The spirit summoned by Lithuanian-born, New York-resident Žibuoklė Martinaitytė with In Search Of Lost Beauty… is related to an “inside impressionism” of sorts, the resonant aura of the orchestral totality overcoming the need of mentally delineating the ongoing processes. Elicited by a deeply individual experience – a nocturnal perception of “previously unnoticed worlds” while looking at the fragmented mirroring of Paris’ Notre-Dame cathedral in the post-rain puddles – the composition is describable as an all-encompassing dreamscape providing shelter to akin pursuers of acoustically-induced revelations.
The ten movements are merged in a 70-minute consecutiveness; it is the attentive listener’s duty to ensure the trip’s integrity. In the liner notes, Martinaitytė writes about “memories continuously coming back in multiple metamorphoses”, a rather perfect translation of the dynamic, harmonic and psychological shifts typifying the score. Overall, a pregnant darkness seems to prevail notwithstanding choral openings whose cyclical reappearance suggests strange musical juxtapositions. At one point in “Serenity Diptychs” I was even reminded of Popol Vuh circa Aguirre; in various parts, the use of glissando techniques caused a recollection of the ever-underrated work of Gloria Coates. In “Inhabited Silences”, an unintentional tip of the hat to Steve Reich’s “Violin Phase” emerges momentarily . Ultimately, the most interesting attribute of this opus is the flawless integration of registers: whatever the region of the sonic spectrum, each pitch appears to fulfil the exact aim. The expressive qualities of the resulting amalgamation remain vivid throughout.
The music was performed with sympathetic expertise by FortVio (Indrė Baikštytė, piano; Ingrida Rupaitė-Petrikienė, violin; Povilas Jacunskas, cello). The trio’s compatibility with Martinaitytė’s vision is proven time and again, the results quite spectacular in terms of aural color and responsiveness to the composer’s requirements. To paraphrase the title, we’re lucky that – in this particular case – beauty was not lost. Once more, kudos to Starkland’s Thomas Steenland for having introduced a deserving artist to a larger number of inquisitive ears.