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NSRD

From Unearthing The Music

NSRD live. Photo: Unknown

NSRD or "Nebijušu Sajūtu Restaurēšanas Darbnīca" (Restoration Workshop of Unfelt Feelings) was a Latvian electronic group formed in 1982 by multimedia artists Hardijs Lediņš (b. 1955 – d. 2004) and Juris Boiko (b. 1954 – d. 2002).

NSRD live. Photo: Unknown

In 1977-78 Lediņš and Boiko had already collaborated by writing an absurd novel entitled "ZUN" (the only art samizdat in Soviet Latvia). An architect by training, Lediņš was also a theorist, penning a number of essays criticising the alienating effects of modernism in architecture and urban planning. As the group’s name suggests, NSRD sought to stimulate feelings which had been deadened by the restrictions of Soviet life. New wave pioneers, Lediņš and Boiko brought a highly eccentric and conceptual approach to NSRD’s recordings, performances and video projects. Lediņš began his creative career organizing what he called ‘Disco Lectures’ mixing music and philosophy at the Students’ Club of the Polytechnical Institute in a disused Anglican church in Riga in the mid 1970s. He also organised a Festival of Avant-Garde Music in 1976 and 1977 with Boriss Avramecs where avant-garde music (Riley, Cage, etc.) and new sacred compositions (Martynov, Pärt, etc.) were performed. Directors of the students’ club were dismissed after the second festival, accused of promoting religious propaganda.

NSRD. Still from »Pavasara tecila« (Spring Grindstone, 1987)
NSRD, album »Kuncendorfs un Osendovskis« 1984 (cover design)

In 1977 Lediņš also created his own record label, Seque, producing one-off magnetic tape albums with hand-made covers in English. The first was of a recording of a performance on a prepared piano. This improvised approach to creativity continued throughout the activities of NSRD, even when it had access to synths and other relatively sophisticated equipment in the late 1980s. With a changing line-up, NSRD drew on other musicians, designers and actors. Performances like Dr Enesera binokulāro deju kursi (Dr Eneser’s Binocular Dance Courses) at the Salaspils Botanical Gardens (1987) involved elaborate costumes, and biomechanical approaches to movement and dance. Nevertheless, the group’s music maintained a kind of sparse character, eschewing the emotional clichés and overblown formulas of rock music.

Discography

  • Invalīdu Tramvajs - Seque - 1983
  • NSRD - Medicīna Un Māksla - Seque - 1985
  • NSRD - Kuncendorfs Un Osendovskis - Seque - 1985
  • NSRD - Faktu Vispār Nav - Seque BD.13 - 1987
  • NSRD - Bānūžu sesija - Seque - 1987
  • NSRD - Dr. Enesera Binokulāro - Seque - 1987
  • NSRD - 30/15 - Seque - 1988
  • NSRD - Neskaties - Seque - 1988
  • NSRD - Ieva Akurātere un NSR Darbnīca - Aproximate Art Agency - 1989
  • NSRD - Instrumentālas versijas 1981-1989 - Seque - 1989
  • NSRD - Skaties Vai Neskaties - Aproximate Art Agency - 1989
  • NSRD - Fakti - Aproximate Art Agency - 1989
  • NSRD - Sarkanie Rakordi - Aproximate Art Agency - 1989
  • NSRD - Dziesmas Neuzrakstītai Lugai - Idea Media Baltija - 2006

Videography

  • Cilvēks dzīvojamā vidē (1986)
  • Transwelt/Transzeit (1986)
  • Aisberga ilgas/Vulkāna sapņi (1986)
  • Pavasara tecīla (1987)
  • Dr. Enesera binokulāro deju kursi (1987)
  • Gājiens uz Bolderāju (1987/1991)
  • Pavasara sekvences (1988/1991)
  • Garie acumirkļi (1989)
  • Ābeļziedi (V.Poikāns, M.Ķimele, Māris Martinsons) (1989)
  • La Dance Binoculaire de Paris (Parīzes binokulārā deja) (1990)
  • Zelta kurpīte (Krupis Baravika) (1991)
  • Atvadas no impērijas (Krupis Baravika) (1996)
  • Ko lai es tagad daru? (videoinstalācija) (2003)

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Avant-garde Trends in Latvian Music, 1970s–1990s