Zibuokle Martinaityte

Notes from the Composer

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Zibuokle Martinaityte (Romas Jurgaitis)

Driving Force

Performed by Mike Svoboda (trombone), Liudas Mockunas (tenor saxophone) and Raimondas Sviackevicius (accordion)

Driving Force (2004) for trombone, tenor saxophone and accordion (commissioned by Gaida Festival, Lithuania) 

A driving force is the inner device that stimulates any activity. An impulse and a driving force are required for any action. The latter is the most important. How do we find it? Where does it lie?

What is the engine of the music? What is the driving force of music? Is it rhythm, melody, harmony, polyphony, timbre or an inner impulse?

In the process of writing Driving Force, I was consciously trying to grasp where the driving force of this work emanates from. The unique combination of instruments encouraged an inventiveness, and I was unexpectedly inspired by the harmony of Baroque cadences as well as Baroque melismas, which are easily detectable in the composition.

Completely Embraced  by the Beauty of  Emptiness

Performed by the ERGO Ensemble; conducted by Alex Pauk.   

Completely Embraced  by the Beauty of  Emptiness (2006) for two flutes, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, percussion, piano, harp, two violins, viola and cello

Beneath the underlying emotional quality of this piece one can discover a thorough and deliberate set of subtle compositional decisions. The majority of elements are based on the number 6, which represents my late father’s name. The central harmonic structure is based on six notes (A, B, C, D, E, F), which appear either in their pure form as a scale-like melody or transposed and transformed into a polyphonically rich texture. The rhythmic structure is also full of patterns consisting of six elements. Many rhythmic figures are repeated six times and recurrently consist of six rhythmic values.

The sections in the piece are Departure; Emptiness; Unending variations of longing 1; Unending variations of longing 2; Letting go

The piece was premiered on September 27, 2006 at the CBC Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto, Canada, by ERGO ensemble, conducted by Alex Pauk.


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Comments [59]

Pat Abercrombie from San Anselmo, CA

I was drawn in by both Driving Force and Emptiness. I'm not a musician so cannot comment in the proper vernacular but Driving Force reflected some of my favorite 20th/21st century pieces by John Adams (Harmonielehre & Short Ride in Fast Machine) and Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians. I couldn't help hearing Pauline Oliveros's accordion (Deep Listening) in Zibuokle's Beauty of Emptiness piece. These references are all mine; Ms Martinaityte's style is clearly all her own and I love it.

Sep. 09 2010 01:02 PM
Chung-Wai Soong from San Francisco, CA

Ms. Martinaityte has a sure sense of instrumental color; the unusual instrumentation for "Driving Force" is handled so expertly. We feel the dialogues between the rhythmic pulses, the melodies, the jazzy swing, the Klezmer-ish flourishes, the instruments themselves. A wonderful piece.

"Completely Embraced by the Beauty of Emptiness" has such a haunting beauty, a feeling of inevitability. I would love to hear more of this piece, and of this talented composer.

Sep. 09 2010 01:15 AM
Noam Cook from San Francisco, CA USA

What a delight! There is a common spirit in both "Driving Force" and "Completely Embraced", a reverberating energy over a kind of stillness. Along with the driving force in "Driving Force" I loved the Ravel-like explorations of colour, seeking out and blending various sounds of the instruments in this unusual ensemble. In “Completely Embraced” I was taken by how the slow underlying pulse, almost like contented breathing, became a surface from which the rhythmic and melodic elements bubbled up, blended and vanished back into the pulse. I trust we will hear more from this inventive and exciting composer.

Sep. 08 2010 08:33 PM
kamusicka from canada

great music..

Sep. 08 2010 07:15 PM
Vadim Larchikov from Odessa / Ukraine

This piece is really a hymn for driving force of MUSIC - driving a listener to other, better and higher world. Zibuokle's great personality gives birth to widest spectrum of positive energies. Best compliments!

Sep. 08 2010 07:01 PM
Keesha Bowers

I enjoyed the bold energy in these pieces. I hear a call out to accomplish something big in the beginnings with a twist of gentle guidance in the end. I am gripped by them and excited to hear more from this lovely composer. I can easily see the works of Zibuokle Martinaityte touching a large audience!!

Sep. 08 2010 05:18 PM
Asta Kinduryte from London

I always find it fascinating to listen to Zibuokle's music. The dynamics and aesthetics of her "Driving Force" is captivating - it feels like watching shooting stars. A highly enjoyable experience. Congratulations!

Sep. 08 2010 04:51 PM
Ron Gurewitz from San Francisco

This piece is amazingly deep in its composition. I found it wonderfully complex and very listenable.
A beautiful effort.
Looking forward to the next one.

Sep. 08 2010 04:19 PM
mike from kansas

I love this piece. It made me sit up and listen!

Sep. 08 2010 04:18 PM
Raimondas Sviackevicius (performer on this piece)

This was the first (but not the last) piece by Zibuokle where she used accordion in very professional, "accordionistic" and at the same time unusual way expressing all kind of contemporary language, using modern articulation. I am so happy to met such a intelligent composer and warm person. I am sure, that her compositions will survive among thousands contemporary works written nowadays.
Congratulations Zibuokle!

Sep. 08 2010 03:51 PM
NiNi from Toronto

I like it, and I can relate to this piece without trying. Perspective is obvious, reachable, and touchable. Good job and best wishes.

Sep. 08 2010 03:48 PM
Chris B

Post apocalyptic soundtrack, love it!

Sep. 08 2010 03:43 PM
Yari Ostovany from Reno, Nevada

Intelligent and playful - and somehow to my ears with a dash of the apocalyptic. I found the sound painting refreshing and the development rich and enthralling.

Sep. 08 2010 03:32 PM
Rene Staritzbichler from Frankfurt, Germany

Deeply touching and intelligent at the same time.
'Driving Force' being a magic play of rythms and emotions, 'Completely..' feels like a breathtaking exploration of something deep within oneself.

Sep. 07 2010 02:03 PM
Christopher Beski from Chicago

continuation of comment #44; Then Zibuokle can take this bottle and transform it into another instrument to produce even more interesting sounds.

"Talking about music is like dancing about architecture". (Steve Martin)
Saying Zibuokles music is beautiful is almost offensive. The word is so overused and tired - almost like amazing. Her music evokes the most sublime thoughts and feelings known to mankind. It erases anger, envy, pettiness and meanness and creates deep reflection, understanding, acceptance, forgiveness and love. If I heard this music in the movie I would buy the dvd, if I heard this music in an art gallery I would ask the gallery owner immediately how can I get the cd and then would look at the art with heightened sensitivity. The samples of Zibuokle's music does the same to my heart and soul what the old masters do.
The difference is the contemporary language which allows me to imagine a potential conversation with the composer versus just passively listening.

Aug. 23 2010 07:21 AM
Christopher Beski from Chicago

"What the really great artists do is they're entirely themselves. They are entirely themselves, they've got their own vision, they've got their own way of fracturing reality, and if it's authentic and true you will feel it in your nerve endings." (David Foster Wallace)
I have spent a lot of hours to listen to the all 60 composers and read all the comments trying to be as objective as possible and I missed the first part of the elimination process. Now I am pleasantly surprised. From the 60 I really liked 7 and all 7 are in the remaining 30 so at least by my "unqualified taste" the selection process is honest and based on talent and nothing else.

Among the 30 remaining two are geniuses and they are as different as night and day. These are Zibuokle Martinaityte and Daniel Wohl. Zibuokle can look at the person, meet a person or just think or remember the person and compose a piece that would pierce your heart and stay with you for the rest of your life. Daniel Wohl can look at empty bottle and compose music that can influence future jazz, rap and pop.

Aug. 23 2010 06:35 AM
Alan Polinsky

A wonderful piece that definitely deserves to be in the winners circle

Aug. 10 2010 12:26 PM
digitalmaestrorich from NYC

Is anyone allowed to post constructive criticism? For someone who has heard A LOT of 20th century music over a very wide range, I would think these comments must be referring to another piece of music. Like Bacewicz, perhaps this composer has embraced a wide range of compositional styles over the years and one piece is completely different from the next, so I won't pass judgement on thiis one work. So much of the most recent music just sounds like so much of most recent music: this is true from classical to pop to American Idol. Everyone sounds like everyone else.

Aug. 03 2010 09:22 AM
G Aaron Paxson from Incline Village NV

I heard the premier of her new piece "Inhabited Silences." I liked it so much that I asked for her permission to include it on our (Tahoe Chamber Music Society) summer concert series, to be performed by the same group that premiered it. When listening to the rehearsal the previous night, I fell in love with it. At the risk of exposing my ignorance, her music seems to have a minimalist quality which I find enhances the rich and effective timbres she rites.

Aug. 02 2010 04:57 PM
Philip Van Keuren from Dallas

I like one of the other individuals first heard Ms. Martinaityte's music compositions at the MacDowell Colony in early 2009. It was unusual (and moving) to see such a broad array of artists, composers and writers from so many different parts of the creative world all respond in such a overwhelmingly positive way to her music. Playful yet serious, her compositions merge her world of sounds with deeply felt sensations. A truly remarkable thing to hear. An even more astonishing thing to create.

Jul. 13 2010 04:31 PM
Jim Rosaschi from California

Each time I have heard it, the sonic journey has been different. Not being trained musically, I suppose I am missing a lot of nuances, but do commend the creation in which I hear a changing aural storyline.

Jul. 12 2010 12:40 AM
Martin Rokeach from San Francisco

I find Zibuokle's music to be extremely well-crafted and very affecting. Hers is an original voice. Each piece that I've listened to I'd be happy to hear again and again.

Jul. 10 2010 01:20 PM
Josh Greene from Mill Valley, CA

Zibuokle Martinaityte has created some truly beautiful and moving pieces of music. The formations seem to guide the listener though different locations, times and emotional states. Well done!

Jul. 07 2010 12:59 PM
A. G. from San Francisco, CA

Zibuokle has a strong voice that is strongly rooted in her own convictions. I like how her music comes from a very personal space.

Jul. 05 2010 06:57 PM

Zibuokle's music is bright, original and leaves me feeling very positive. I feel it is accessible it a wide range of moods. "Driving Force" gives me a sense of direction and much energy. I hope to hear more from this composer.

Jul. 02 2010 10:48 AM
Jill Downen from St. Louis, Missouri

Inspired work! Zibuokle's compositions are deeply moving and her sample from Driving Force makes me want to hear more. I was first introduced to her work at the MacDowell Colony in 2009 when we were both in residence there. The music she shared drew me in and captivated my senses. I was not the only audience member with tears in my eyes that night. In our hectic world, its takes a true work of creative depth to move an audience. Zibuokle's music has captured
me completely.

Jul. 01 2010 06:12 PM
John Casten from San Francisco

I want to hear more! This composer has an original compositional personality, distinctive and memorable. The range of these 2 pieces shows a command of technique, an imaginative flair, and a fearlessness in her use of instrumental resources. Ades and Benjamin, eat your hearts out. A bright future for Ms Martinaityte.

Jun. 30 2010 10:36 PM
Milena Ivanova from New York

Two wonderful pieces from Z Martinaityte - the first one makes me think of an old traveling toy theater, how romantic and graceful; the second one is truly touching, what a treat. Thank you and looking forward to hearing more of this talented composer!

Jun. 29 2010 05:36 PM
Fitz T.

This is a cool work! It's got a lot of emotional grip and sounds very finely crafted...

Jun. 28 2010 06:41 PM
Neringa Butkute from Lithuania

Zibuokle's music touche very deep and it is so intimate. Each sound makes a sense and intensity flows from the first note even in pauses.

Jun. 28 2010 08:40 AM
Julie Friedberg from New York City

I love Driving Force! It speaks to that feeling you get in your gut when you're inspired to act and to the release you feel afterwards. A beautiful, visceral piece of music.

Jun. 27 2010 09:00 AM
Dasha Beltiukova from Amsterdam

What a powerful composition! It speaks direct to your heart...

Jun. 26 2010 05:40 PM

Really amazing work! Moving and touching, as well as delicate and deep. I truly wish that Ziboukle will continue to give her insights expressed in music to all others. We need to hear more of you!

Jun. 26 2010 03:17 PM
Marc Blackstein from Portland, OR

beautiful, energetic work!

Jun. 26 2010 12:54 PM

For me, whose taste in music, according to a dear composer friend of mine, rests in “the 18th and 19th centuries” (I have to admit here that he had been unaware of my fondness for music from as far back as the Mediaeval chants) Zhibuokle's composition has proven captivating and engaging. I am a student of history and sociology so the trials and tribulations of our current state of societies, cultures and economic predicament with all the anxieties of the time -and also the promises of the unknown future- are very much present when I listen to her music. I feel that her work "speaks" to our current times. I find her work quite relevant and powerful.

Jun. 25 2010 04:13 PM
Khasha from Irvine, California

For me, whose taste in music, according to a dear composer friend of mine, rests in “the 18th and 19th centuries” (I have to admit here that he had been unaware of my fondness for music from as far back as the Mediaeval chants) Zhibuokle's composition has proven captivating and engaging. I am a student of history and sociology so the trials and tribulations of our current state of societies, cultures and economic predicament with all the anxieties of the time -and also the promises of the unknown future- are very much present when I listen to her music. I feel that her work "speaks" to our current times. I find her work quite relevant.

Jun. 25 2010 04:00 PM
elena from London

I'm not fond of modern music, I can't understand it. This piece is different, a very good performance that captivated me. I had to listen and listen again. Every time with a great emotion

Jun. 25 2010 06:42 AM
Ivan Smirnov from San Francisco

Love both pieces! Very impressed. Deep, inspiring, high quality music. Can't wait to get some records.

Jun. 24 2010 09:04 PM
Anna from London Uk

I was told about this composer by a friend, and I think it is very good pieces. Shows the diversity of the composer and the depth. I particularly liked the first one, it is very intense piece

Thank you.

Jun. 24 2010 06:15 PM
Giedre from London

I know Zibuokle as a composer for ages....... She always exhibited a special sound understanding of their particular composition. Up the pieces are very well instrumented, had expressive mood. I like this pieces so much and wish her many creative success.

Jun. 24 2010 02:16 PM
Nina Flyer from San Francisco

I'm a big fan of Zibuokle's music and these pieces don't let me down..........there is the wild, driving opening of the works, and gradually coming to the more peaceful concluding sections........with tons of Lithuanian jazz along the way!

Jun. 24 2010 01:10 PM
Jen Baker from NYC

I am impressed with the fiery gusts with which both of these pieces start out. It pulls me in to the music. Driving Force has an exceptional way of bending time/pulse with its frenzy of energy. The orchestration really pops off the page for me. As a new music performer and listener, I can say that Zibuokle's music is particularly enjoyable. I want more!

Jun. 24 2010 09:11 AM
Kasia from Amsterdam, Netherlands

Wow! What an imaginative pieces! There is an intriguing and strong sense of force and energy very skillfully connected with delicate folkloristic elements. Delightful!

Jun. 24 2010 05:02 AM
Jurate from Vilnius

Wonderful! I know a lot of Zibuokle's works. She always touches deeply. Congratulations and best regards from Lithuania!

Jun. 24 2010 03:59 AM
Ben & Hania Mohr from New York, NY

Wow! Such great pieces! We listened to these several times and can't get enough. Hoping to hear more from Ms. Martinaityte.

Jun. 23 2010 09:20 PM
Dagmara Chojnacka from Poland, Europe

A friend of mine - a well known composer send me a link to this page. I was truly amazed by both of the pieces. I am not a fan of contemporary music, it usually just "drives me crazy". Therefore I was so relived and happy to be able to both hear it and ENJOY it, for the first time in my liefe, I guess :))
I am not qualified to make professional comments, but I just want to share my respect and to thank the young composer for her work :)
Her own little notes were very helpful for such a newcomer to contemporary music as I am. Thanks again for Your fantastic work!

Jun. 23 2010 05:41 PM
Mirek Kocur from Wroclaw, Pl from Wroclaw, Pl

BRAVO! Lithuania meets NYC...what a jazz!

Jun. 23 2010 05:41 PM
rafael jordan from seattle

Nice work. Very nice.

I also was challenged and intrigued by the sixes.

Jun. 23 2010 04:05 PM
jonathan segel from Oakland, CA

Excellent piece! Nice orchestration and a fulfilling drive!

Jun. 23 2010 01:52 PM
egidija medeksaite from vilnius

The pieces are very esthetic !!!! i like it very much, special how the composer develops her ideas in her music!!! Thank you Zibuokle!!

Jun. 23 2010 12:43 PM

Martinaityte has achieved the perfect marriage of contemporary music and audience accessibility. The form and structure of the music in addition to her motivational force, easily connects to the listener's inner life. This is moving music! When listening, I felt not only innovative sonic landscapes. I also felt touched by the human experience. Brilliant! Congratulations!

Jun. 23 2010 12:39 PM
Jonathan Bradley from NYC

What an excellent composer! Her music is insightful, powerful, and elegant all at the same time. I've very much enjoyed listening to these samples and would love to hear more.

Jun. 23 2010 11:51 AM
Gaylene Rosaschi

I enjoyed listening to the selection posted here. It is very interesting to hear some new composers. I especially appreciate the composer's comments about the selections. These comments give me insight that I would not otherwise have to the piece, and give an interpretation that I find useful.

Jun. 22 2010 10:12 PM
Gadi Kaplan--composer from New York and Tel Aviv

I met Zibuokle during a recent contemporary music concert in Astoria, Queens, under the auspices of Astoria Music society (Astoria Symphony) which had performed my own very emotional music Leyad Hamizbe'ach in sept 2005--a vocal piece for a contralto solo, as well as for adult and children's choirs and orchestra. That piece reflects my own feelings after 9/11. Zibuokle's music is very moving too so I connected to it very well. It really brought back to me my own feelings during and after my own father's passing. An added layer of emotions is in that Zibuokle is from Lithuania, the very country from which my father came to Israel in the late 1920s, and where he lost his brother and his family during the Holocaust.(My own brother in Israel adopted a child from a town very close to where my father was born!). I strongly feel that Zibuokle deserves to be heard in a large public forum such as Carnegie Hall so that she may share with the world the richness of expression of her emotions.
I do hope that the wonderful musicians in Orpheus conductorless orchestra will include her among the recepients of the ensemble's commissions.

Jun. 22 2010 06:06 PM
Brooke Webb

The composer captures the force, energy and determination of something both frenetic, ambitious (America) and at the same time a grace and centered steadiness. Lovely.

Jun. 22 2010 05:20 PM
A. Talley from san francisco, California

This richly textured piece takes one on a complex and fulfilling journey inward. Incredibly original and accomplished. Bravo!

Jun. 22 2010 05:18 PM
Peggy Trimble from San Francisco

In "Driving Force", I felt as if momentum was constantly building, moving towards something or towards some unknown outcome. Very determined and focused.

In "Completely Embraced", it was easy to follow the different sections and I loved trying to pick out the structures based on 6. Very moving and poignant.

Jun. 22 2010 04:37 PM
Andrew Solomon from NEW YORK CITY

The piece itself moves with a dynamism that comes from deep within consciousness, and it is rich and elegant and passionate all at the same time, composed with conviction and a distinctive voice, a triumph of both the intellect and the heart.

Jun. 22 2010 01:37 PM
Nicole Rosaschi

Such a rich piece and very original. I found it a very pleasurable experience.

Jun. 22 2010 01:04 AM

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