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Gintaras Sodeika

Biography

Gintaras Sodeika (b.1961) graduated from the Lithuanian Academy of Music, composition class of Prof. Julius Juzeliūnas in 1986. A member of the artists' group Green Leaf and participant of their exhibitions, he initiated and curated three Happening Seminars AN-88, AN-89, and NI-90. Since 1990 he collaborates with the theatre director Oskaras Koršunovas, composes music for nearly all his drama productions. He is interested in 'sound design' of site-specific visual art presentations, and the like. The works by Gintaras Sodeika were performed in Latvia, Estonia, Russia, Poland, The Netherlands, Great Britain, USA, Canada. As the best theatre composer in Lithuania, he was awarded the Christopher Prize in 1998, and the Gold Stage Cross in 2006. In 1999-2003 Sodeika was Chairman of the Lithuanian Composers' Union, in 2000-2006 - President of the Lithuanian Copyright Protection Association, in 2003-2008 - Lithuanian Vice-Minister for Culture. Presently he is cultural adviser to the mayor of Vilnius.

At the beginning of his career Sodeika's work was informed with unconventionality - happenings, sound installations, compositions of instrumental theatre. Among them, Baza Gaza, an action performance for tape, video and odours (1988), enjoyed particular, yet controversial, popularity. The composer's conversion to theatre music in the early 1990's was quite natural. A result of the long-term collaboration of the theatre director Oskaras Koršunovas and the composer Gintaras Sodeika is the unique role of music in their drama performances: it significantly influences the dramatic action and shapes it, according to inherent laws of musical forms.

Another field of Sodeika's work, bordering on his theatre music, is 'conventional' chamber, vocal, choral and symphonic music. It is also noted for certain theatricality and associations with contemporary pop culture. Tone Ontology No.2 for two pianos - an intriguing stylization of techno music for traditional instruments in a traditional concert environment - enjoys particular popularity. The concert trend of the composer's work further is represented by compositions connecting the elements of minimalism and jazz, such as Tremors for ten instruments, where paradoxically fun and humour quite often go in hand with his typical 'cold' and 'austere' sound.

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