Matthew Barley/Cellist

Music always wins.

Samuel Beckett

All night long in Latvia

It’s 9am on Sunday morning, and I’ve just had breakfast with lovely people who came to last night’s all night concert. I played from 11pm to 7am which left me elated and exhausted.. I had a huge collection of music: 2 Bach Suites, a Britten Suite, bits of rep by Gavin Bryars, Casals, Gabrielli, and lots of stuff for cello and electronics by John Metcalfe, Nitin Sawhney, Duncan Bridgeman, DJ Bee, and a whole heap of impros, some with drones, some with effects, some acoustic. I also put on the odd bit of music, so I could rest sometime – that was fun, too.

But what a wonderful experience – in a beautiful old manor house, in the hall, in the middle of the gentle and serene Latvian countryside, and packed with people all bringing their camping mats and sleeping bags and cushions. It somehow felt uniquely Latvian (lots of young people), and the atmosphere was so warm, I was just amazed at how many people turned up for such a crazy concert! It was the end of three days at the Introvert Music Festival, which is a concept I love. A different way of presenting and listening to music, and very inspiring – every city in the world should have one.


  • Laura says:

    Thank you, Matthew, for wonderful performance. Indeed, it was quite a specific concert (some call it meditation). I am sure everyone got something out of it, got an experience that nowhere else could be found. I really liked the pieces you chose to play in-between your own playing 🙂 And I liked how you observed the audience when you didn’t play 🙂 With such a warm smile!
    I hope the festival won’t expand too much and it will be possible to keep this warm and intimate atmosphere next year as well.
    P.S. I also enjoyed the concert in Riga, Maza Gilde on 5th July. Thanks again!

  • Elina says:

    Thank you, it was really amazing. I fell asleep, I woke up, but I still saw this crazy guy playing, he was still making unbelievable sounds out of his instrument and still watching audience and manipulating with it – making collective morning calls and collective lullabies which caused collective snoring 🙂 And when the sun came up again – only few got fruits from the hands of Mr. Artist. Thank you so much – you can really touch Latvian soul, which is not so easy task 😀 Just one word about all this experience in Vecgulbene: AMAZING!!!!

  • Balder says:

    I was on a motorbike trip through the baltic countries and saw a notice about this concert. Because I play the cello I knew I just had to be there. Said and done, a couple of hours of driving later I was in the middle of the Latvian countryside. I will really try to be there next year as well if it still is a part of the program because it was amazing.

    This has been the best experience for my entire trip, and I had a lot of other really good ones.

    Thank you!!!

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