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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, Sept. 19


SPIBAs newest addition to their Cultural Discoveries events is Handmade in Germany, an exhibition featuring unique handmade objects of a significantly higher quality than mass-produced items. The work of over 100 German manufacturers will be displayed during the event, which opens today in the Lutheran Church of Saint Peter and Paul on Nevsky Prospekt and runs through Sept. 28.



Saturday, Sept. 20


Starting on Sept. 18 and ending tomorrow is the Extreme Fantasy Wakeboarding Festival in Sunpark by Sredny Suzdalskoye lake in the Ozerki region of the city.


Those after something more laid back can instead head to Jazz and Wine night at TerraVino with legendary jazz guitarist Ildar Kazahanov. 12/14 Admiralteyskaya Emb.



Sunday, Sept. 21


Learn more about African culture and get some exercise during todays Djembe and Vuvuzela, a bike ride starting in Palace Square that includes several stops where riders can listen to the music of Africa or watch short films about the continent. The riders plan to set off at 4 p.m. and all you need to join is a set of wheels.



Monday, Sept. 22


Do you love puppetry? If so, then be sure to go to BTK-Fest, a five-day festival that starts on Sept. 19 celebrating the art. Contemporaries from France, Belgium, the U.K. and other countries will join Russian artists to put on theatrical performances involving a variety of themes, materials and eras. Workshops and meetings are also scheduled for a chance to discuss the artistic medium in further depth.



Tuesday, Sept. 23


Marina Suhih, Director of the External Communications Department at Rostelecom North-West, and Yana Donskaya, HR Director for Northern Capital Gateway are just some of the confirmed participants of todays round table discussion on Interaction with Trade Unions being hosted by SPIBA. Confirm your attendance with SPIBA by Sept. 22.


Kino Expo 2014, an international film industry convention, will be at LenExpo from today until Sept. 26. The third largest exhibition of film equipment in the world, the expo focuses on not only Russia but former Soviet republics as well.



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