Verbarium’s programme on texts by August Sang and Kersti Merilaas
Last year, a hundred years passed since the birth of poets August Sang and Kersti Merilaas. The anniversary was celebrated in Tartu with a conference and a concert, and new songs were commissioned for the occasion. This way, the ensemble Verbarium was born, and they have now released their first album, Vana tarkus (Old Wisdom). The ensemble consists of Liina Saar (vocals), Aleksandra Kremenetski (vibraphone and percussion), Virgo Sillamaa (guitar) and Mingo Rajandi (double bass) and they chose the texts that touched them the most and seemed the most musical. The selection includes the simple joy at the arrival of spring, philosophical contemplations on life, fatherland, death and society, clever humour on the Soviet censorship and beautiful images of nature. The musical spectrum spans from tender lyricism to powerful rock. The personal touch of each musician adds colour and variety to the programme. The ensemble has sometimes also included actor Guido Kangur, who reads Sang’s and Merilaas’ poetry between the songs, including on Vana tarkus. The vibraphone, a rare instrument in improvisational music in these parts, gives the band a dreamy and astral sound which perfectly matches Liina Saar’s sweet and sensual timbre. You can listen to the literary and musical programme of Verbarium at the Estonian Writers’ Union on Saturday, 30 May at 9.30 pm.