DONIS is a well-known Lithuanian neofolk/ambient/experimental music project, the central axis of which is a multi-instrumentalist Donatas Bielkauskas. For creating and playing music, he uses authentic and modernised Lithuanian folk instruments as well as electronic instruments, and invites sessional musicians for cooperation.
The project is distinguished for its solid, subtle and mature sound of modern music with Baltic touch. The debut album "Deinaina" was released in tape format in 1998, it was followed by a CD "Baltos Juodos Klajos" ("White Black Wanders", Dangus prod. 2002), then the famous work "Svilpiai" ("Whistles", 2003), a joint project DONIS with KULGRINDA "Sotvaras" (Dangus prod.), and an ambient album "Vacuum" (Autarkeia, 2004). In 2005, Dangus prod. is going to release the most recent post-folk album "Bite Lingo", recorded together with a vocalist of wonderful voice Rasa Serra and a folklore ensemble from Klaipeda KURSIU AINIAI. From the year 1994 until now, DONIS collaborates with various projects: Wejdas, Notanga, Kulgrinda, etc.
Lately, Donatas pays much attention to electronic and experimental music.
The group of explorers and performers of Ukrainian folk music. It has existed since 1979 (since 1988 under the name of Drewo) under the guidance of musicologist J. Jefremow. Thanks to its activity the group has initiated a new trend in the musical culture of Ukraine, demonstrating to the world the traditional music of the countryside as something precious and existing independently, without the need of any processing.
The members of the group are mostly students, graduates and teachers of the conservatory of Kiev, who as the first in Ukraine have set as their aim the cognition, acquisition and faithful reconstruction of songs of the people, preserving their stylistic features.
The fundamental scientific base and the sources of repertoire of Drewo were brought up by journeys and scientific research job of J. Jefremow, I. Klymenko, S. Kopyl, W. Ponomarenko, T. Sopilky, O. Szewczuk (the central and western part of the Polesie region, the Poltava region, the Sumy region, the eastern part of the Podole region). The group takes into account an important rule - not to reproduce mechanically the material obtained during the journeys. A song in Drewo version has a couple of variants, but it is always the very same song. It is possible thanks to methods of creating musical variations worked out by J. Jefremow, the methods which are based on the rules governing the song in its natural environment. Combining the scientific truth with their own style of performance, first-class mastery, improvisation and singing filled with emotions is characteristic to the artistic activity of Drewo.
The group is also the author and performer of a musical spectacle "Stone wheel (FOpera)" (directed by W. Troicki, premiere in September 2002), which was a common project of Drewo and the Centre of Modern Art "Dach".
The experience of Drewo constitutes a source of inspiration also for other, younger groups, which were created in Kiev, Kirovohrad, Lviv, Sumy, Kharkiv, Khmelnytsky. In Poland, in the 90., the folk movement started under the direct influence of Drewo.
Members of the group conduct singing workshops in European countries. Drewo is a regular partner in international projects, a participant of scientific conferences, TV and radio programmes, festivals, concerts (Belgium, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Germany, Poland, Russia, Uzbekistan, France).
Most important editions:
Musiques Traditionnelles d'Ukraine - Silex, Paris, 1995;
Drewo: songs from Ukraine - Koka, Warsaw, 1998, 2001;
The paradise Has Flourished. Christian Motives in Folklore of Ukraine - The group "Drewo", Kiev, 2001;
Radiant sounds - Symfokar, Kiev, 2001.