… the freedom from the known can come into being only when there is a dying every day to the known,
to the hurts, the flatteries, to all the images you have made, to all your experiences –
dying every day so that the brain cells themselves become fresh, young, innocent.
Jiddu Krishnamurti Freedom from the Known
|Bells Circle 2
#6, Bells Circle, fragment, 2 min 52 sec, mp3, 320 Kbps
#1, Plasma 1, fragment, 2 min 21 sec, mp3, 320 Kbps
Music composed and performed by Igor Garšnek
Keyboards used in the recording: Korg Triton Extreme, Roland Jupiter-X
Mixed by Kaur Garšnek (#1–2) and Igor Garšnek (#3–10)
Mastered by Siim Mäesalu
Booklet edited by Mehis Kivilo
Digital visuals by Igor Garšnek
Artist’s photo by Urmas Kukk
Design and layout by Mart Kivisild
Produced by Peeter Vähi
Igor Garšnek: „Special thanks to Kaur for versatile musical computer assistance and to Maiken for lively compassion.“
Liner notes in Estonian and English
℗ + © Igor Garšnek, Estonian Record Productions
The music of Igor Garšnek is characterised by a polystyle musical language that is expressed as a variable fusion of good-sounding minimalism and dissonant modernism. The composer often uses stylisations in his work and paraphrases sometimes short quotes from classics in this context. His musical language also combines a vivid rhythm pulse and a polyphonic texture. A great part of Garšnek’s works belong to the field of rock and electronic music.
Igor Garšnek (1958) graduated in 1982 from the field of composition as a student of Prof. Eino Tamberg at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, thereafter further developing himself at the Leningrad Conservatory in postgraduate studies under supervision of Prof. Sergei Slonimsky.
Igor Garšnek subsequently worked as a lecturer at Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, as a sound engineer at Estonian Radio, as a presenter on Estonian TV, as well as music editor of the cultural newspaper Sirp. He is at the same time a fruitful music publicist, as a music critic in the press, as well as author of music textbooks and an autobiographical documentary novel (Ruja: must ronk või valge vares / Ruja: Black Raven or White Crow, 2010).
Igor Garšnek has played keyboards in the legendary Estonian rock band Ruja, as well as such progressive rock formations as Synopsis and Data. He has also recorded his music, with all of them. In 2000, Boheme Music released a CD of Igor Garšnek’s rock oratorio Animal Farm (based on George Orwell).
Garšnek’s creative range is quite diverse, encompassing orchestral works, chamber music, organ compositions, as well as rock and electronic music. His list of works includes, among other things, two symphonies, a string quartet, wind quintet, Dynamis for clarinet and electronics, as well as Three Conditions and Toccata and Passacaglia ‘Pardon, Bach!’ for organ.
Noteable performances include the premiere in 2000 of The Magic Art of Fugue, by Kremerata Baltica Sextet at the Lockenhaus Festival in Austria. At the Estonian Music Days has been heard his Jurassic Park for chamber ensemble, (NYYD Ensemble, conducted by Olari Elts, 2003) and Quadra for piano (Marko Martin, 2006). Garšnek’s The Kuiper Code for string quartet and synthesizer, has been heard at the Suure-Jaani Music Festival (2008) and Glasperlenspiel (2014). The most performed in the world is the organ music by Igor Garšnek. Three Conditions thus have been performed in several European countries and Japan, whereas Dona nobis pacem for organ and guitar, has been performed in the USA.
The music on the current Plasma album has been composed between 2021 and 2023. This is electronic music that in addition to electronic soundscapes, reveals sound references to different cultures, eras and musical styles. The compositions Terra Incognita, Samba Caramba and Merengue Mode, thus make audible such Latin American, Afro-Cuban and Dominican rhythm patterns as samba, salsa and merengue.
The main motive of Kalimba Dreams, at the same time relies on the sampled sounds of the Southeast Asian instrument kalimba that by the way is also known in African traditional music. Bells Circle on the other hand, in one passage references the laconic motif characteristic of secular music of European Middle Ages and the rustically danceable, minstrel-styled rhythm figure played on a tambourine.
Merengue Mode and Paragon, however are driven by the intensity and energy of rock music. Especially Paragon, with its constantly repetitive, hammering ostinato on a synthesizer playing in arpeggiator mode.
It is worth knowing that the sounds of Plasma 1, 2 and 3, at the beginning of the disc do not at all form a cycle, according to the author’s assurances. These are separate compositions that do have a common musical substance, in terms of repetition and pervasiveness of some motifs and sounds.
“In a physical sense, plasma consisting of charged particles, is the fourth state of matter. The entire visible universe – stars (including our Sun), galaxies and galaxy clusters – consist mainly of plasma. Plasma as such, is thus the initial primordial element, the cornerstone of everything existing and also the basis of life.“
“I build for myself with each new composition, a new world that for me are also accompanied by visual imaginings. These are sometimes magical-realistic, sometimes secretive mystical, sometimes a playful or unpredictable world. It is however for the most part, somewhat shifted from the real world.“
Download the liner notes in Estonian (2 pages, PDF)