About

Justė Janulytė - photo by Dmitrij Matvejev @ 2012 photo by Dmitrij Matvejev @ 2012

Janulyte has been hailed one of Europe’s most prodigious young composers. Her award-winning music typically features only one type of instrument, producing long, slow, gradual transformations in texture and register. This unique approach sucks time into itself, making it feel both flitting and eternal.                                            Hellen Wright | The SKINNY

In the music of Justė Janulytė the sound unfolds as an autonomous event, with incredible lightness, as a confluence of energies, which transform it into increasingly dilated harmonies. No beat, no apparent rhythm, just the ‘deaf’ pulsation perhaps, a downtempo, as some kinds of the electronic music are qualified; the swelling of intensities, the saturation of space, and then eventual return to the state of calm, which is already different, marked and disturbed. The importance of material that found reflection in the titles of her works: Textile (for orchestra, 2006), Aquarelle (for choir, 2007), Silence of the Falling Snow (for two pianos, 2006), Endings (for 4 saxophones, 2005)... But the most important is metamorphosis, a very personal one and therefore instantly recognisable. This is not the telluric forces in Xenakis, or the atomic process in Ligeti, but rather an irradiant form. Elongation of Nights, the second score for string orchestra after the White Music, with which the composer made her public debut in 2004, gives a good example of such radiation. Some kind of timeless, floating metamorphosis. A strikingly innovative dramaturgy of sound... Antoine Gindt | MUSICA festival brochure, 2011

The composer's way of thinking is easily recognizable when listening to “Sandglasses”: long, slow expositions; gradual enrichment of texture; thanks to her relished canon technique large sound layers create impression of twinkling. All of it inspires images of lights, colors glimmering and rippling. It seems the music emerges from unseen distances, and gets closer to the listener without notice, then finally pierces into the listener, passes through all the cells, moves the atoms, and then slowly recedes until disappearing completely in the horizon. Sometimes it seems that Juste’s works do not have a beginning or an end and that over there, behind the horizon, the music keeps on moving, pierces someone else. I associate Juste's music not with sound images but with the substance which is moving in space and has its temperature, light and density. Such substance-like quality of music is effective to the listener: even when hearing the piece for the first time you can identify in which partition of the piece you are, where to is the mass of sound moving. This quasi-physical contact is in my opinion an essential feature of the reception of Juste’s music.    Jūratė Katinaitė ANTENA                                   

Justė Janulytė (born 1982 in Vilnius) studied composition at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre (with Bronius Kutavičius and Osvaldas Balakauskas), Milan “Giuseppe Verdi” Conservatoire (Alessandro Solbiati) and in various masterclasses (Luca Francesconi, Helena Tulve etc.).

Janulytė's music has been played in Europe, USA, Canada and Australia, by many Lithuanian performers as well as Teatro La Fenice Symphony (cond. Eliahu Inbal) and Gothenburg Opera Symphony (cond. David Björkman) Orchestras, BBC National Orchestra of Wales (cond. Garry Walker), Polish National Philharmonic Orchestra (cond. Jacek Kaspszyk), Brno Philharmonic (cond. Maciej Tworek) and French Flute Orchestra, Riga Sinfonietta (cond. Normunds Sne), Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Ensemble Bit20 (Bergen), Orchestrutopica (Lisbon), Estonian Philharmonic (cond. Paul Hillier), Danish Radio chamber (cond. Fredrik Malmberg), Latvian ''Kamer'', French Sequenza 9.3 and Polish „Camerata Silesia“ choirs, Quasar (Montreal), Xasax (Paris) and Flotilla (UK) saxophone quartets, cellists Mario Brunello (IT), Francesco Dillon (IT), Henri Demarquette (FR), Anton Lukoszevieze (UK), flutist Manuel Zurria (IT), saxophone player Arvydas Kazlauskas and others. Her works were included in the programmes of the Sydney festival, Schleswig-Holstein festival, Venice Biennale, Rassegna di Musica Nuova (Macerata), Holland festival (Amsterdam), Warsaw Autumn (PL, 2011, 2012, 2015), Music Gardens (Warsaw), Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (UK, 2008, 2010), SonicA (Glasgow), Maerzmusik (Berlin),  Musica festival (Strasbourg), RomaEuropa, Musikprotokoll im steirischem Herbst (Graz), World New Music Days (2009, 2014), Musicadhoy (Madrid), Vale of Glamorgan Festival in Cardiff (UK), Expositions of New Music, Moravian Autumn (Brno, CZ), Cesis Art Festival (LV, composer in residence 2012), Saxophonia in Riga (LV, 2017), Gaida (Vilnius, 2005, 2007, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016), Vilnius festival (2017), Klaipeda Musica Spring (2017) among others.

Justė Janulytė first came into public view in 2004 when her graduation work White music for 15 strings was awarded as the best chamber piece at the competition organized by the Lithuanian Composers' Union. Furthermore, she has been awarded for the best orchestral work (Textile, 2008), the best chamber work (Elongation of Nights, 2010) and the first prize among 2010 Lithuanian pieces for Sandglasses and the prize for the best 2016 chamber composition for "The Harp is a Chord" at the same competition. In 2009 Aquarelle for choir won the 1st prize (in the category of composers under 30) at the International Rostrum of Composers in Paris. Witihin the span of several years her experimental and highly visionary works have earned her international renown and official recognition at home in the form of the Young Artist's Prize awarded by the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture of 2011. On the 18th of December 2013 her concert installation "Sandglasses" was performed at the Flagey Center, Brussels at the closing event of the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the EU. 

Majority of the works by the author, written for dense 'monochromatic' ensembles (e.g. 24 flutes, 21 string, 16 voices etc.), explore musical time/space experiences through multilayered textures of infinite pulsating sounds and extremely gradual ''thermodynamic'' metamorphoses. While balancing between the aesthetics of minimalism, spectralism and drone music, Justė Janulytė composes acoustic metaphors of optic ideas (Silence of the Falling Snow, 2006; Pendulums, 2011, Observation of Clouds, 2012 etc.) and researches the visual nature of musical phenomena in the works where sound and image are fused together (Breathing Music for string quartet, electronics and kinetic sculptures, 2007; Eclipses for violin, viola, cello, double bass, live electronics and soundproof glass installation, 2007/Integra, Sandglasses for 4 cellos, electronics and installation of video, lights and tulle, 2010/Réseau Varèse).

Since 2006 Janulytė has been teaching a course on contemporary music language at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre. In 2011 she was a jury member at the Czech composition competion called NUBERG, organized by the Berg Orchestra in Prague and the guest lecturer at the Nordplus Music Labaratory "Process 2013" in Nida (LT). In 2014 May Janulyte held 3 days composition masterclasses at the Sassari Conservatoire (IT). In 2014 her first portrait double album "Sandglasses" was released by the Lithuanian Music Information and Publishing center, consisting of a DVD with Sandglasses and CD with the most important acoustic works. The composer has also written critics and articles on music. Lives and works in Vilnius and Milan.

Janulyte has been hailed one of Europe’s most prodigious young composers. Her award-winning music typically features only one type of instrument, producing long, slow, gradual transformations in texture and register. This unique approach sucks time into itself, making it feel both flitting and eternal. Hellen Wright | The Skinny
Janulyte has been hailed one of Europe’s most prodigious young composers. Her award-winning music typically features only one type of instrument, producing long, slow, gradual transformations in texture and register. This unique approach sucks time into itself, making it feel both flitting and eternal. Hellen Wright | The Skinny