“Sometimes our own creations surprise us,” says Inguna Rubene, flute player, guitarist, bassoonist and songwriter for 19 gadi pirms sākuma (19 Years Before the Beginning).
Created with the idea of lasting for a single performance, 19 gadi pirms sākuma developed into one of the most delicate, intriguing groups in Latvia’s 1980s and early 1990s music scene. Much like their contemporaries and collaborators NSRD, 19 gadi pirms sākuma’s music captures frustration with their own reality, and a playful drive to make up a new one.
“19 gadi pirms sākuma played a very different music from the one that was popular in Latvia and the Soviet Union then. The lyrics of our band are rich with unexpected characters and sometimes even absurd images,” says Inguna.
“It was a very exciting time; we played and improvised a lot. Every artist in 19 gadi pirms sākuma put their own sense of freedom, power and energy into the songs.”
In the years since that initial burst of life, 19 gadi pirms sākuma remained active. In 1990 their track Nakts ir mana zemapziņa was released on the Ienāc Ausīs compilation of underground Latvian music, the first record released in Latvia following its independence.