Publishes Austras Pumpure’s music album – a historical concert recording of Imants Kalniņš’s song program

At the beginning of 2020, while working on the photo, video and audio archive of Austras Pumpure, Austrasbērni found a CD matrix with previously unpublished audio recordings of the September 30, 1992 concert in her apartment, which is now the property of the Austras Society. In the historical audio recordings you can hear the concert program of Imants Kalniņš IV compiled by Austras Pumpure and performed together with Austrasbērni (Kristīne Locikas, Laila Ilze Purmalietis, Daci Milzeri, Sintiju Gravu and Antas Angelis) – this is the last of the seven big concert programs with which Austra Pumpure performed artist. The premiere of this concert program took place at the Liepāja Theater on February 19, 1992, but the recording, thanks to sound engineer Jānis Vasilis, was made on September 30 of the same year.

The program includes serious and also relatively rarely heard and sung songs by Imants Kalniņš.

At the moment, after the singer leaves the world, this finding seems extremely valuable, considering both the unique content of the disc and the fact that Austrai Pumpure has very few audio recordings. Several songs included in the album, performed by Austras Pumpures, have never been published before.

The name of the singer Austras Pumpure is brightly written in Latvian music. Her active concert career began with her first concert in 1975 in Riga and ended on such a significant date in 2016 – November 18 – in Liepaja, when her last public concert was performed. She performed in a hall full of spectators for the rest of her life. Austra was uniquely able to listen to others and convey her message to listeners by singing herself. Her concerts are rarely associated with Awakening, because, as she used to say with a smile, she sang about Awakening before that, already in the 70s.

The program of Imants Kalniņš IV, compiled by Austras in the early 1990s, which was entitled “There will be a song forever”, spoke of the love of the homeland, the oppression of the people, but its free and courageous spirit, and the freedom won. Consequently, these audio recordings have cultural and historical value both in connection with the creative activity of Austras Pumpure and Imants Kalniņš, as well as in the historical aspect.

The album includes 24 compositions: 23 songs by Imants Kalniņš with lyrics by various poets (Laima Līvena, Olafs Gūtmanis, Andrejs Eglītis, Juris Helds, Andrejs Upīts, Māris Čaklais, etc.), as well as one song by both author and music by Viktors Kalniņš.

The processing of the historical recordings included in the music album was entrusted to sound engineer Dzintars Vītols, who, with the wide possibilities of modern technology, has corrected various technical defects, improving the sound of the recordings. The design of the album was created by the artist Aigars Milčs.

The release of the album is produced by “Austras biedrība”. The identification and publication of Austras Pumpure’s cultural and historical heritage is supported by the Ministry of Culture, the Latvian National Cultural Center, the State Culture Capital Fund and the Kurzeme Planning Region, as well as the festival “Gates”.

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