The Kanklės Of The Soul

Algirdas Svidinskas
Vėlių kankliai



01 - Improvizacija I
02 - Oi toli toli
03 - Improvizacija
04 - Šaliu šaliuokit
05 - Improvizacija III
06 - Aušta aušrela
07 - Improvizacija IV
08 - Vidury lauko
09 - Improvizacija V
10 - Improvizacija VI
11 - Oi seniai seniai
12 - Improvizacija VII
13 - Improvizacija VIII
14 - Pavasario dienely
15 - Improvizacija IX


 Algirdas Svidinskas grew in musical family. Mother learnt him folk songs, father – to play guitar with seven strings. With this instrument he performed valse and polka dances. He with family often sang in winter evenings, as he says, that evenings was the most impacted reminiscence from childhood. Ethnic culture and singing poetry – two music genres, which are closely concerned in his life. Folk – the energy of soul, and singing poetry lets to spray inner attitudes. Musicant, who plays guitar and Lithuanian stringed instrument, mostly sings with loud Upper Lithuanian dialect.

"I do not call myself nor poet, nor bard, nor folklorist. The main profession I got with birth – to be a human. If even one of my professions will overtake inborn, I will feel guilty. I spill in songs and poetry everything what is actual to me, what hurts, or what brings joy, – says
Algirdas Svidinska.

He has published his poesy collection „I was and I will be“. He is indrawn in national writers digest. Besides, he has recorded an improvisation with tradition Lithuanian stringed instrument in album format – „Vėlių kankliai“ and authoric dialectic songs „Kryžkela“.With the country group „Šulnys“ was published album „Unt Sartų“.
Algirdas Svidinska – member of lithuanian etno culture essemble, initiator of dialectal creation section. „I had to do some jobs in my life: before twelve years together with nephew we managed to restore famous Sartai horses racing to their historical place. Promoted in producing Rokiškis region etnoculture world by organizing folk ensemble „Gastauta“, with whom we organized calendar holiday events, expeditions of regional studies. I was one of „Ambrosia“ author and famous „Acacia avenue“ author of idea“ – says Algirdas Svidinskas.

The kanklės (pronounced [ˈkʌŋkles]) is a Lithuanian plucked string musical instrument (chordophone), of the zither family. The instrument is similar in construction and origin to the Latvian kokle, Russian gusli, Estonian kannel and Finnish kantele.
The psaltery is one of the oldest Lithuanian folk stringed instruments. Imformation about the psaltery can be found in Lithuanian folk songs, tales, legends often reaching the times when Lithuanians were pagans and believed that a man’s soul can dwell in a tree or in a psaltery and speak or sob in a man’s voice.

In the historical sources the psaltery is mentioned for the first time in the 16th century.
Taking into consideration the peculliarities of making, psalteries can be divided into three groups: primary, simple and complex. Gouged from one piece of wood, the primary psaltery is the most ancient and most primitive. The simple psaltery is also gouged from one piece of wood but it is larger, has more (from 9 to 12) strings, and, besides, it is made with greater artistry. The complex is glued up of separate parts: the ends, the sides, the soundboard and the back. The strings of the psaltery were made of catgut or iron or steel wire.

The characteristic features of the general construction of uhe Lithuanian psaltery are as follows. The body has the shape of a trapezoid. One end is narrower – here the strings are fastened. On the other-wider-end the pegs that stretch the strings are fixed. The wider end of the psaltery is cut obliquely: the acute angle is from 17degrees to 70 degrees, the obtuse angle from 100 degrees to 150 degrees. The slant narrows from right to left.



Countryside Mantras

Vytautas V. Landsbergis
Kaimiečių mantros


1st CD:

01. Puta puta
02. Kalnie rugiai
03. Kai paverges as gulesiu
04. Sunes loja, kates moja
05. Parlek blazdinka
06. Kad ejau as keleliu
07. Oi marti marti
08. Kai mazas buvau
09. O jeigu as numirciau
10. Auga ant kalno
11. Devyni metai
12. Toje ulycioj
13. Is karcemeles
14. Pucineli raudonasai
15. Vai liuliu liuliu
16. Sedziui ant kranto1
17. Oi kad as jojau uliavojau
18. Pragyda gyda
19. Tupi pievoje lektuvas
20. Kur mano tetusis geria

2nd CD:

01. Oi tu saula saulula
02. Saulele raudona
03. Oi toli toli
04. Isvykstu as mama toli
05. Oi tu kleveli
06. Teka teka
07. Kai mes buvom du broliukai
08. Islek, sakuole
09. Oi gaidy gaidy
10. Gerkim gerkim
11. Salia kelio karcemele
12. Kas girelej trinktelej
13. Kaip gera, kaip man gera
14. Kas tau kaltas, panyta jaunoji
15. Vilioj pana sakaleli
16. Ir pajaugo zali liepa
17. Padovanok man sypsena, zeme
18. Ne del zalio vyno
19. Lek gerveli
20. Geriau aluti



 The first album titled Countryside Mantras (Kaimiečių mantros) was recorded in 2004 and consists of two CDs with 40 Lithuanian folk songs accompanied by a guitar. The songs are performed by Vytautas V. Landsbergis, Ramunė Landsbergienė and Regimantas Žitkauskas.

  “The major part of the album consists of folk songs and folk ballads that have always fascinated me. Some of them have a modern touch and may sound like romances, for which I apologise to the fans of pure folklore. The album also contains several authorial songs. And the last song I Drank Beer (Gėriau alutį) performed in Samogitian dialect is a soundtrack for a non-existing musical film. I created the arrangement together with the saxophonist Petras Vyšniauskas, while the voices were lent by the ethnographic band fronted by Evaldas Vyčinas...” speaks Landsbergis about his first album.
Juozas Žitkauskas

 (The works of Vytautas V. Landsbergis are marked by post-war resistance)

  (...)It is virtually the most important topic in his sung poetry. By looking back at this period of Lithuanian history, by showing interest in the life and songs of post-war partisans, Landsbergis distinguishes himself from the top 10 of Lithuanian bards. His songs about partisans can be heard in the film When I Was Little (Kai aš mažas buvau), the play Bunker (Bunkeris), as well as the CDs Countryside Mantras (Kaimiečių mantros, 2004), Dream (Sapnas, 2007) and Thirteen Brothers (Trylika brolių, 2009). Those who enjoy sung poetry, but have a narrow understanding of the genre, may question whether Landsbergis’ consistent efforts in promoting the topic of resistance are truly following the tradition of singing-songwriting. But I believe that in a broad sense Landsbergis’ works have a right to be considered singing-songwriting. He has enriched the genre with vivid reflections of Lithuanian folklore and even entire folk songs. I do not dare to claim that he is the only one to do so (as such claims might cause reasonable discontent of Algirdas Svidinskas from Kaunas Region), but the works of Landsbergis seem to be influencing other bards – young song-writers have been more and more frequently combining folk songs with the sounds of guitars and keyboards. And those are not necessarily the popular songs know to every pub crawler.

  How did Landsbergis start singing poetry? I must admit that I was surprised when Gediminas Storpirštis told me in early 2002 that Vytautas was going to perform in the Singer-Songwriter Website Concert in Vilnius Teachers’ House. I had known him as a poet, children’s author and filmmaker, but I had never heard him sing (although neither have I ever been a member of “Ratilis”, the folk band of Vilnius University, where Landsbergis had been singing for 15 years). He performed only a few songs in that concert headlined by Vytautas Kernagis. All of those songs were later included in his first CD Countryside Mantras. Since the 2002 show, he has attended all major Lithuanian singer-songwriter festivals and concerts accompanied by his wife Ramunė or Šiauliai-based composer Raimondas Rašpoliauskas.

  From 2004, fans of the genre can also enjoy Landsbergis’ songs from CDs. The Cruelly Beautiful Romances (Žiauriai gražūs romansai, 2005) will wine the heart and pluck a tear from any lover of folk ballads, while the Dream (Sapnas, 2007) will please the admirers of more conventional singing-songwriting.

  The CD Thirteen Brothers contains 12 songs, two of which were created by partisans, three are Lithuanian folk war songs, two were written by other poets (Vytautas P. Bložė and Alfonsas Nyka-Niliūnas) and the rest by Landsbergis himself. At the heart of the CD is the song Thirteen Brothers. In his interview to the news website www.bernardinai.lt, the author said: “A long time ago, I wrote a poem about thirteen brothers reflecting different stages of life from early childhood to the first love, to maturity, and to the transcendental exit. The poem rested as a certain code, but I always felt that it had to become a song. When it did, other songs joined in until there were 13. However one song was left unsung and thus there were 12 songs for 13 brothers.”

  The Thirteen Brothers is an exciting release with a good line-up that seems to be telling a single story. While the Cuckoo (Gegutė, lyrics by Bložė) speaks about the post-war period from the present, the other authentic partisan song Hey, Hawk (Ei, sakalėli) reveals the grim reality of the time through the dialogue between a partisan and a hawk. The songs are spiced with irony and hidden philosophical subtext:

God is lying on the roots,
A hitman tryin’ to nick his boots
God is smiling at the hitman’s deeds,
God is sorry for the hitman’s fleas

  The song can be frequently heard in Landsbergis’ personal shows and often makes the audience smile. The connection with the described historical period is reinforced by the sound of keyboards, flute and other instruments played by Rašpoliauskas, who has also arranged all the songs. The additional instruments also fill the album with lightness and hopefulness. According to Landsbergis, Rašpoliauskas brings the release closer to the main goal “to stop shedding tears for the painful period of our history and for the ranks of men who perished in Lithuanian forests; to stop crying and begin celebrating ourselves being the progeny of the fearless. (...) Through this song I wanted to reach that state of painlessness.”

  A few songs came to this album from the Countryside Mantras. But more loyal listeners may miss Vosilkos that was included in the earlier CD and performed during the presentation of the latter release in Vilnius Teachers’ House. The author mentioned then that not all partisan songs from the repertoire had made it to the new release. Hopefully they will make it into the next one.

  Vytautas V. Landsbergis is one of the authors whose melancholic songs are either loved or misunderstood. Melancholy is abundant in the new CD as well. However for the first group of listeners – including myself – this album is a tool for achieving harmony and comfort. I would recommend listening to the release from the beginning to the end, as it is a coherent work “pulling the listener from the first chords and words into a world of harmony where the line between the author’s songs and folk songs is blurred. That world is ruled by inner rhythm providing the tie with the reality – whether it is the poetic dream world, or a partisan's experience”.



I Totally Don't Know Why

Vytautas V. Landsbergis
Ramunė Landsbergienė
Aš visai nežinau kodėl



01. Aš visai nežinau kodėl
02. Vaikštinėjo povela
03. Siuntė mani motula
04. Strazdas
05. Imk mano ranką, brolau
06. Aušta aušrelė
07. Pavasario dienelė
08. Nieko karalius
09. Oi lunkela
10. Vienatvė
11. Tarakonai
12. Prie rytinio ekspreso
13. Ant kalno kalnelio
14. O žvaigždė puodynėj
15. Tu pucine



 Dainuojamoji poezija su lyriniais, šmaikščiais, juokingais Romo Lileikio ir Vytauto V. Landsbergio tekstais, lietuvių liaudies dainomis, gitaros, akordeono, cimbolų, fleitos, dūdmaišio garsais, susiliejančias į savitą visumą...apie „žvaigždę puodynėje“ ir „tranzuojančią karvę“...

...2005 saw the release of the third album I Totally Don't Know Why (Aš visai nežinau kodėl) consisting of authorial and folk songs performed by Vytautas V. Landsbergis.

The CD follows the tradition of the previous albums – on the one hand Landsbergis combines his own songs with folk songs (five of the songs were written by Romas Lileikis and two by Landsbergis), on the other hand there is no dissonance between the two genres...

 Vytautas Landsbergis (b. 1962. 25 May. Vilnius) - poet, writer, singer, theater and film director, children's writer, politician, son of Vytautas Landsbergis and...
I am Vytautas V. Landsbergis. 
I was born in dismal times of the Soviet occupation in Vilnius to a musicologist Vytautas and a pianist and a Siberian exile Gražina. As a kid I went to a kindergarten on the Red Army Avenue. Immediately after the kindergarten, I was desperate to apply for a director’s job in Kaunas Zoo, but my parents objected claiming that I was too young. Thus, I was forced to go to A. Vienuolis secondary school in Vilnius.

  My first poems were dedicated to my physics teacher and written on the pilot graduation exam sheet – I was already more adept at poetry than at physics. The teacher evaluated my creative torment by giving me 4 out of 5.

  Several years later I graduated from Vilnius University with a degree in Lithuanian language and literature, which is now my main language of communication and writing poetry, screenplays, essays and fairy-tales.

Later I studied filmmaking in Tbilisi Theatre and Film Institute in Georgia, but the studies were interrupted by a civil war. Left without a degree I had to find other teachers, so I went to Mekas at his Anthology Film Archives in New York and later to Kieslowski and Zannussi in Poland.

  When Lithuania regained its independence and the Revival period began, I started making national archive documentaries on prominent Lithuanian persons, including the partisan Juozas Lukšas Daumantas, diplomat Stasys Lozoraitis, basketball player Arvydas Sabonis, sculptor Vilius Orvidas, filmmaker Jonas Mekas, poets Henrikas Nagys, Vytautas Bložė and Nijolė Miliauskaitė, and other outstanding Lithuanians. During the 15 years of cinematography, I produced 15 documentaries, and one children’s film Hansel and Gretel (Jonukas ir Grytutė) in 2002.

  Over 10 of my children’s books have been published in Lithuania, including Tales of the Little Brownnoser (Rudnosiuko istorijos), Tales-Non-Tales (Pasakos-nepasakos), Apple Tales (Obuolių pasakos), Angel Tales (Angelų pasakos), The Love of Dominic the Horse (Arklio Dominyko meilė), Zita the Mouse (Pelytė Zita) etc. There were three poetry books too. I also staged nine plays in a number of theatres across Lithuania – mostly written by myself.

  Recently I have been staying in the provincial town in Anykščiai. I have five children and three grandchildren. Most of the time I write children’s books, look out of the window or go to the Šventoji River with children to watch cranes catching fish – all of this makes me feel as if I were the director of an imaginary Anykščiai Zoo…


Vytautas V . Landsbergis - Žiema žiema žodžiai

Tokia graži žiema, tik baltos snaigės krenta
O mes tokie jauni, tarsi šešiolikmečiai
Žiūriu tenai gatve graži mergaitė bėga
Pamačiusi mane ji metė gniūžtę sniego

Žiema žiema, snaigės veidą bučiuoja
Man taip gera širdy, o kodėl nežinau.

Mergaite tu nebėk, vistiek tave pagausiu
Ir baltame sniege veidelį tau išprausiu
Mergaite tu nepyk, aš čia visai nekaltas
Čia tik kalta žiema ir kaltas sniegas baltas

Žiema žiema, snaigės veidą bučiuoja
Man taip gera širdy, o kodėl nežinau.

Žiema žiema, snaigės veidą bučiuoja
Man taip gera širdy, o kodėl nežinau.


Hun synger med en finstøpt diamants briljans, en overjordisk stemme

Åsne Valland Nordli


01. Eg synger julekvad
02. Mitt hjerte all tid vanker
03. Kling no klokka
04. Eg er så glad kvar julekveld
05. Din herlegdom Frelsar
06. Her er det ny, som på jorderik skjedde
07. I denne søte juletid
08. Det lyser i stille grender
09. Deiliig er jorden
10. Det kimer nå til julefest
11. Guds son er komen til oss ned
12. No koma Guds englar
13. Den fagraste rosa
14. Stille natt


Åsne Valland Nordli - vocals

Arve Henriksen - trompet
Paolo Vinaccia - percussion
Joakim Friis Holm - celtic harp
Elin Ødegård - support vocals




 CD’en formidler julens alvorlige og glederike budskap med raffinert enkelhet.
«Hun synger med en finstøpt diamants briljans, en overjordisk stemme».
Dagbladet (6)

:-) mi

 Jul or jol is the term used for the Christmas holiday season in Scandinavia and parts of Scotland. Originally, “jul” was the name of a month in the old Germanic calendar. The concept of “jul” was a period of time rather than a specific event prevailing in Scandinavia. In modern times, "Jul" is a general time stretching from mid-November to mid-January, with Christmas and the week up to New Year as the highlight.

The term "Jul" is common throughout Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Greenland, Denmark, Scotland and the Faroe Islands...

Recorded 29. October - 1. November 1996 at Ullensaker Kyrkje 

Åsne Valland Nordli (født 10. oktober 1975) er en norsk sanger, oppvokst i bygda Norheimsund i Hardanger. Åsne startet å synge religiøse folketoner da hun var en liten jente, og lærte kveding av Steffen Eide, Margrete Opheim og Sondre Bratland. Bare 15 år gammel begynte hun selv å undervise ved Ole Bull-akademiet på Voss.

Valland Nordli har hatt en rekke konserter på ulike festivaler, blant annet på Bergen Nattjazz, Førde Internasjonale Folkemusikkfestival, Vossajazz, Telemarkfestivalen, Maijazz og under Filmfestivalen i Haugesund. Allerede som 16-åring turnerte hun med Bergen Filharmoniske Orkester. Og i 1998 skrev samtidskomponisten, Magnar Åm, verket Vandrande Himmel spesielt for Åsnes stemme.

Åsne har spilt inn tre soloplater: Den ljose dagen (Kirkelig Kulturverksted, 1994), Julekvad (Kirkelig Kulturverksted 1996) og Himmelske Balsam og sødeste Drue med tekster av Daniel A. Buli (Via Music 2001), alle i samarbeid med produsent Sigbjørn Tveite. Åsne var i 2000 med på platen Christmas, utgitt på det internasjonale selskapet Putumayo. Hun har også medvirket på felemusikeren Nils Øklands utgivelse Straum (Rune Grammofon 2000). I 2005 utga hun sammen med pianisten Kristin Skaare juleplaten Lille Messias.

Åsne Valland Nordli er i dag bosatt på Stange i Hedmark, hvor ektemannen Andreas Nordli er leder for Ungdom i Oppdrag. Hun bodde i fem år i havnebyen Constanta i Romania der hun sammen med sin mann og lokale aktører drev kristne humanitære prosjekter blant gatebarn.

...it hardly can get any better, can it...