The Republic of Lithuania, this year celebrating 100 years since the restoration of the state, now has her own official Spotify account.
Today sees the publication of a fascinating playlist “Lithuania 100” containing 100 tunes from the country’s vibrant and diverse musical repertoire. Ranging from folk and classical to the latest young electronic music producers, the list aims to show the world the rich history of Lithuanian music and to reveal the upcoming talents that will launch the Republic of Lithuania into her second century.
“Lithuania’s centennial is a success story created by all Lithuanians and we are celebrating in many ways – through music, arts, food and various initiatives across Lithuania and around the world. This time it’s music - 100 tunes that showcase the creativity and passion of our artists. We hope even more playlists will be added in the future inviting the world to explore and get to know Lithuania better”, says the Head of Secretariat of “Restored Lithuania 100” at the Government Office of Lithuania.
The playlist was compiled for the Lithuanian Government Spotify account by Music Export Fund, an NGO working to help independent musicians create and distribute their work worldwide.
Music Export Fund’s Director Mark Adam Harold explains the idea:
“Music is obviously one of the best ways of getting to know country’s culture, and the centennial celebrations are the perfect time for Lithuania to show herself to the world. Lithuania is a high-tech country known for her lasers, fintech and fast internet, so why not have an official Spotify account and showcase Lithuania’s music too? The “Lithuania 100” playlist is a great introduction to Lithuanian creativity and diversity, taking you on a journey from 1918 to the present day.”
The list features compositions by Čiurlonis, Lithuania’s most famous composer, alongside Jewish musicians from the jazzy interwar period, folk artists recreating timeless melodies, rock and punk from the rebellious years of independence from the Soviet Union, pop from every era, and cutting-edge electronic music from the most innovative young musicians. The playlist ends with “Lietuvos istorijos repas” (Lithuanian History Rap), a smash hit by hip-hop and spoken-word artist Šventinis Bankuchenas. The video on Youtube has over four million views and shows cartoon versions of all the most important figures from Lithuanian history dancing and skateboarding.
The task of condensing a hundred years of culture into one playlist was not easy. Many old recordings have been lost or weren’t available on Spotify, and the owners had to be tracked down. Some of the artists are now streaming on Spotify for the first time thanks to the Lithuania 100 playlist.
“We included a lot of exciting new young talents in as many genres as possible, along with classic songs from the last 100 years”, says Mark. “We uncovered many aspects of Lithuanian culture that were pleasantly surprising, and we have no doubt that people all over the world will enjoy discovering Lithuania together with us.”
The project was completed with the help of Music Export Fund’s Andrius Vaškevičius, the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture and AGATA, the Lithuanian Neighbouring Rights Association.