Modesta Pakalnytė

WORKSHOP: Lithuanian sutartinės
Lost in the midst of time, the polyphonic singing style of Aukštaitija, in the North East of Lithuania is fascinating by many traits. When sung, the pieces were divided into duos, where the singers would sing at the same time, trios where the singers would perform in a canon, or quatuors where the singers would divide in two groups and sing alternatively. The song’s lyrics, often barely sensical and mobilising vocables and cryptic words, can also be classified as working songs, or calendar and holiday themed, marriage, etc. Musically the central feature is the ringing of second intervals, and heterorhythmic feats. Modesta will bring and play some archives and demonstrations of sutartine singing while explaining the context and the history of the pieces. Then we will all join in to the experience of singing sutartines together.

5-string kanklės (which are used for playing sutartinės as well)


Modesta Pakalnytė is from a small town called Biržai, located in the north in Lithuania’s Highlands (Aukštaitija), the heart of sutartinė. Her folk journey began with her starting History studies at Vilnius university in 2013, when at the same autumn She enrolled in the university’s folk group “Ratilio”. This was and still is a place, where Can be learned many subjects of Lithuanian folklore, singing, dancing, playing different instruments and much more. She became more familiar with sutartinės (multipart harmonious songs), which have a special place in her heart, as they originate from the Highlands. She also immensely enjoys playing sutartinės on traditional five string kanklės. Both instrumental and vocal sutartinės portray togetherness and individuality at the same time.