Kostas Smoriginas

Four decades of sung poetry with Kostas Smoriginas

I want to start by saying that Kostas Smoriginas is a rather unique Lithuanian musician – Google him, and the world’s favourite search engine will tell you he is an actor and musician.

It’s true, but Kostas has a heap more talents in addition to acting and creating music.

In a career that’s spanned over four decades, he has starred in some of Lithuania’s best known movies and theater plays; some of the latter, he even directed himself.

Over 40 years’ of experience as a musician

However, while Kostas is one of contemporary Lithuania’s best known cultural figures, at MXF, we’re here to talk about his career as a musician, and it’s an absolute no-brainer to say he’s one of the fathers of the the sung poetry genre in Lithuania.

Like I said, Kostas has over 40 years of experience as a performer, and by my estimations, that works out he started performing when he was in college during the second Soviet occupation of Lithuania.

 Kostas Smoriginas

He has also been a key part of a band called the Actors Trio, who, over the years, became popular, separated, and then reunited in 2003.

Kostas also continued to work as a solo musician, and that leads me on to his recent concert at the Artistai Pub in Vilnius.

To be honest with you, the weather wasn’t ideal for a sung poetry concert. As with the Baltic Summer, the weather was unpredictable and the Lithuanian capital was in store for a cold and cloudy evening.

Even the Lithuanian weather couldn’t deter the audience…

Despite the less than ideal weather, the concert attracted a decent turnout, meaning sung poetry music still resonates today, right?

In fact, when he started performing, the chilly conditions seemed to fade away. I think that’s because he has a rare talent to capture everyone’s attention through his music – he didn’t say a single word until the end of the concert.

 

Kostas Smoriginas

However, I believe this was the reason why everybody was so enthralled by the music.

If I had to describe Kostas Smoriginas’ music, I’d go for calm, peaceful, and a tad nostalgic.

I believe most good artists have something unique, and what’s unique about Kostas is that I have never seen any performer channel their emotions so well through music. It’s a magnificent ability, and something very few performers in Lithuania have.

One man and a guitar

The concert was also a stripped-down affair – there was no backing band. There were no backing vocalists. In fact, the only other thing on stage with Kostas was his guitar. The minimalist approach also contributed to the concert’s unique atmosphere.

The moody atmosphere was enhanced when it started to rain halfway through the performance, but the weather didn’t deter any of the audience. In fact, I’d go as far to say that the weather contributed to proceedings.

Kostas Smoriginas

By the end of the set, the sky had cleared, which fitted well with the uplifting mood Kostas had managed to create through his one man and a guitar approach. In fact, had the concert started again, I’d have been happy to have sat through it.

Kostas thanked the audience with the usual platitudes, but for me, it was unusual to see someone so simultaneously talented, yet modest.

Overall, nice. Very nice.

Further listening: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLSdlCV_b3zN9dhLPIErwMNtdQ8MvX-vAC