> Julius Aglinskas
Julius Aglinskas (born 1988) is a composer, producer and sound engineer who, from the very beginning, stood out with a very different understanding of academic music. For some time now, he has welcomed influences beyond the limits of classical music and allowed them to permeate his compositional work, where they become constant flashes in the environment of his music without turning into dominant features.
Julius Aglinskas completed his studies at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre (LAMT) in 2014, majoring in musical composition under the tutelage of Professor Vytautas Barkauskas and later Professor Rytis Mažulis. He has participated in masterclasses in Vilnius, Rostock and the UK (remotely) with Wolfgang Rihm, Andrew McKenzie and other well-known composers. In 2011, his piece for a mixed choir, The New Net In Two, earned him third prize in the Vox Juventutis’ 11 competition. Similarly, in 2013, his Fragments for Two (Fragmentai dviems), a piece for two keyboard instruments, won first place in a competition organised by the LAMT Music Innovation Study Centre as part of the Young Music (Jauna muzika) festival.
Aglinskas’ work has sounded at various festivals, including Druskomanija (Druskininkai, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014), Brücken (Rostock, Germany, 2011), Ahead (vilnius, 2013) and Vasaros klavišas (Anykščiai, 2014). In recent years, Julius Aglinskas has become actively involved in organising events himself. In his hometown – Anykščiai – he organised Turn Up the Volume for Anykščiai (Pasigarsink Anykščius), a concert for progressive popular music and modern folk music, while in 2014, as part of the Summer Keys festival, he organised Nonclassical Lithuania, an event that could boast of participants such as Gabrielius Prokofievas and Nwando Ebizie.
During his studies at the Juozas Tallat-Kelpša Conservatory, Aglinskas began to collaborate with the newly forming rock band Freaks on Floor and, in 2011, became the producer and sound engineer for their album Hello Girls! Later, he contributed to the creative work of ba and Žalvarinis, working as the personal sound engineer for both bands. As a sound engineer, he has also worked for festivals such as Heineken Open‘er, Rabarock, Vilnius Music Week, Velnio akmuo, Karklė and others.
However, the truest depths of the composer’s personality reveal themselves in the pieces that are written with a Feldmanesque dose of meditativeness and nostalgia. His compositions send his listeners on a journey of sorts as the artist uses aleatoric methods, placing the emphasis on timbre, consonance and imagination. However, the piece Σφαιρογραφία (Sfairografia), written for a chamber orchestra, demonstrates an entirely different side of Angliskas’ creative ability. The sound aesthetic here is cardinally different from Aglinskas’ other work, firstly because it places the greatest weight on structure: it is the spatially calculated musical objectification of the Zodiac constellations, wherein the height of each sound and its placement in time come closer to the German tradition of composition, conceptually reminiscent of Iannis Xenakis’ stochastic ideas.
Pieces such as One (Transformations), Fragments for Two or Fragments for a Symphony Orchestra reveal the composer’s more poetic inclinations. In the epigraph for the latter piece, Aglinskas writes: “As you walk down the street, through the city or somewhere else... You meet people, you trace their steps, you hear words, whose words they are you don’t know... For a second the frightening thought passes through your mind that you are talking to yourself... And the steps were ones you took a long time ago and forgot... A moment that you once saw, thought, lived, felt... With no beginning and no end, melting away in time – with no beginning and no end...” These thoughts are laid out with the sparing, subtle and colourful use of musical material, which is subordinated to the listener. This musical style was characteristic of the composer’s work from the very beginning and after a brief withdrawal it seems to have come back to establish itself anew.