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This work’s lesson and emotional message are closely linked with the ever-growing number of Latvians leaving their home country. Since the renewal of Latvian independence in 1990, the population of Latvia has declined by almost half a million from around two million as a result of out-migration. Many leave because they are disillusioned with the government, while others have simply gone in search of a better life. Through this mindset many have come to deny traditional Latvian values.
Alongside this theme in Atsalums, I also explore the eternal question of the meaning of material culture, and the role of possessions and money in family life and in decision-making. With their performance of the work under the direction of Jurģis Cābulis at the 2016 Stasys Šimkus Competition in Klaipėda, the choir Vēja balss won a special award for the best performance of an original composition by a composer of their native country.
from notes by Jēkabs Jančevskis © 2020