Ieva Parša sings „Hô” by Giacinto Scelsi (LV/IT)

Singer Ieva Parša mainly focuses on contemporary Latvian and international music but also enjoys singing baroque and romantic music repertoire, demonstrating great acting talent in all of these styles and paying great attention to the expressiveness of text and the emotional content of music. Many Latvian composers – Andris Dzenitis, Pauls Dambis, Marite Dombrovska, Gundega Smite, Kristaps Petersons, Imants Zemzaris amongst others – have composed specifically for Ieva’s voice. In 2008 she received the Latvian Great Music Award 2008 for her interpretations of Latvian solo songs and experimental vocal lyrics; she was also nominated for the Latvian Great Music Award 2009. Ieva Parša sings the roles of High Priestess (Aida), Mole Cricket (Speleju, dancoju), Dauka’s Mother (Dauka) at the Latvian National Opera. Her collaborative programmes with pianist Aldis Liepins “The Brightly Radiant Latvian Gray”, “Story of a Woman” and “Dudievins” have delighted Latvian audiences.

This performance took place on October 2, at the 2020 edition Skaņu Mežs festival.

Scelsi was an Italian composer who chose a path separate from all modernist movements and created music of a highly intuitive, mystical nature.

Giacinto Scelsi’s music was largely unknown throughout most of his life, as he refused to conduct interviews or make analytical comments about his works and rarely sought out performances. The attitudes behind his musical creations can be tied in with this reclusiveness; from the 1940s he saw music as a type of spiritual revelation. He began to compose his better known pieces at this time, works which involved static harmony with surface fluctuations of timbre and microtonal inflection. This type of harmonic minimalism was developed independently of other minimalist trends of the twentieth century, and was received with fascination by the musical world when his music finally began to receive performances and recordings in the 1980s. He wrote over 100 works, including several major pieces for orchestra, and works for chamber ensemble, string quartets, and solo and duo pieces. Many of his pieces were worked out in improvisation and subsequently written down.

(Text by Rachel Campbell)