When I was a child, I used to play the accordion – a big, heavy instrument which I couldn’t hold for more than 2 minutes. It was hard, it was a challenge, and there were moments I thought about quitting. However, the accordion changed how I perceive music, as without it, music wouldn’t have become the important part of my life that it is today – in fact, I can’t leave the house without my headphones.
However, there was one thing I hated about that instrument. It was the way how other people saw it. The accordion was pictured as the “wedding instrument”. Moreover, most people couldn’t imagine it could be suited to any kind of serious music, so using the accordion to create contemporary music was completely out of the question.
Five years ago, however, things changed. And it’s all because of a young artist named Martynas Levickis. After his Lithuania’s Got Talent win in 2010, perceptions surrounding the accordion shifted. And I for that am truly grateful.
I went to Martynas’ concert in the Lithuanian Art Museum on August 25 in Vilnius. The evening was bright and sunny, although the temperature hadn’t been as intense as it had been throughout the summer – a reminder that autumn was lurking around the corner.
The transition from summer and autumn corresponded perfectly with the theme of the concert – Vivaldi and Piazzolla, two composers who were able to perfectly express the four seasons of the year through their music.
At the concert, Martynas was accompanied by Matthew Glossop, Ignė Pikalavičiūtė, Chris Ruebens and a string ensemble called Mikroorkéstra. It was perfect. From falling leaves to snowy paths, I could vividly picture all the seasons in my mind, and it’s all down to the musicians’ passion – if a musician doesn’t want to tell a story, the audience can’t imagine one.
From time to time, I tried to watch how the audience responded to the music, and it was magnificent to watch other people were drawn in so deeply. It’s a talent to make people dream, and Martynas surely has that talent.
To see a remarkably talented musician and change your perception of the accordion, take the time to listen to Martynas or if you have the opportunity, go and visit one of his concerts.
All images: Aiga Ozo Ozolina
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