Dalia Raudonikytė With: Solitarius

, composer


Dalia R. With’s expressive palette is driven by an internal muse, informed by her interest in literary sources, philosophy, and multi-media disciplines. At her disposal is a strong command over experimental instrumental technique as well as a penchant for beautiful expressive melancholy.


Composer Dalia Raudonikytė With focuses on exploring nuances within the phenomenon of sound, approaching it from a variety of multi-disciplinary angles including the visual arts, literature, philosophy, computer programming and ethnography. Her music often creates implicit links to passages from great literature by including literary quotes in her scores that encode the performer’s perception and interpretation with extra-musical reference points. In her solo clarinet work, Solitarius, we hear whispered fragments of text occasionally woven into the fabric of the performance itself, a window into the unspoken literary source that informs its interpretation. The work unfolds otherwise as a thoughtful soliloquy, a rhetorical dialogue with different sides of oneself. Ventus is timbrally more exploratory, as fluttering extended techniques in the saxophone merge with unstable sounds in the electronics. The chamber orchestra piece Grues et nix revels in dense sound masses and long, sustained lines, creating cresting waves of evocative and expressive harmony. FCH, an homage to Frederic Chopin, begins with an exploration of sparse lyricism before evoking its dedicatee through pianistic passagework. The solo guitar work Primo cum lumine solis also sticks with conventional harmony for the most part, melding the free, rhetorical dialogue of Solitarius with modal harmonic treatment. The final section of the piece breaks away from the prevailing lyricism with some angular passagework before the final cadence brings back the expansive character of the opening section. The final work on the program, Idem non semper idem, returns to the fragility of the extended techniques of the solo saxophone, with unearthly multiphonics behaving as architectural pillars for this strange and vivid sonic language. Dalia R. With’s expressive palette is driven not by aesthetic agendas, but instead by an internal muse. At her disposal is a strong command over experimental instrumental technique as well as a penchant for beautiful expressive melancholy, and connecting the diverse expressive worlds she inhabits is a solemn, lyrical quality that pierces through all of the varied textures she employs.

- D. Lippel

Engineers: Gisburg (tracks 1 and 5), Cato Langnes (track 2), Michailas Omeljančukas (track 4), Arnas Akelaitis (track 6)
Recording locations: Harvestworks, New York, NY (tracks 1 and 5), NOTAM, Oslo, Norway (track 2), Union Palace of Culture Vilnius, Lithuania (track 3), PIANO.LT, Vilnius, Lithuania (track 4), Kaunas State Philharmonic Society, Lithuania (track 6)
Mastering: Gisburg, Harvestworks, New York, NY
Design: Marc Wolf (marcjwolf.com)
Project Management: Daniel Lippel
Produced with the support from the Norwegian Society of Composers

Dalia Raudonikytė With

Dalia Raudonikytė With is a composer, pianist and educator. Born in Vilnius, she moved to Oslo in 1998 and now is based in New York. She graduated from the Lithuanian Music and Theatre Academy and was granted a qualification Master of Music in composition and piano education. After receiving a grant from The Research Council of Norway continued her studies for two years in composition and electroacoustic music at Norwegian Academy of Music. Her works include a wide range of performers: from solo instruments to symphony orchestra and from chamber ensembles to electroacoustic compositions. Her music has been premiered and performed in concerts across Europe, the United States, and Russia, including at international music festivals “Gaida”, “Is arti”, “Jauna muzika”, “Muzikos ruduo”, ”Druskomanija” in Lithuania, “Floralia muzyczne” in Poland, Oslo International Church music festival and Bergen International festival in Norway, MATA Festival (New York), New York film festival Another Experiment by Women, and New York Electronic Art Festival. Dalia R. With is a recipient of several grants and fellowships from the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania, Norwegian Music Funds, Norwegian Society of Composers, and Arts Council Norway.



Bandcamp Daily - Best of Contemporary Classical September 2017

Lithuanian composer Dalia Raudonikyte With doesn’t hide her love of literature in her work. This diverse portrait album contains bookish connections in just about every piece. Clarinetist Joshua Rubin (of International Contemporary Ensemble fame) whispers discrete words from a Seneca text in the middle of his solo performance on the title piece. “Ventus” interprets the Francis Picabia quotation, “Our heads are round, so our thoughts can change direction,” as the extended techniques performed by the superb Norwegian alto saxophonist Rolf-Erik Nystrøm (known for his membership in the daring trio Poing) and the jarring, splintery electronics played by With herself clash and blend. The composer, who studied in Oslo and now lives in New York, has a broad aesthetic; on “Grues et nix,” performed by the Vilnius City Municipality St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra, she uses a string orchestra to dramatically embody the Virginia Woolf line, “Melancholy were the sounds on a winter’s night,” projecting both chilly atmospheres and a crushing sense of darkness—sorrowful, on the edge of collapse.

The brief piano solo, played here by Sviese Cepliauskaite, an old colleague of the composer from Lithuania, brings a dazzling precision to “FCH,” a piece inspired by one of the pianist’s greatest loves, Frederic Chopin, while New York guitarist Daniel Lippel brings complexity to “Primo cum lumine solis,” a rangy modal exploration marked by a moody lyric quality and wonderfully discursive shifts in tone and attack. The album concludes with “Idem non semper idem,” another solo piece, with Nystrøm showcasing his deep multiphonic vocabulary and a veritable catalog of swooping glissandos and percussive popping, aptly closing the narrative to a collection of pieces rich in allusion and metaphor. — Peter Margasak, Bandcamp Daily, 9.18.2017

Gapplegate Classical Modern Music Review

New music requires new composers, of course. And of those there are no shortages. Virtually every day I find the music of somebody I do not know in front of me. And many of them surprise me in good ways. I am lucky to be alive right now for music. Even if it impoverishes me. What is joy worth? One cannot translate it into monetary terms. So my life is very rich on the level of gratitude, much less so in some other ways. C'est la vie.

Today we have another example: the music of Daliya Raudonikyte With, a she, Norwegian maybe? The recent album of her music, Solitarius (New Focus 186) gives us pause. It is a compendium of some six works, four involving a solo instrument, one a kind of duet, and one a chamber orchestra work.

In each case there is a literary quotation as a springboard--Thomas Wolfe, Picabia, Virginia Woolf, Chopin, Stefan Zweig. What results is distinctive, carefully sonorous music that stays within to reverberate with your being. There is sonic acuity, deliberation, gesture, and a special envelope full of the present.

Expect very appropriate ventures into extended techniques, a contemporary modernism that has more than the norm of invention, often far more. "Grues et Nix," the single orchestral work, has a kind of uncanny opening onto a personal sonic mapping of what Woolfe declaims as "Melancholy were the sounds on a winter's night." This work is in its very own way as evocative as something like Ives' "Central Park in the Dark," and without sounding like Ives at that, but equally home-spun, native individual like.

The other works each have a particular personal With touch, whether it be "Solitarius" for clarinet, "Ventus" for alto sax and electronics, "FCH" for piano, "Primo cum lumine solis" for guitar, or "Idem non semper idem" for alto sax. Nothing is tentative, even if nothing seems exactly formal in some scientistic way, and so much the better because With is expression first perhaps, structure second?

In the end it is all of course about the listening experience. With gives us an excellent one while being very much herself.

So I do suggest this one as rewarding, essential in its own way as music of this very second!

— Grego Edwards, Gapplegate Classical Modern Music Review, 7.14.2017

Gapplegate Classical Modern Music Blogspot

I am glad via this blog I can experience the music of numerous worthy contemporary composers. Yet sometimes life becomes hectic to the point where I find I know something and have reviewed it previously. My memory can suffer a slip when I have been grappling with distractions as I have so much lately. So it happens with the CD at hand. I already reviewed it last July and find out after I have written yet another article. OK, I might as well post it anyway! You can compare it with the earlier one and notice a consistency, yet also another slightly different take on things. So here it is:

Dalia Raudonikyte With comes center stage for us in a recent recording of solo and string orchestra music, Solitarius (New Focus Recordings FCR186).

In each of the compositions on the program a literary, artistic-aesthetic or philosophical quote forms the reference point for the music at hand. So we have launching point pithiness from Seneca, Francis Picabia, Virginia Woolf, Frederic Chopin, Stefan Zweig and Thomas Wolfe, in each case underscoring a work of a distinctly modern, sometimes extended-technique-colored and an expanded tonal sort.

Receiving her MA in composition and piano education at the Lithuanian Music and Theatre Academy, With went on to study composition and electroacoustic music at the Norwegian Academy of music.

The program includes concentric works for solo clarinet, for alto saxophone and electronics, for piano solo and for solo guitar. Centerpiecing the sequence is the searching “Grues et nix” for string orchestra, which contrasts with the solo fare and shows a fullness against the solo open sound dimensions of the surrounding works.

A constant is a poetic musical demeanor, a search for extended sonarities that express meaning and mood without being tied strictly to the text that inspires each.

It all is well played and a somewhat different take on what is possible today. Well worth your time.

© 12.28.2017, Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, Grego Applegate Edwards

Related Albums