a common space for harmonic overtones
Valdis Muktupāvels is a scholar, composer and musician. He is professor of ethnomusicology and director of the Baltic Sea Region studies at the University of Latvia. His field of expertise is Latvian and Baltic traditional and modern music culture - historical and social contexts, traditions and change, musical instruments, Baltic religion and identity issues. He has been guest professor in universities of Helsinki, Oslo (2009), Glasgow (2008), Edinburgh, Klaipėda (2007), Prague (2006), Greifswald (2006, 2005, 1998), Vytautas Magnus university in Kaunas (2004), and other.
Valdis Muktupāvels is one of key figures of modern folklore revival movement in Latvia, especially during the period of Soviet occupation, when Latvian cultural heritage was endangered, and has promoted preservation and dissemination of the heritage at home and abroad. He has contributed to the revival of traditional musical instruments – kokles (psaltery), bagpipe, and others. Since 1980s he has performed with his kokles, bagpipe and singing – solo and in ensemble – in Europe, North America, India, Japan and Australia.
Valdis Muktupāvels is composer of choral, instrumental and film music, and he is renowned for his mystery Nemus sonorum (2008), oratorio Pontifex (2004), albums of traditional and modern psaltery kokles (2002) and bagpipe (2000 in Latvia, 2002 in U.K.) music. Among the latest films with his music are Litauen – grünes Herz Europas (NDR, 2008), Dina (J. Podnieka studija, 2005), Lettland: Wildnis zwischen Russland und Riga (NDR, 2003).
Among his publications should be noted the article on historiography and traditions of musical instruments in the Baltic region for The World of Music, essays on Latvian music for The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, and on the new Baltic religious movements for the Macmillan Encyclopedia of Religion.
Valdis Muktupāvels is awarded with the fifth class Order of Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas (2001) and twice with the annual National Grand Prize in folklore (2003, 2005).
Selected recordings by Valdis Muktupāvels: