Kulgrinda_photo Vytautas Daraškevičius

More than just a regular musical ensemble, the ritual folklore group Kūlgrinda, led by the krivė (high priestess) Inija Trinkūnienė, is the axis of the ancient Baltic religion community in Lithuania. Traditional seasonal celebrations and rites dedicated to the old Lithuanian gods of thunder, fire, soil, and other elements of nature rarely take place without the members of Kūlgrinda, dressed in reconstructed medieval Baltic clothing, standing around the stone altar with sacred fire, chanting hymns and singing sutartinės befitting the occasion. Their singing and ritual acts are usually accompanied by very minimal archaic instrumentation such as drums and bagpipes, and the entire sight and sound sends shivers down the spine, obliterating the borders between epochs. This is the most profound possible insight into ancient Baltic culture and music which, albeit inevitably partly reconstructed, still feels irresistibly authentic and true to the spirit of the place. Yet, far from being ritual folk fundamentalists, Kūlgrinda do not object to their music being presented to new audiences in augmented form, and their frequent collaborators from the electronic post-folk scene like Donis know how to do that.
Stream/download this: Bėk bėk, bareli (with Donis)