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Mykolas Bazaras

 (Kaunas University of Technology)

“Discophonia”: Dance Music for Listening


 “Discophonia“ is the title of the debut album by Lithuanian band Argo – one of the pioneering electronic music acts in the whole soviet union. It was released in 1981 at the “Melodia” pressing plant in Rīga and reached a run of around one million copies. The acclaim of Argo was evident in concert activity – during its lifetime the band performed around 50 concerts per year, touring around socialistic countries, and performing in TV shows. The title speaks for itself, as “disco” is a short term for “discotheque”, and “phonia” frames the former subject as an aural experience. The ambition was inscribed not only on the surface of a vinyl record envelope. Profound compositional ideas emerge while drawing on accounts of the creative founder, member and leader of the band Giedrius Kuprevičius. As a prominent academic music composer, Kuprevičius mentions compositional principles found in music groups like Beatles, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Isao Tomita, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull or Yes as influential and equally important for an Argo, among Bach, Mozart, Berio or Stockhausen.

Music analysis of the album’s ontologically “thick” creative material and authentic manuscripts may reveal the true purpose of the endeavour of argonauts. The presentation will display how Argo urged the audience to perceive their music as one not only to dance to but also to listen to.   

Short biography

Mykolas Bazaras (b. 1989) studied at the Lithuanian Academy of Theatre and Music, Royal Conservatoire in Hague and Vytauti Magni University Academy of Music. In 2020 he has defended a DMA research project in the field of classical piano improvisation. Since 2014 Mykolas is teaching subjects of Music Aesthetics and New Media at the Kaunas University of Technology. Mykolas is also actively playing the electric and acoustic bass, taking part in written and improvised music projects, restoring pianos, as well as writing critical articles on music performance.