AuÄ¼i are a drum and bagpipe music group, the only one in Latvia at the moment. Ten musicians participate in the project â€“ nine lads from Latvia and a lone Estonian girl. The idea of the group is to develop bagpipe and drum music in Latvia. The word auÄ¼i has two meanings in Latvian: â€˜gallopâ€™, representing the rhythm of drums; and â€˜beehives on the treeâ€™ - the sound of drones. There is scarce physical evidence left of bagpipe and drum playing traditions in Latvia, though the playing of both instruments is mentioned frequently in Latvian folklore materials.
AuÄ¼i mostly plays instrumental music. As a source for inspiration, the group uses traditional bagpipe, dance and song melodies of Latvian and other European nations. The music reflects AuÄ¼iâ€™s creative approach and the contemporary feel of traditional culture. Latvians have an exceptionally rich vocal tradition and a few of these songs, with some percussion pieces, appear in the repertoire. In the groupâ€™s performances you can hear the traditional Latvian bagpipe playing technique called â€˜elbowingâ€™, low-tension stump drums (the biggest in the Baltics!) and various types of percussion instruments traditional to the Baltic region, with appearances by the Ä£Ä«ga (trough fiddle), jewâ€™s harp, cymbals, and gongs. (more > instruments)
Short History of Auli
The group members came together in the spring of 2003, and their first performance occurred at the 750 year celebrations of the city of LiepÄja on Latviaâ€™s western coast. By the next performance â€“ the world music festival, Vendene, in CÄ“sis later that summer â€“ the ensemble had gained the name AuÄ¼i. After a month came the first performance in Lithuania at the festival Menuo Jodaragis. And another month later the group played in the Baltijas Saule festival (RÄ«ga) dedicated to the unity of Balts. Concerts in Estonia â€“ Tallinn and Tartu - followed and AuÄ¼i concluded 2003 with a performance at the Folklore Award Ceremony. Intense concert activity and growth of the ensemble began. AuÄ¼i soon performed in front of a variety of audiences: For children in schools throughout Latvia, exploring the history of their instruments.
Latvian official state celebrations and city festivals: LiepÄja, Ventspils, the CÄ“sis 800 celebration, Sigulda, Valmiera, Valka, Aizpute, LÄ«vÄni, RÄ«ga.
Music festivals in Latvia: Baltijas saule, RozÄ peldbaseins, Bauzland, Porta world music festival, Vendene, the Baltic Medieval Festival
Lithuania: Menuo Jodaragis, Apuole, Kilkim Å½aibu; Estonia: MÃ¼tofest, NÃµmme Kevadfolk; Poland: Czeremczina, SkrzyÅ¼owanie Kultur Warszawa
Russia: St Patrickâ€™s day festival in St Petersbourg
China: The Star Live Concert Hall, Beijing.
Clubs: Depo, Tonuss, Fontaine Palace
Presentation of NATO summit 2007 logo.
Projects of popular Latvian composers: Juris Kulakovs, Valts PÅ«ce, MÄrtiÅ†Å¡ Brauns, ZigmÄrs LiepiÅ†Å¡, Raimonds Tiguls, PÄ“teris ButÄns.
In 2008 AuÄ¼i performed at the four-yearly Latvian Song and Dance Festival opening and gala concert (one of biggest musical events in Latvia) together with 12,000 singers. Renowned documentary director Askolds SaulÄ«tis made the first video of the group, released in 2007. Their second CD AuÄ¼osâ€¦ won the Recording Companyâ€™s Music Award for Best Contemporary Folk Music album in 2007.
Pretty rare in music nowdays, bagpipes and traditional drums should sound loud and powerful - good for big social celebrations, one would think. And so it happens â€“ AuÄ¼iâ€™s music fits well at big social events, city festivals, national celebrations as well as in traditional music festivals and on stage together with rock groups and orchestra. The group has been invited to play at weddings and funerals tooâ€¦ By developing new techniques of playing drums and bagpipes together, AuÄ¼i has expanded the possibilities of these instruments and created their own distinctive style. Influences from different styles including rock, metal, ethnotrance, medieval and world music can be heard in the groupâ€™s recordings and performances.
The closest analogue to such music can be found cultures of Celtic regions â€“ Scotland, Ireland, Bretagne, Galicia. The sounds of bagpipe and drum playing through these areas differs considerably due to a range of construction techniques and use of instruments. Some similar groups can be found in Germany, but they rely on a foundation of medieval music and combine this with rock and pop music elements and use a wider range of instruments such as guitars, harps, synthesisers, etc.
An album "SendzirdÄ“ju"
(Lauska 2005; mp3; CBR; 320 kb/s)
1. Sen dzirdÄ“ju
3. MÄmiÅ†â€™ vaicÄ
5. SÅ«da dziesma
8. JÄÅ†u diena
10. Reigi valsis
12. Visi sÄ«ki Å¾agariÅ†i