Fontaine Festival 2013 in Review

Agnese Matisone
The Latvian journalist Agnese Matisone has written a wonderfully poetic review of this years festival which we’d like to share with you on these pages. Below, you’ll find both English and Latvian versions. The article was originally written in Latvian and we hope the English translation does it justice.

Agnese Matisone
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A Rumble of Thunder in the Soul

by Agnese Matisone

A brisk day is breaking through on the morning of Monday, August 12. The dust has been washed away by the rain and a fresh, new work week has begun. Although for some the more resilient visitors to the Fontaine Festival, just a couple of hours ago saw them still enjoying music in Fontaine Palace.

Let’s look back a couple of days in the past. Approaching the festival location, the wistful sound of guitar arises, revealing both softer as well as much sharper features. It feels like the old Liepāja has woken up a little and is reflecting itself in visions of rock music. Has its mischievous son died or not? – there are three days when Liepāja will cradle various expressions of rock. The city apparently misses the sounds of guitar, drums and other musical instruments in its daily life in the same way as it would miss the sounds of work in Metalurgs (the local steel factory) or the traffic of fishing boats. We can offer the wind but we can hardly sell it. At least there are other things we can evaluate, respect and enjoy from their harvest.

This was already the 8th Fontaine Festival which this year had the slogan “Rest in Hell”. The following abandon, openness and relaxed atmosphere created something like a feeling of ease. Even if the cheerful wind raged on the streets and the promenade carried away the light things that had not been well tied, the stages of the festival were knowingly made downwind and four of the five were covered by a roof. Those that had been blown around were warmed by the rhythmical movements of the music, the warm food and drinks that could heat the blood. Step by step, the Gypsy Camp stage came alive and smoke climbed up into the starlit night of August.

Each group had its own special energy and story, so in a way it would be a criminal act to highlight any of them particularly. However, it is too tempting to wag my tongue. The performance of the band Līvi had been much discussed and awaited. Despite the legendary stories that Līvi are quarrelling with each other or that Līvi are gone forever, the festival gave them an opportunity to stay tough and that they still have something to offer – their voices were heard, their guitars soared and their drums were well and truly beaten. The performance of the band Jumprava was also very welcome. A surprise was made by the charming group members with the arrangement of the stage. There were monitors with pictures of bitten apples as well as couple of other products to remind us of the past. Our hearts were once again warmed by hits that everybody could sing along too and by the joyful thought that the musicians are still doing well in our country.

Looking back before Jumprava, our ears and eyes had the chance to feast on the energetic and purposeful band The Velvet Supernova. And before them, our heartstrings were pulled by a co-performance of the bluesman Eddie Angel from Great Britain and the host of the festival itself, Louie Fontaine that made the audience completely melt with feelings for these gentlemen.

I wish to give many thanks to the organisers of the festival for the very pleasant atmosphere we experienced there and for an opportunity to take part in an international gathering of friends. There was no arrogant checking of handbags and the rules and limits were human and authentic. Even if you were only in your own company, the sunset could still reveal many hues and shades.

I would recommend getting familiar with the band Bonafide (http://bonafide-music.com), who were described to me by a friend in words I felt to be truthful: “They brought the roof down and moved the heart. Some older local people need to learn how to deal with up-to-date technologies. Yes, it was electronic music, but they mixed this with live musicians powered by real and groovy beats. Very interesting, In fact, fabulous.”

Meanwhile, the rain and the sun are interchanging periodically, but the large oak tree in the countryside has been struck by lightning once again.

 



Pērkona Dārdi Dvēselē

Agnese Matisone

Pirmdienas, 12.augusta, rīts aust spirgts. Lietus noskalo putekļus un jauna darba nedēļa sākas skaidra. Lai gan vēl pirms pāris stundām daži izturīgākie Fontaine Festivāla apmeklētāji baudīja mūziku Fontainpilī.
Šis bija jau astotais Fontaine Festivāls. Valdošais dabiskums, demokrātiskums, nepiespiestība radīja ko līdzīgu atpūtas sajūtai.

Atskatīsimies pāris dienu senā pagātnē. Tuvojoties festivāla norises vietai, ik pa brīdim dzirdama kāda smeldzīga ģitāras skaņa – maigāka un arī ar skarbākiem vaibstiem. Šķiet, sirmā Liepāja mazliet pamodusies un spoguļojas roka vīzijās. Ir vai nav miris tās delverīgais dēls – trīs dienas Liepāja auklē roka dažādās izpausmes. Tāpat kā darba duna Metalurgā, zvejas kuģu satiksme, pietrūkst arī ģitāras, bungu un citu mūzikas instrumentu skaņas pilsētas ikdienā. Vēju varam piedāvāt, bet diez vai pārdot. Pārējo varam novērtēt, cienīt, priecāties par tā augļiem.

Šis bija jau astotais Fontaine Festivāls, kura devīze “Rest in Hell”. Valdošais dabiskums, demokrātiskums, nepiespiestība radīja ko līdzīgu atpūtas sajūtai. Kaut uz ielas un pa promenādi trakoja tas pats draiskulis vējš, nesot sev līdzi vieglus un laicīgi nepiesietus priekšmetus, festivāla skatuves ar nodomu tika veidotas aizvējā, četras no piecām zem jumta. Sapūstos un atpūstos sildīja ritmiskas kustības mūzikas pavadījumā, silti ēdieni un asinis karsējoši dzērieni. Pamazām vien Gypsy Camp skatuve iesila un dūmi tiecās naksnīgās, zvaigžņotās augusta debesīs.

Lai nu kādas klīst leģendas, ka īsti līvi ir sakašķējušies līvi un, ka līvi vienmēr dzīvi, festivālā varēja pārliecināties, ka turas sīksti un tiem, kas palikuši, veicas labi.

Katra muzikālā apvienība bija ar savu īpašu enerģiju un stāstu, tā kā izcelt kādu īpaši būtu noziedzīgs nodarījums. Bet tomēr, gribas patrīt mēli. Pietiekami apspriesta un ilggaidīta bija grupas Līvi uzstāšanās. Lai nu kādas klīst leģendas, ka īsti līvi ir sakašķējušies līvi un, ka līvi vienmēr dzīvi, festivālā varēja pārliecināties, ka turas sīksti un tiem, kas palikuši, veicas labi – balsis skan, ģitāru stīgas zib, bungas rībina. Tāpat gaidīts tika Jumpravas priekšā nesums. Šarmanti sirmie kungi pārsteigumu sagādāja jau iekārtojot skatuvi. Tika izvietoti datori ar aizkosta ābola attēlu, kā arī vēl pāris tehniski produkti. Līdzi dziedamās diždziesmas un prieks, ka mūsu valstī mūziķi pārtikuši, sildīja sirdi.

Pirms Jumpravas, skatoties atpakaļgaitā ausis un acis mieloja enerģijas pārpilnie un mērķtiecīgie The Velvet Supernova. Vēl pirms viņiem blūzmeņa Eddie Angel no Lielbritānijas saspēle ar festivāla nama tēvu Louie Fontaine lika sirdij atsaukties un izkust simtprocentīgās simpātijās pret kungiem.

Paldies festivāla rīkotājiem par patīkamo atmosfēru, par iespēju piedalīties starptautiskā draugu sarīkojumā. Nekādas augstprātīgas somiņu pārbaudes, stingri noteikumi, ierobežojumi – cilvēcīgi un patiesi. Ja vien sevī jūties labi, arī saulriets atklāj daudz toņu un pustoņu.

Iesaku iepazīties ar grupu Bonafide, par kuru uzticams cilvēks izteicās: “Nonesa jumtu un iekustināja sirdi. Dažiem vietējiem vecmeistariem vajadzētu pamācīties, kas jādara ar mūsdienu tehnoloģijām. Elektroniskā mūzika, bet blieza un miksēja dzīvajā. Ļoti interesanti. Medusmaize.”

Pa šo laiku periodiski līst lietus un spīd saule, laukos – lielajā ozolā pa nakti iespēris zibens.


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