The Latvian folk ensemble Ilgi has been around since the beginnings of the Baltic folk revival of the early 1980s, when the Soviet Union was still in charge and anything smacking of genuine Latvian culture was suppressed. The flowering of Latvian independence allowed the quintet (having undergone numerous personnel changes over the years) to fully explore traditional Latvian music and mythology, eventually writing its own compatible tunes as well. Ilgi's latest, Ne Uz Vienu Dienu (UPE), which means "not for just one day," consists of songs about weddings, ranging from bliss to uncertainty to bitter brides and surrealistic fir trees dancing in celebration. There are exquisite vocals, both haunting solos and brisk multi-voice harmonies full of moody, minor-key drama, and superb ensemble work on such acoustic instruments as violins, guitars, balalaika, and jaw harp. Outside influences sneak in on occasion in the form of bagpipes, kalimba, and mandolin, which ripples through a bluegrass-like run on one song.
Sun., Sept. 9, 7:30 p.m.
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