Liudas Mockūnas (b. 1976) is an expressive and skilful multi-reeds player, a performer of jazz, improvisation and contemporary academic music, and a composer. In exploring the nature of sound and the possibilities of overtones, he has created an individual musical language, enriched with microtonal techniques and expressive sound releases, which he utilises to create emotionally intense musical pictures. His compositions are also defined by their richness of sound, in which the border between jazz and contemporary academic music is dissolved.
Mockūnas has an academic background in both jazz and Classical music. He was probably the first Lithuanian jazz musician to study jazz abroad. After graduating from the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, he studied at the Rhythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen.
This saxophonist has considerable stage experience. Having begun to play jazz at the age of eight, he first appeared on the jazz stage in 1988 with Vladimir Chekasin’s student jazz ensemble. He has performed regularly at jazz festivals since he was 15, and has led ensembles since 1996. After starting to study in Copenhagen in 1999, Mockūnas began to perform in international bands, first with Stefan Pasborg (their album Toxicum won the Danish Music Award in 2004 as Jazz Discovery of the Year), and later with Marc Ducret, David Murray, Oliver Lake, Barry Guy, Mats Eilertsen, Jaak Sooäär, Mikko Innanen, Jeff Arnal, Dietrich Eichmann, Scott Colley, Ryoji Hojito, Nasheet Waits, Mats Gustafson, Chris Speed, Mike Svoboda and Andrew Hill, the Red Planet Copenhagen Art Ensemble, the New Jungle Orchestra, and many others.
Apart from jazz, Liudas Mockūnas also plays contemporary Classical music, collaborates with the pianist Petras Geniušas and the Chordos string quartet, teaches at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, and composes music for film and theatre. In 2017, he released a solo album, rarely found in saxophonists’ discographies, entitled Hydro.
In 2011, he was awarded a Golden Cross of the Stage for the music he wrote for Artūras Areima’s theatre production Prakektieji (The Cursed, OKT theatre). Mockūnas also received the Vilnius Jazz Award for his contribution to Lithuanian jazz culture (2006), the Birštonas Jazz Festival Grand Prix (2008), and a Golden Disc from the Lithuanian Musicians’ Union (2009).
Stream/download this: Hydro:
Liudas Mockūnas’ albums: are available at: www.pakartot.lt/alias/liudas-mockunas