Udo Kasemets (1919-2014)  has been called jokingly the most famous least known composer of Estonia.  There is an article about him in every respected music dictionary. In Canada, where Kasemets spent the main part of his creative life, he was named "probably the most uncompromising musician in history of Canadian music".  His influence to music life especially in Toronto, in particular introducing thinking inspired from John Cage, Marhsall McLuhan and Buckminster Fuller, played an utmost importance. His influence to the following generations is hard to overestimate. Yet in Estonia Kasemet's music has been played very little and the knowledge about Kasemets is not wide spread. 

To fill this gab and to celebrate Udo Kasemet's 100th anniversary (he was born exactly on November 16, 2019), to introduce his music, ideas and background, ensemble U:  in collaboration with Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre is organizing conference "Explaining universe – systems, humans and arts". Alongside the conference two concert will take place in Kanuti Gildi SAAL and Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre.



Conference "Explaining universe – systems, humans and arts. Dedicated to 100th anniversary of Udo Kasemets"

November 16.-17, 2019
Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, Organ Hall (A-404)
Graduate School of Culture Studies and Arts


L 16.11.19

10.30 Greeting coffee
11.00 Immo Mihkelson – “Globally-thinking musician and a human being with Estonian origin: Udo Kasemets as part of broader Estonian musicscape”
11.45-13.00 Jeremy Strachan (Canada) – ““Whence Cometh He?”: Udo Kasemets and the Experimental Tradition in Toronto”


14.00 Theodore Parker – “Udo Kasemets in the Context of North American Experimental Music”
14.40 Tze Yeung Ho – “Tracing the Footsteps of a Diaspora Composer: Udo Kasemets in Canada”
15.20-16.00 Taavi Kerikmäe – "Problematics of interpreting open scores"


19:30 Concert of Ensemble U: in Kanuti Gildi SAAL

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1526) “Tu es Petrus” a 6 (1572)
Udo Kasemets (1919-2014) “Sound, Smell, Taste, Touch, or How to Take a Trip Without LSD” (1965)
Udo Kasemets “4’33” Fractals” for any number of performers (2000)
Udo Kasemets “Trigon”for 1, 3, 9 or 27 performers (1963)
Udo Kasemets “Future is past … is …  now” for four or more performers(1996)
Sissepääs: 5/3 € kohapeal

Su 17.11.19

10.30 Greeting coffee

11.00 Giovanni Albini – "A ‘mechanical duologue’: science and systems in the art of Udo Kasemets”
11.40-12.40 Ragne Kõuts-Klemm – On Marshall McLuhan


13.-00-13.40 Andres Kurg – On the reception of Buckminster Fuller's theories in the Soviet Union in the 1960s and 1970s.

14.00  Concert of New Music Ensemble of EAMT and Estonian Ensemble of Electronic Instruments (Chamber hall C-405)

Udo Kasemets "Primeku"  (2004)
Udo Kasemets "Tt - tribute to Buckminster Fuller, Marshall McLuhan, John Cage" (1968)
Udo Kasemets "Lun(h)armonics" (1969)

Sissepääs: tasuta



16.00 Mani Mazinani - “Oracle: Udo Kasemets Speaking”
16.40-17.40 Round Table




U: takes part in EU project  DYCE -  Discovering Young Composers of Europe. The project  takes place in cooperation with  Divertimento Ensemble (Italy), Taller Sonoro (Spain) and Cikada (Norway). The aim of DYCE is to discover young talented composers and give them opportunity to work with four top-rate ensembles, gather international experiences and build contacts.

NB! The call fro scores is open until January 15,  2019!

Three selected compositions from each of the four regions of Europe will be performed and streamed live in concerts on April 28, 2019.  One composer is selceted from each consert who will receive commission for a new piece. The composers get invited to rehearsals and perfrormances of the new pieces to all of the four cities (April 2020).

More info, rules and registration: https://dyce-project.eu/
Good concise overview here.


U: continues with series Residentuu:r. In 2018 the chosen composer for collaborations is Andrus Kallastu.

The public workshops take place in the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre on:

1. We 17.01.2018,  7:00 PM
2. We 7.02.2018
,  7:00 PM
3. We 14.03.2018
,  7:00 PM
4. We 18.04.2018
,  7:00 PM
5. We 23.05.2018
,  7:00 PM



Taavi Kerikmäe and Tarmo Johannes as members of ensemble U: will perform together with Ekke Västrik at prominent festival/show-case Reeperbahn in Hamburg, Germany. With the musicians performs video artist tencu with his original live video projection.

The program is built up on  subtle interplay between seemingly un-uniteable sides of electronic music -  rhythmical, rather dance oriented, club scene electronic music and works of contemporary classical composers like John Cage, Peter Ablinger, Tom Johnson. If the way how people listen to those genres is so different -  are there any possible meeting points at all? Can the audience of one scene enjoy the music of the other one? The goal of the project is to draw attention to details, careful ways of listening and the most important factor of any music -  the SOUND.  And not losing the fun meanwhile :)





ekke "Can't I"
Peter Ablinger "Piccolo und Rauschen"
ekke "Meanwhile"
John Cage "Radio music"
ekke "OK then"




U: & ekke (excerpts) from Ansambel U on Vimeo.


Fifth volume in series "Residentuu:r" takes place on We April  19, 2017 at 07:30 PM, EMTA opera studio (A-403).
Liisa Hirsch continues to explore with ensemble U: various composers and subjects in contemporary experimental music.

This time in focus: group of ultra-minimalist composers Wandelweiser