«The most famous world music band from Latvia Iļģi celebrated their 25th anniversary on April 21, 2006. The group started at the Cultural Centre of Iļģuciems in Riga where Ilga Reizniece, a professional violinist, founded an ensemble of Latvian folk music. She had just graduated from the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music and was an active member of two prominent folk music ensembles of the time, Bizīteri and Skandinieki.
At the beginning Iļģi was an ensemble of authentic Latvian folk music. They visited remote parts of Latvia in search for unrecorded folk songs, studied the traditional performance, as well as sewing their own traditional costumes and building their own instruments. They also performed wherever they could find willing listeners and pass on the knowledge they had acquired as befitted an ensemble of folk music. The studies of the authentic music led to interest in the ancient history, archaeology, ethnography, mythology and traditions. Unfortunately these fields of interest held a lot of information considered dangerous by the Soviet regime ruling in Latvia at that time. In the eighties, the folk-lore studies in Latvia held a bespoken element of dissidence…» (full bio here)
Kaza kāpa debesīs (A Goat Climbed Into The Sky) is «stylistically, the most richly diverse Iļģi album, yet it retains as its roots the traditional melodies and themes of Latvian folk music and the dainas. The album includes selections from a 7-song cycle composed for the Fire segment of a 15,000-dancer production at the 2003 Latvian Dance Festival. The album features the voices of Ilga Reizniece, Māris Muktupāvels, Gatis Gaujenieks and Rūta Muktupāvela, Ilga’s mesmerizing violin, Maris on kokle, dūdas (bagpipes), accordion and recorder, Gatis on bass and ġīga, Egons Kronbergs on guitars and Vilnis Strods on drums and percussion. In the first year of its release it reached 17th place in the World Music Charts Europe, and was praised as one of the top twenty world music albums of the year.»
Link in comments