Discussion in 'Folk & Celtic' started by Flower, Nov 17, 2009.
Atalyja is a group that Foxhound might like ....
Quality is pretty poor but you can hear they have a good sound Can't find much on them on the sharing web though...
Indeed they are! I heard Atalyja for the first time on April 1, 2007 during the Independence Day festivities in Uzupis, the breakaway republic defined by a bend in the Vilnele Creek in Vilnius, Lithuania. The independence of Uzupis cannot be denied given the fact that Uzupis doesn't just have its own flag, it has four - one for every season, plus an army that may be up to a dozen strong. Moreover the rights of man, and whatever else, are solidly entrenched in the constitution e.g. "People have the right to live by the River Vilnelė, while the River Vilnelė has the right to flow past people" and "Everyone has the right to love and take care of the cat".
Uzupis was a particularly rundown area of Vilnius during the Soviet occupation. The neighbourhood suffered an infestation of artsy types, including the mayor of Vilnius, after Lithuania threw off the Soviet yoke in 1991. A statue of Frank Zappa was erected in the spot where one of Lenin had stood and tourists and taverns in spectacular five hundred year old stone cellars quickly followed.
While standing in line at passport control at the bridge to Uzupis, a fellow who turned out to be from Quebec greeted me as a fellow Canadian. It wasn't tough for him to guess since I was wearing a hockey jersey. I convinced the earnest (sort of) young fellow in some semblance of an official uniform manning passport control that I was a legitimate tourist (with money to spend) as opposed to an Islamist terrorist, gained an entry stamp on my passport and strode manfully across the bridge - trying as always not to trip over the cobblestones.
A scaffolding had been erected across from the statue of an angel in the main square of Uzupis:
The scaffolding served as a stage on which a group of musicians played. They were making music unlike any I'd ever heard. I'd describe Atalyja's music as classic Lithuanian folk played with a combination of traditional and exotic instruments to which a healthy dollop of percussion has been added. Very enjoyable. I just stood there and listened.
Here's a few more present day pics of downtown Vilnius which has the largest medieval old town in eastern Europe:
You can see how a city frozen in time by the Soviet occupation has in a few short years been catapulted into the 21st century. Vilnius is a vibrant place these days swarming with tourists in the summer months.
Looking over pictures like this often fills me with a pronounced sadness, however. This is because my parents fled the Soviet occupation of Lithuania - but didn't live to see Lithuania regain its independence. I can only imagine the joy they'd feel now to see their son freely and confidently striding through the streets of the land of their birth.
Fox I'm having deja-vu reading your first and second post....
They sound like an interesting band, I have some Estonian music in the library, but no Lithuanian/Uzupian music to speak of.
It's all been replaced now.
Much better, and those are great pictures. I have been to Europe and lived there for four years, but we never went to the Baltic states, seeing they were behind the Iron Curtain back then.
Here's the band's site:
A couple of pictures of Atalyja:
Separate names with a comma.