referencing the electro-acoustic music tradition as well as experimental pop. She has made commissioned work for Borealis festival for experimental music (Bergen), Only Connect festival (Oslo), El Nicho (Mexico City), Radiophrenia (Glasgow), Spikersuppa Lydgalleri (Oslo) and RUMMUR_radio (Bergen). She is a longtime collaborator of Jenny Hval, and directed two music videos for Hval’s latest release Classic Objects together with Annie Bielski. Jenny has performed at Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival, Le Centre Pompidou Paris, Le Guess Who?, HAU Berlin, Ars Cameralis Katowice, Le Lieu Unique - Nantes and MUNCH Oslo. In July 2022 her debut album Lint (2017) will be followed up with a new release on Breton Cassette, titled Here Is Always Somewhere Else. She has a BA from Goldsmiths College, University of London and University of Oslo, as well as Live Electronics studies at the Norwegian Academy of Music.
Annie Bielski is an artist and writer whose work has been exhibited in New York, Chicago, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, Philadelphia, Portland, and elsewhere.  Bielski’s visual art, performances, and writing have been covered by Art News, Hyperallergic, MTV, Whitehot Magazine, and The New York Times.  She is a longtime collaborator of Jenny Hval, and recently contributed album art and videos for Hval's latest Classic Objects. She has a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA from The State University of New York at Buffalo. Bielski lives and works in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and is represented by September Gallery in Hudson, New York. 

Linda Leimane and Mārtiņš Grauds are creating Latvian Beasts - a new work for kids

From the Latvian side we have composer Linda Leimane and video artist Mārtiņš Grauds presenting the audiovisual joint work Latvian Beasts, based on the eponymous collection of stories by Inese Zandere. This commissioned work will be presented for the first time on 25 September at 13:00 at Hanzas Perons Culture Centre in Riga, and followed by listening masterclasses in Riga, Liepaja and Daugavpils.

Mārtiņš Grauds (born 1973 in Riga) is a Latvian filmmaker and photographer, known for his poetic visual language and witty, inventive approach to his subjects. He has directed five documentaries and two short films (Lust Lust - Grand Prix, ASVOFF, 2010). His latest documentaries explore the relationship between nature and creativity (Tree Opera, 2020; Forging Condors, 2018). A keen observer also of human nature, he has published several photo books, including the iconic Cemetery Festival - Coming Together (2016), devoted to this peculiar Latvian tradition. Well-known and resourceful director of commercials, he has directed more than 800 spots in his 20+ year career in the industry, and a number of music videos for artists such as Michelle Gurevich (Chinawoman), Brainstorm, Tribes of the City, and others, earning four Latvian Music Recordings Annual Awards for the Best Music Video. In 2020 he collaborated with the New Riga Theatre troupe and director Alvis Hermanis on 10-part limited series Agency as the director of photography and editor.
Linda Leimane (born 1989 in Dobele) is a Latvian composer, whose works tend to be physicality and bodily art related. She works with soloists, ensembles, orchestras, theatre directors and ballet choreographers, she creates and performs electronics, as well as produces and curates installations by collaborating with artists of other media. She has expanded her knowledge in composition and new music technologies at the National Conservatory of Music and Dance in Lyon, during her traineeship at the sound research centre AGON in Milan and various workshops. Her music has been performed in Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, France, Italy, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the U.S. and Australia. Her electronic works have been presented on the SHAPE platform and Crack Magazine 2022.

Their collaborative work, including electro-acoustic music, video, animation and shadow thater, is based on the book “Latvian Animals” by writer Inese Zandere. 

At Insomnia festival both commissioned work will have their Norwegian premier in Tromsø at Alfheim swimming pool on Thursday October 20th. We will also offer a listening workshop for the project´s traget audience - kids and youth - during this year´s edition!

In collaboration with the experimental music festival Skaņu mežs, Insomnia has started work on LYRA, a project for kids and teens that is supported by the EEA Grants and Norway Grants funded by Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway.

LYRA receives grants in the amount of EUR 206,256.00 within the framework of the EEA Grants and Norway Grants funded by Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway. The project aims to introduce kids and teenagers to experimental music and to get them involved in its creation. As it is democratic and non-hierarchical in essence, experimental music gives trained and untrained kids the chance to take part in making music. Since the project crosses social and ethnic divides, it is also socially inclusive.

Total LYRA eligible costs: EUR 202,510.00, European Economic Area financial instrument programme Local Development, Poverty Reduction and Culture Cooperation support sum: 85% or EUR 85,000.00, of which:
European Economic Area financial instrument co-financing: 85% or EUR 175,317.60;
State Budget co-financing: 15% or EUR 30,938.40.

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