“Sünnisõnad” (Birthing Words) is Peeter Jalakas’s multifarious work to Veljo Tormis’s music. It would be unjust to define it as just a musical production, as there is so much more at play, some of which can be challenging to put into words.
In tall grass, at great ease, a tiny man
listens to the time flow, eyes glued to the clouds.
The reoccurring elements of the production are birth, life and death in a wider extent. The performance is technically immensely complex. Jalakas succeeds in not only lighting up the narrative but the entire hall. The texts, the music, the actors, the visuals, the 80-member choir on the balconies, the creatures – alternating between moving gracefully and grotesquely – created a new, extraordinary world to the Noblessner foundry. The stage decor was outstanding. With the lake built into the foundry, the stunning choreography and the surreal work of the video artists, a superb spectacle was crafted. Of course, the brilliant makeup artists and lighting designers have to be credited for the remarkable scene as well.
Lembitu spoke:
“Beautiful is life, beautiful is the man! Beautiful are the youth’s ascending dreams, noble the man’s manly thoughts, sweet the elder’s memories.”

There’s a fair contrast between delicacy and intensity throughout the production. The dim and elevating female vocals and the choir’s powerful sound came together in an eerie harmony. The shamanic instruments and mythological texts along with the immensely refined and thought-out visual aspect took the production to an utterly magical state. The musical design was astounding. A contrast was also embroidered in the stage aesthetic: graceful beauty trading places with grotesque, even scary elements. A hairy caveman and a fragile, lanky figure moving side by side were chilling. Civilization and primal were conjoined in both picture and sound.
Lembitu spoke:
“Scary is the man, ugly his passion, crude his deed. Ugly is his predator-claws, scary his bloodthirst-eyes, even scarier his dark-red- bloody heart.”

Since the production is made up by so many big and stunning elements, it is definitely worth seeing more than once. When last summer I was struck by NO99 “Pööriöö uni” (“A Midsummer Night’s Dream”), then this summer (or even half-year) I was utterly amazed by “Sünnisõnad”.
Lembitu spoke:
“Beautiful and scary is life. Beautiful and scary is the man. All that the man touches, he makes scary and beautiful. Flowers and damnation sown around him, flowers and grief are his path. Weeping as he borns, crying as he dies, through a cloudy sky the sun seldom smiles.

Translated by Emili Maiste