On a lake in central Latvia, 3000 people welcomed the sunrise on the summer solstice whilst floating amongst a mesmerizing music and lighting experience. The Ezera Skanas (Sounds of the Lake) festival is a musical, visual and metaphysical event that captured our attention through the work of Eindhoven Graduate Zane Priede. Her design provided the centerpiece floating stage for the 2016 event, lit to allow for a range of performances and reflect the different stages of sleep usually in process in the dawn twilight.
The event started as idea of two brothers in 2012, who decided to make use of a lake they grew up on, showcase creative projects and celebrate the height of summer. Together with a group of friends, filmakers and designers, it turned into a massive success and now occurs annually with numbers increasing exponentially each year.
The stage structure itself acts as a beacon to those floating out to watch music at the scheduled start time of 5am. In the short night provided by the north’s summer solstice, attendees launch from various ports around the lake and float out into the dark, waiting to be greeted with swelling sounds and Zane’s glowing ‘Drawings of Light’ installation.
The simple form of a ‘house’ references the comforting and calming intentions of the experience, with different ‘rooms’ revealing themselves as the performance progresses. As the concert starts, the stage lights dimly, highlighting the first solo performer of the morning. The surrounding darkness further serves to emphasize ‘the enormous black space around him and his loneliness in it’.
As other musicians join, more of the stage is illuminated, with exaggerated shadows captured in the lines of the enclosure.
As the sky becomes lighter, the black parts of the structure are also revealed; previously hidden but now forming part of the now-visible larger structure.
This intervention is a stunning example of how a group of inspired individuals can activate an already incredible landscape into an even more unique and special experience. We love how a creative community has come together to produce such an extraordinary event in such an organic and participatory way. As citizens continue to use their initiative to celebrate where they live, we will continue to watch in awe at the ideas that come to light.