- Nordic Pulse follows orchestra and Kristjan Järvi across Europe on landmark ‘Waterworks’ and ‘Baltic Folk’ tours in 2017
- Film reveals how orchestra made history by performing Stravinsky’s The Firebird from memory
- Spectacular concert footage features unique immersive performances with lighting, sound design and projection art by Sunbeam Productions
- Documentary directed by acclaimed filmmaker David Donnelly (Maestro, Forte)
Berlin, 8 November 2019. An inspirational documentary about the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi will receive its world premiere at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival in Estonia on 28 November. Nordic Pulse, which was directed by acclaimed filmmaker David Donnelly (Maestro, Forte), follows the orchestra on two landmark European tours that it made in 2017 – ‘Waterworks’ and ‘Baltic Folk’. It’s a portrait of an exceptional group of musicians from ten different nations who come together for a journey of self-discovery. The film explores how the Baltic Sea Philharmonic challenges expectations of what an orchestra can be, and it’s also the story of a visionary leader, Kristjan Järvi, who wants to transform the concert experience for audiences and change their way of thinking about the world.
Within the first few days of filming, Donnelly knew he was witnessing something special. “I have been documenting the classical sphere for nearly a decade,” he says, “but within minutes of the first rehearsal, I realised this was a completely unique organisation with ambitious goals that went far beyond just making music. What they are doing can’t be defined by a traditional description of an orchestra or genre.”
Nordic Pulse follows Järvi and the orchestra to nine cities in four countries, with exclusive concert footage from venues including the spectacular Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, and the poignant Historical Technical Museum in Peenemünde, the site of the Nazis’ V2 rocket facility in the Second World War, now transformed into a place of culture, peace and hope.
With ‘Waterworks’, Järvi wanted to transport audiences to a new dimension, and Nordic Pulse captures the unique atmosphere as an expert team from Sunbeam Productions – light designer Bertil Mark, projection artist Philipp Geist and sound designer Chris Ekers – transforms the musical performance into a fully immersive concert experience, complete with vibrant projections and real-time lighting and sound design. On the ‘Baltic Folk’ tour the orchestra made history by performing Stravinsky’s The Firebird from memory for the first time. Nordic Pulse shows the musicians’s journeys from wondering whether playing such a complex score by heart is even possible to feeling like it’s the most natural and inspiring experience they’ve ever had in an orchestra. Players began asking Järvi if the orchestra could do whole concerts from memory, and since 2017 this has indeed become a trademark of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic, with the musicians now regularly performing entire 120-minute programmes by heart, improvising, dancing, and even singing.
Baltic Sea Philharmonic – a revolution in music and culture
The Baltic Sea Philharmonic takes the orchestral concert experience to a new dimension. Every performance is a voyage of musical discovery, as the musicians perform the entire programme from memory, creating a one-of-a-kind artistic journey. Each concert is a unique spectacle of sound, light, visual art and technology, and under the electrifying baton of Music Director and Founding Conductor Kristjan Järvi every performance has a special energy that’s absolutely infectious. But even more than this, as a community of musicians from ten Nordic countries, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic transcends boundaries and has become a movement for bringing people together. Embodying all that is innovative and progressive about the Nordic region, this visionary ensemble is taking the traditional orchestral model further than ever before. ‘It is a living breathing creature, with boundless energy and enthusiasm for the new – an adventure in itself,’ says Kristjan Järvi.