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Eclectic Estonia

Tallinn Music Week regularly draws the best bands in the region to Estonia, where the focus is on local flavor.

Published: February 20, 2013 (Issue # 1747)



  • Estonias Mart Avi & Ajukaja will perform music from their new album at the Stereozima festival this weekend.
    Photo: ALLAN HMELNITSKI / SPT

Tallinn Music Week, the Estonian capitals major music industry festival, due to take place from April 4 through 6, is coming to St. Petersburg this week to introduce the neighboring countrys burgeoning music scene to local music lovers. The St. Petersburg Times spoke via Skype with the festivals director, Helen Sildna.

Q: Whats the idea behind the upcoming Estonian music event in St. Petersburg?

A: This year we have the hope, or ambition, to invite more bands and music lovers, and also those tourists interested in culture from Latvia, Finland and Russia, to the Tallinn Music Week. We had the idea that the [organizers of] the Stereoleto festival could help us to spread the word about TMW, so they will help a bit with marketing to Stereoleto fans through their channels. We also thought it would be great to come to St. Petersburg. The reason for doing so is that we would like to meet some of the key music industry people who are active in Russia, and especially St. Petersburg, on location. And if some [of the] music industry press come [to the event] and find out more about TMW, that would also be great.

Another bit of good news is that one of the Estonian artists that is performing at TMW this year Mart Avi & Ajukaja will be playing a full live set at the Stereozima festival on Feb. 23.

On Friday, Feb. 22 well have a little reception and get-together for the Russian music industry and press at Helsinkibar, and were welcoming everybody who is interested. I will introduce the festival and Ilya Bortnyuk, the organizer of the Stereoleto and Stereozima festivals, will be there as well. There will also be other people from the Russian music scene who have been to TMW before and who will talk about their impressions. That will be followed by a little party with drinks and food. Raul Saaremets, who is a kind of underground legend in Estonia and a respected DJ, will also play records. So it will be an easy-going, relaxed pre-party.

Q: Why did you choose to bring Mart Avi & Ajukaja to perform in St. Petersburg?

A: The way it happened was that Ilya Bortnyuk saw the band playing at TMW in 2012 and really liked them. Thats why we decided that it would be great to bring them over to St. Petersburg in February. They are an intriguing electronic act, with electronic sounds mixed with Mart Avis vocals. Hes been compared to a young Scott Walker or David Bowie and has a very special, peculiar voice. Its quite a special live show, I would say. Ajukaja, who is actually Raul Saaremets, has mixed together the electronic part and Mart Avi sings live on top of it. They just had the international release of their debut album, After Hours (Porridge Bullet), which came out a few days ago.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Aug. 1


Bikers from all around the world will gather to take part in a parade, extreme shows and rock concerts during the International Biker Festival that revs its engines today and runs through Aug. 3 near Olgino Hotel, 4/2 Primorskogo Shosse.


The Peter and Paul Fortress will be turned into an open-air cinema today and tomorrow as part of the 5th International Short and Animation Film Festival. A huge screen across the fortress walls will air short films non-stop with board games, photo sessions and other activities also on offer for visitors. For more information, visit www.opencinemafest.ru



Saturday, Aug. 2


Gatchina Palace Park Museum will host its second annual Night of Light, an impressive audio-visual show across the night sky. Tickets are 600 rubles ($16).


If graphic design is more your thing then check out Illustration Day, where you will be able to visit an exhibition, attend lectures by professionals and even show experts some of your own work. The event starts at noon at Zona Deystvia, 73 Ligovsky Prospekt. The entrance fee is 350 rubles ($10).



Sunday, Aug. 3


History lovers shouldnt miss the chance to see reenactments of World War I battles in Pushkin at noon. Besides exciting war scenes, visitors can enjoy live music, historical costumes, an equestrian show and a fancy-dress parade starting from the Moscow gates.


Garage Sale, the popular and growing flea market where nothing is priced over 500 rubles ($14.11), starts today at noon in Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt. Be sure to get in early to score a bargain. Entry costs 50 rubles ($1.40)



Monday, Aug. 4


Continue the working week with a calm and steady mind with a free yoga lesson at 7 p.m. in the Bukvoyed store at 23A Vladimirsky Prospekt.



Tuesday, Aug. 5


Visit The Romanov Dynasty doll exhibition today, where more than fifty porcelain dolls depicting Russian rulers, and made by Olina Ventzel, will be on show. The exhibition continues through Aug. 31 in Sheremetyev Palace, 34 Fontanka Naberezhnaya.



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