Tallinn Music Week 2018

Henning Bolte By

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Kristjan Järvi Jukebox

Every edition's opening concert is a Kristjan Järvi thing, together with his New York Absolute Ensemble and an illustrious, colorful gathering of guests. This year Järvi joined forces with Luxemburg pianist Francesco Tristano, Estonian multifaceted composer, music producer, and DJ Sander Mölder, energetic (jazz) vocalist Kadri Voorand, young Estonian singer-songwriter Mick Pedaja, Estonian multi-facetted singer Elina Netchayeva and the Estonian Folk Orchestra (founded by Estonian accordion player Tuulikki Bartosik in 2011). It took place in the grandeur of the splendid building of the Russian Cultural Center of Tallinn, formerly the House of the officers of the Baltic fleet of the Soviet Union.

What was announced as "a journey into sounds, spaces, senses and a new realm of possibilities" with reference to club sounds of the past century became a hasty, showy, quite forced potpourri, or a Kristjan Järvi kind of jukebox. Stamping and loud monotone beats superseded and often buried other musical elements. Unfortunately a good idea did not take shape and the high potentials of the participating could not unfold satisfactorily.


Tallinn and especially the building of Kultuurikatel, an old power plant, is closely related to the making of the famous movie "Stalker" (1979) of Russian director Andrej Tarkovsky (1932-1986). During shooting the film, the letters U and N (short for United Nations) were painted on the power station's chimney and have remained visible to this day. The central part of the film was shot in a few days at two deserted hydro power plants on the Jägala river near Tallinn. The shots before entering 'The Zone' were made in an old Flora chemical factory in the center of Tallinn, next to the old Rotermann salt storage and the electric plant—now a culture factory where a memorial plate of the film was set up in 2008. Some shots from 'The Zone' were filmed in Maardu, next to the Iru power plant, while the shot with the gates to 'The Zone' was filmed in Lasnamäe, next to Punane Street behind the Idakeskus. Some shots were filmed near the Tallinn-Narva highway bridge on the Pirita River. The Rotermann district is an intriguing reflecting combination of old, unrestored buildings from Soviet times, and modern new buildings—a constellation to be found in the shaping of the urban space in Tallinn quite often also with other periods from the past. This mirroring is also experienced when you meet Estonian people at places like the Kultuurikatel power plant or restaurant Pegasus on Harju, which, for young locals, were quite different hangouts in the past.


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