Tur Saulite Perties Gaja was named Best Folk Album of 2011 by the Latvian recording industry, and debuted at No. 4 on the World Music Charts Europe in April, 2012.
Ilgi's mature roots in Latvian folk music and the skilled musicianship of its members are apparent in profound and bold interpretations, album after album. Ilgi takes kokles, violin, a cello-like giga, acoustic and bass guitars, percussion, and an adopted kalimba on a tranquil journey in Tur Saulite Perties Gaja, released in 2011 as Ilgi celebrated its 30th anniversary.
The album's central theme is the Latvian pirts, a place for cleansing the body and soul. "Spirits are tossed" by ladling water onto rocks heated by a wood fire, creating a steam bath in the typically small wooden structure. To "perties" (gently flog) with a pirts slota (bundle of twigs) is invigorating. Whether in a private pirts in the countryside or under the direction of a modern day pirts keeper, the tradition is alive in Latvia. Nevertheless, it lacked music - until now.
In "Pirts Kurinasana" (Lighting the Fire), Ilga Reizniece sings of a pirts near a golden oak by a silver stream, "where the Sun went perties" (the album title). Celojums (Journey) is the story of a pirts mouse. Cels (The Road) is a gentle interplay of strings and kalimba. In Persana (Flogging) Reizniece names health promoting flora used in pirts slotas. Lidosana (Flying) showcases Egons Kronbergs' guitar and Maris Muktupavels' kokle and accordion. Gara Pupa (The Beanstalk) is the classic story of a beanstalk that grows up to the sky, but the music suggests the wonderfully languid feeling resulting from a trip to the pirts. It features a duet by Reizniece on violin and Muktupavels on kokle, playing as one after collaborating for three decades. Finally, Paldies (A Song of Thanks) is offered to everyone who makes the pirts possible, from its builder to the water carrier. Throughout, layers of depth are created by Gatis Gaujenieks on giga and bass guitar, and Martins Linde on percussion.
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