The Kaunas Requiem | International Centre for Litvak Photography
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The Kaunas Requiem

Anton Dehtiarrov performing live in Kaunas, September 2016.

The Kaunas Requiem is the collective name for a 75-year-long piece of experimental music in three movements plus a growing number of related projects inspired by the discovery in 2013 of over 100 photographs and other personal documents that were smuggled out of the Kaunas Ghetto by an at the time unknown Litvak family from Kaunas during the final months of the Holocaust in Lithuania. Commissioned by the International Centre for Litvak Photography and currently being assembled in layers by the young Ukrainian composer and electronic musician Anton Dehtiarov, the First Movement was performed in live segments over a six-day period as part of a larger installation project inside an abandoned synagogue in Kaunas (pictured above) between September 17 and 23, 2016. The Second Movement, 1.082 days of silence, is currently ‘playing’ and is due to end on Tuesday September 10, 2019 when the final uninterrupted Third Movement will begin and continue for a full 72 years and seven days. The links below provide some background reading about the project and help navigate novices through the increasingly complicated story of its ongoing production.

In the press

  • Uriel Heilman’s Jewish Telegraphic Agency article on the extraordinary story behind the photographs
  • The same article in Yiddish
  • Lowfield Heath’s quirky interview with our Creative Director in The Baltic Times
  • Another article in English from The Lithuania Tribune
  • Kauno Diena article in Lithuanian, published on the Good Will Foundation website 

 

On Facebook

  • The Kaunas Requiem Facebook page is here
  • The original photographs that inspired the project are here
  • A short photo essay covering Anton’s first visit to Kaunas and the live performance in the synagogue can be found here

 

The music

We recorded more than a day of live audio and several further hours of video from the First Movement of The Kaunas Requiem. It’s currently all sitting on our hard drive and awaiting a budget so we can turn it into a coherent body of work for public release. Until such a time arises, we can offer you the following. Die-hard followers of the project who don’t mind wading through countless Facebook posts to find something of interest are more than welcome to scroll through our dedicated page (link above). Alternatively, have a look at and listen to the following links.

  • A collection of miscelaneous early pieces on our SoundCloud presence
  • Listen to one of our unusual spin-off projects, The Aniushka Variations, on Spotify

 

The First Movement of The Kaunas Requiem was made possible with the kind and generous support of a wide range of individuals, organisations and businesses. A huge thank you to each and every one of you.