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Mass media / News

The singing revolution. As the Baltic States gained freedom

Radio Liberty 23.08.2019 at 16:55

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is a private, non-profit information service funded by the U.S. Congress, broadcasting to the countries of Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia and Middle East and Russia.

Unity, the desire for freedom and correct historical injustices for Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, which in 1939 the Molotov – Ribbentrop Pact was deprived of sovereignty – such were the main motives of millions of people, 30 years ago, on 23 August 1989, who stood holding hands in a live chain from Vilnius to Tallinn. Unique peaceful public action "Baltic way" was broken and the visible symbol of the long-awaited changes in the historical fate of the Lithuanians, Latvians and Estonians. Last but not least the spiritual power gave them the song. The author of the term "singing revolution" is an Estonian artist and politician Heinz Valk. Out of Estonia's famous song festivals with thousands of participants, spread out from the middle of the NINETEENTH century, the singing of the fields in a picturesque natural setting, and most importantly – the highest culture of choral singing that evolved from ancient folk traditions. Amazing, not lost now, the need of Estonians and Balts in the collective singing. It songs, ancient and modern, become citizens of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia almost the main weapon in the fight for freedom. It songs sung by thousands of voices, rocked on its waves of participants of mass rallies of the late 80-ies in Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn. Composers, poets, artists before anyone anticipating the approaching of significant is brewing in the society events. So it was with the Lithuanian cult song Laužo Šviesa ("the Light of the fire") group Foje: "Light a fire in the night lights with me, what out there in the darkness... the longing for the warmth of someone will come to him... Who wanders in the night... Light the fire... encouraging Gori and not gasni, remain the last hope... That I myself am in the night and lit". "This song was written in 1985, when the liberation movement "sąjūdis" did not exist, was not even a hint, says the songwriter, Lithuanian rock singer and actor Andrius Mamontovas. – I myself was 18 years old, had no idea that soon everything will change, the whole political and geopolitical situation. Actually this song is about loneliness. But it sounded at the time when Lithuania started new events, and people associate it with disturbing and exciting feeling of change. Then it all began, one after another big rally. Before the action "the Baltic way" took place on the "Rock March": we, musicians, concerts traveled throughout Lithuania. Talked about freedom and independence. We were all there together! Even those who have been physically in other places, they all listened to on the radio. It, radio and these great live concerts then were what is now the Internet. The concerts of the festival "Rock March" was an event in Lithuania. It was invented and carried out since 1987 leader of the band Antis Algirdas Causadas. The tone was set by bands such as Bix, Katedra, Turboreanimacija. In addition to new music at these concerts, the first in the Lithuanian SSR is openly used as a symbol of the Soviet flag and the national tricolour. "Yeast" for Lithuanian rock, in addition to Western influence, and served the Russian rockers protest songs, often virtually banned in the Soviet Union. Them, according to the then concert organizer Gintautas of Babravicius, Lithuanians were brought to her, "pulling out of Moscow and St. Petersburg musical cellars," where they drove the Soviet censorship. Another song rocker of Andrius Mamontovas literally inspired by the Lithuanian tricolor. "Looking at the sky... We are waiting to grace, turning to you, your children... You are our water and bread... Yellow, green, red". Mamontovas is not only a musician, he is also the actor who played hamlet in the performances of the Lithuanian Director Eimuntas Nyakroshus. The question is, standing there before him in the late 90s the question "to be or not to be free Lithuania", Mamontovas says: "there Was another – the feeling that there is no way back. Especially, of course, after the January events of 1991. I was at the TV tower, saw what was going on. The event is fixed as the brightest. In those days has become absolutely clear: as it was in Lithuania will not be never". One of the most significant and uplifting songs for Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians, is the famous trilingual "the Awakening of the Baltic". The author is a composer from Latvia Boris Reznik. "It was my idea – song in three languages. Share with a friend, the poet Valdis Pavlovskis, he became the author of the Latvian, the first text. And melody was born on poems. I sang it himself on a tape recorder, as I remember. Translations into Lithuanian and Estonian was very successful, absolutely close," says Reznik Radio Liberty. "In order to do it then, I had to send tapes in Vilnius and Tallinn. In the USSR it was difficult to send this parcel post. With great difficulty was able to negotiate with the authorities office to do it. When the translations began to think who could sing. The result came from Estonian rock singer Tarmo Pihlap, in Latvian sung by the soloist of the ensemble "Eolika" Viktors Zemgals, Lithuanian – žilvinas of Bubalis. Met for the first time in the Studio, began to sing. Stunned in a good way Estonian – stunning, in my opinion, it turned out the third verse. Of course, there was professional satisfaction. I could not at first imagine what this song would have such great significance for the entire Baltic region, and beyond. Reviews are still coming in. From around the world! Very good feedback from all peoples. Happened with this song one hundred percent hit, that I never even dreamed of. And now it is relevant. We're at the Freedom monument in Riga to celebrate the 30th anniversary of "Baltic way". The fact that Resnick focuses on the Estonian performance of his song, is not accidental. Already in the 70-ies of Estonia stood out with their rock - and jazz-festivals, music, which for many Soviet listeners were strange and incomprehensible. In the Republic on the green fields have already passed the summer festivals, which "lighted" rocker Gunnar Graps, and tõnis mägi remember revolutionary "Sunrise" and the Patriotic songs of the composer Alo Mattisen. Says March tarmac – at that time a young man, addicted to rock music, and soon one of the coordinators of the "Baltic way". Now tarmac – Estonian Ambassador in Brazil: "we had even the night song festivals. Gathered masses of people at the famous Song festival grounds. There is a legend that once there were 300 thousand people! The people really made the revolution with songs. On the "Baltic way", I accidentally met with the future President Lennart Meri, then he was a writer. Made the revolution through song, We went to occupy a certain place in the human chain. It turned out to be opposite of the Soviet military units, where curiously, a friendly smile, peeking soldiers, came from Central Asia. Mary called them – join us! Where there... they All laughed. The young generation is also interested in the events, through our then songs that are now back in the ethers and sound in a new way". About his participation in the action "Baltic way" says the historian Inga Sarma from Jurmala: "many people, some with flags. Many elderly and parents with children in baby carriages. Many had a transistors. At the appointed time, all joined hands and sang. It was so emotional! And I, I seemed to see it all from the incredible feeling... Heart pounding. Energy as the electricity passed through the hands of two million people. Unforgettable. We drove home on a big emotional lift and all the way sang, sometimes holding back tears. The song in these events – the beginning of everything. When gathered together with colleagues, friends, was and discussion, and controversy – but always singing. Sang in order to feel unity, to encourage yourself and others. In addition to new songs, were those which are forbidden and which we just then learned. Singing United. Remember the song Boris Reznik, a lot of which were singing and singing now. The Baltic way – this was not just a unique event that we got into the Guinness Book of records. It was a massive protest absolutely peaceful. We would like to draw the attention of other countries that we, Balts, world war II ended, we remained occupied. Wanted to show that I want to achieve independence. To get her back". From then radios would not only songs, via radio and coordinated actions of participants of the "Baltic way". August 23, 1989 it was on the news Lithuanian radio people learned where to go to fill a human chain. "From Vilnius, and walked a few kilometers to the North, – says the journalist Rimantas Pleikys. – A lot of people! On the bonnet every second standing on the side of the car receiver is tuned to the wave of Lithuanian radio and Radio Liberty and other Western stations. Everyone watched the news. Remember flying over us maize, which dropped the flowers."

According to the memoirs of the woman who scattered the flowers from the plane, among them many roses with sharp thorns, but the pain she felt, because he was happy. About this same feeling says Rimantas Pleikys: "Yes, all that people have done from the heart! I was amazed that in this crowd of people and machines, in the absence of the Internet and mobile phones, everything was perfectly organized. No incidents, that's fine. And the people were very friendly." Have something to remember and the operator half-century have worked in Lithuanian television, Jonas Gurskas. "I would not say that the chain of people was absolutely blissful – don't know what will happen next! There was a sense of anxious waiting. And a surge of hope, of course. And unity. Stood shoulder to shoulder not only Lithuanians but also Russians, poles, people of different nationalities. I then took it off and stood with people in the same order. Remember the parents who told her little boy: you're standing on the road in the future. Had a feeling that we will become independent." It was the year of the 50th anniversary of the Molotov – Ribbentrop Pact, and this was a timed event. – What it is, I know firsthand. The child was in Siberian exile with her parents – Krasnoyarsk region, Turukhansk district, village Vorogovo. Got there in less than six years. He returned to Lithuania – thank God, with all the 16 – year-old. My family, relatives – all were exiled. So this is the Covenant I found out pretty early on. – Life is made. – Yeah... And during the Renaissance how many good songs written. The people then became more melodious. This emotional outburst was very strong, although the change the people were looking with an eye – for so many years under one system, and there looms the ability to get away from the press... no One knew how we will go. Very experienced older generation of Lithuanians, especially the repressed – for them it was a breath of air, the dream of a free Lithuania! Here it is, a chance. And everyone was worried – how are we going to live then? Now see how. – And how you live? The "Baltic way" never ends Well, normal pension. Figuratively speaking, some live on the bridge, the other under the bridge. Today I am on the bridge, but I know the people in your environment that receive minimal income, I can't imagine how they can exist. Not all life has developed so, as he had always wanted, someone and the waste container was. Our politicians then said, in three years we will live like Scandinavians. Thirty years ago, but I do not live. But we are striving for. And hope for the best, given the circumstances was and what now, what's the way passed. We have freedom, people can to any country to study, to work. The right to free choice is so important! Can criticize the government, but it is what it yourself and choose. It is our choice. I want to say: let's everyone do for the country what you can. And will to each other friendlier! Like when holding hands. The "Baltic way" is not the end, it really leads into the future.