Video Premiere: Sunrise by Justina Jaruševičiūtė

Justina Jaruševičiūtė is a Lithuanian composer and multi-instrumentalist based in Berlin whose debut solo album Silhouettes has been deservedly receiving glowing comments and reviews for its effusive beauty and exhilarating arrangements. Justina was inspired to write the music for string quartet after being deeply moved by an Echo Collective concert at Funkhaus Berlin where Jóhann Jóhannsson’s 12 conversations with Thilo Heinzmann (Deutsche Grammophon, 2019) was being premiered. Recorded between June and November of 2020 at the Christuskirche Oberschöneweide in Berlin, the album is a sort of soundtrack for the hours during which night becomes morning before the rising of the sun, a shadowy time of vivid thoughts and emotions that even the occasional insomniac knows all too well.

There is a reason why the album starts with a piece named “Wolf Hour” and ends with “Sunrise”. The hour of the wolf is that time of the night in which people wake up without any particular reason and can’t fall back asleep. Last year, this happened to me numerous times, which allowed me to think about a lot of musical ideas while I waited on the sun to rise. To me, these ten compositions are like some kind of shadows, silhouettes of these sleepless nights.

Justina Jaruševičiūtė
Directed by JURY films

It is the tentatively hopeful final coda that is featured here in this exclusive video premiere. “Sunrise” chases away the fervent thought and emotions of the sleepless hours before the arrival of dawn with a delicate strand of hope, but ultimately ends with an unresolved question. It is this aspect that dancer Magdalena Vaskó seeks to highlight in her choreography for this performance filmed at the historic BABYLON movie theater in Berlin which cleverly uses a ghost effect to enhance the dual narrative.

While creating choreography to Justina’s “Sunrise” I had to put myself in a particular narrative. I focused on that time in early morning hours leading up to dawn, putting myself in a mind frame of a person who is waiting eagerly for somebody to return. However, at this point after a sleepless night, the hope slowly fades away as that someone never comes. The simple and repetitive choreography indicates fatigue and mild desperation of the mind, which finds some solace in the approaching sunrise. An acceptance of circumstances, an acceptance of the moment.

Magdalena Vaskó

Silhouettes is now available in a limited CD edition (100 copies) as well as for download or streaming on most major digital platforms.

Links: Bandcamp | Piano and Coffee Records