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ZeMe is an originative musical duo deeply inspired by the mythology of the Earth.
ZeMe is a personal story made by two exciting artists – the queen of the kokle, Laima Jansone, and Monsta, master of the turntables and electronica. Both were born in Riga, Latvia, as was ZeMe, however, it was polished and presented in Japan in 2015 and 2016 while both artists where touring and learning the art of observation.
Their melodies come from their heritage of Latvian roots music in combination with cutting-edge technologies and the competition between free improvisation and live looping. The inner meditative sounds of the kokle interacting with expressive scratching makes this duo special.
It is that moment, when a breezily flowing stream comes together with a groove as heavy as clay; that moment when two different spirits come together to express the instinct of being a part of this earth. Zeme in Latvian mythology literally signifies Mother Earth.
The kokle is a traditional Latvian stringed instrument whose 2000 year history is still a topic of discussion among philologists. Laima plays a replica of a 19th century kokle.
Latvia is the heart of the Baltic states. A country with beautiful landscapes and a complex history. A treasure trove of traditional music and ancient myths.
Monsta (Uldis Cirulis) is an electronic musician, scratch DJ, turntablist and producer. Monsta challenges himself to use new technology when creating live music as well as in recordings. He has collaborated in several projects with Latvia’s best hip hop artists and jazz musicians. Experimenting with electronics and scratch, he has participated in large-scale projects with the world renowned Latvian Radio Choir, European chamber choir Tenso and The Latvian National Symphony Orchestra. In 2016, he received 11th place in the world DMC Online Championships and in 2014, became Latvia’s “Red Bull Thre3Style” champion. His newest challenge is blending electronic sounds with Latvian traditional music, rhythms and old values. Currently performs with folk groups and Latvian traditional instrument kokle virtuoso Laima Jansone.
Laima Jansone is a virtuoso of the kokle, a traditional Latvian instrument. Improvisation is an important part of her performance style, with a musical interaction between the meditative and impulsive; the ancient and contemporary. Laima Jansone started her professional career as a musician and a composer in 2011 by releasing her first solo CD, Sidrabs. In 2014, she was nominated for the Great Music Award of Latvia for her work in starting a new movement of kokle players. She has expanded kokle playing techniques and has also embraced genres such as ethno jazz, ambient and classical music. She has brought her performances to the public at the largest concert halls in Latvia as well as in Italy, Belgium, Australia, Norway, Germany, Japan, USA, etc.