By its 5th year, Tallinn Music Week has evolved into a self evident phenomenon, never really fading in between the festivals. This time round, TMW features 233 artists, 165 of these from Estonia.
Helen Sildna, the TMW chief engine, underlines the novelty of this year’s discussions series called TMW Talk – discussing and dissecting music related topics with experts at the helm. Three nights running, movie music, music apps, and Estonian diaspora’s vinyl records etc will be talked about.
«Up to now, we’ve had a separate festival, with the conference meant primarily for professionals and specialists, delving into deep and complicated stuff. But then: there’s loads of interesting characters and topics, probably of interest to every music lover,» thinks Ms Sildna, when it comes to the talk nights. Adding that the idea came from Alari Orav, a TMW design team member, a DJ and bona fide music junkie.
Beware the tourist traps
Ms Sildna stresses these will not be academic lectures, with speakers and public separated: «All may come, approach the people and ask questions, get a different touch with music.»
Another novelty: TMW now includes a restaurant festival. «We keep focus on music. The restaurant part was added, however, thinking on foreign guests,» says Ms Sildna. «This year, in addition to professionals, music fans and tourists will be coming from places like Latvia, Finland, Russia. We’d like to do our best to care for them, help them avoid tourist traps. That they’d have a healthy, beautiful, warm experience over here.»
According to Ms Sildna, the concert program format will also apply to restaurants: «As the bands will present compact live shows, so that multiple acts may be viewed in a night, the restaurants also will be offering degustation menus. In Gloria, for instance, one can pick an affordable test menu, stay for 15 minutes and move on to next place.» The main emphasis being on getting the public to concert venues, by 7 pm.
Today, the music part of the festival kicks off at 4 pm already, with free concerts in open air, downtown. Ms Sildna says that downtown stages are a good way for people to walk through town and see/hear musicians in cosy, a bit different environments.
Record companies reveal content
In the evening, club concerts will be on in 15 various venues. Ms Sildna expects the most from today’s concert by two Estonian indie record companies’, Eesti Pops and Seksound, joint night at Von Krahl theatre, with the group 3 Pead performing after a longer pause. «And, definitely, I want to see Kali Briis there, also. Who basically does his electronic music at home, but is there with a live band, today.»
For today, Ms Sildna also recommends the two Polish acts: postrock-playing Trés B-d and female singer BRODKA, who, according to Ms Sildna, has been compared to the likes of PJ Harvey. For the first time, TMW features Israeli music – the dubstep group 3421, at home also infamous by their graffiti.
For tomorrow, Ms Sildna underlines the famed British label FatCat Records’ concert: «The record company launching, among others, Animal Collective. They bring two rising stars, Honeyblood and TRAAAMS, with my personal favourite Sun Glitters also playing – good for all who like Maria Minerva and such.» The same event also features our local Zahir and Tolmunud Mesipuu.
In search of the new Madonna
From 233 performers, Ms Sildna picks some more she personally likes: the Friday concert by Danish band Rangleklods (Bowie-like vocals, dance rock), HighasaKite (new Arcade Fire from Norway), Kurak (the Lithuanian version of Mr Eplik) and the exotic 12-member Georgian male choir Iberi and fusion-rock group Namgar all the way from Buryatia.
A big star and music world legend hides himself amongst the delegates: the 71 years old Seymour Stein, founder and head of record company Sire . As talent hunter, Mr Stein has discovered Madonna, Talking Heads and Ramones. Seeking for fresh star-meat in Tallinn, these three days.
Ms Sildna says the man might be the most fruitful talent hunter in the history of music. Adding that Mr Stein does have a prior tie to Estonia, having approved an LP contract with a band quite well known to us: «The man who saw a special spark in Madonna spotted something special in our Ewert and the Two Dragons.»
Tallinn Music Week
April 4th to 6th, 17 clubs, 10 downtown platforms
• 233 acts, such as 3421 (Israel), 3 pead*, Alise Joste (Latvia), Armastus, Avasaxa (Finland), Big Wave Riders (Finland), Candy Empire, Elephants From Neptune, Folkmashina (White Russia), Galvanic Elephants, HU?, Iberi (Georgia), Jakob Juhkam, Kali Briis, Kõrsikud, Kim & Buran (Russia), Kosmofon, LCMDF (Finland), Marten Kuningas, Multiphonic Rodent, Odd Hugo, Sinine, TRAAAMS (UK), Vul Vulpes, Wrupk Urei (*from Estonia if not otherwise specified)
• Plus seminars, discussions, restaurant festival