My Personal Rhapsody / Grinding Shit with Saulius Spindi

My Personal Rhapsody is an intimate voyage to different galaxies representing lives of people who dared to step beyond their personal boundaries. By hearing their stories I do not aim to engage in a formal interview. What I look for is a free exchange between two people without pre-prepared questions. Listening to people’s stories and feeling them inspires me to rewrite their story in a magical, surrealist manner. I believe that each talk or discussion with another person is a two way communication, even if one of the persons chooses to remain silent. The reader is invited to see the story as a totality – energy shared by people exchanging words, motion, touch, breath, heartbeat.

17 May, 2019

by MY PERSONAL RHAPSODY

illustrations by GODA PELE


In one of the pine forests near Vilnius Saulius was sitting in a cross-legged position under a tree and was meditating. He had a medium size pot full of green tea with herbs in front of him. This is the position he used to take in order to connect with nature, the cosmos, embrace symbols and keys, which open up gates to inspiration and allow to create music. “Nature, he used to say, is like an endless, inexhaustible cosmos, which affects us consciously and subconsciously.”

It took a while until Saulius came back from his meditative phase and calmly answered stranger’s question. “I am grinding shit. I’ve been doing this for a while.

Although his eyes were closed, he felt someone coming from the back. Slow steps were silently approaching him while fallen cones and grass foretold an unknown bearded creature crossing Saulius’ path. “What are you doing here, my friend? Are you lost in the woods? I live just nearby, but it’s the first time I see you here… what’s in that pot? How come have you...?” It took a while until Saulius came back from his meditative phase and calmly answered stranger’s question. “I am grinding shit. I’ve been doing this for a while.” The stranger looked puzzled ‘what does that exactly mean? Does he really have shit in that pot? How does he grind it? And how come does it help?’ “Wait, what? Shit?” asked the stranger.

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“Yes, shit, Sir. I bet you are not a local. Shit-grinding is something all Lithuanians know very well. It’s a metaphor to the time you take to do nothing.

“Yes, shit, Sir. I bet you are not a local. Shit-grinding is something all Lithuanians know very well. It’s a metaphor to the time you take to do nothing. You can spend as much time as you want shit-grinding, hours, days, weeks…” Saulius paused and thoughtfully looked up to the sky. “Grinding shit helps to process your thoughts, meditate on them and prepare your body and mind for a new upcoming adventure. Would you care to join me?”, asked Saulius. The bearded stranger paused for a second and sat next to Saulius in a cross-legged position, tasted some of the green tea straight out of the pot and closed his eyes to nature’s infinity. 

Saulius saw an alternative way of accessing the symbols of folklore. That was the moment when Saulius knew he would incorporate folklore sounds into his own music.

At that moment Saulius recalled silently in his own head Lithuanian midsummer celebration on the Saint John’s Day. He remembered it very well, because Lithuanians sang folklore songs on Saint John’s. Saulius deeply hated folklore music. At some point, he even turned electronic music on to silence folklore singers. After a few unsuccessful attempts, Saulius locked himself indoors and started working on his music. Midnight had come. Saulius started hearing odd sounds and words outside, seeing people dancing and clapping, singing unheard melodies, chattering and jumping over the fire pit. He felt as if he had been in a mystical place at a different time. His friends were wearing masks, dancing to folklore music in untraditional ways, singing folklore songs the way they wanted, and not the way traditional songs supposed to sound. Saulius saw an alternative way of accessing the symbols of folklore. That was the moment when Saulius knew he would incorporate folklore sounds into his own music.   

It all seemed surreal. None of them exchanged words. They immersed themselves in music, which shared its energy with the listeners, transferred information of voice, overtones, experience, intuition, vibration. 

As his mind was rushing through memories, Saulius took his time to recollect something that happened 5 years ago. Saulius was shit-grinding with a friend John after shooting a psychedelic video clip about Lithuanian storks. After a few hours of enjoying peace, they decided to follow a path into a deep forest. They walked in silence until Saulius spotted a hidden hut. The totality of dark green trees, evening sky and cosmos fascinated Saulius. Coming closer to the hut they saw a light on and an old woman sitting by the window. Suddenly, they heard sounds of an Indian horn somewhere nearby. They silently knocked on the door and waited patiently. The woman named Angela invited them in with a gesture. Both friends sat down and observed the women putting an old vinyl record on. The old Lithuanian folklore music started playing. Being deeply touched by the singer’s voice Saulius immediately asked: “Who is the author of the song?” The old lady took her time to reply “Zalanskas… Peter Zalanskas, the king of Lithuanian folklore.” The vinyl was playing Indian horn sounds and the voice of Zalanskas was soothing the three listeners. It all seemed surreal. None of them exchanged words. They immersed themselves in music, which shared its energy with the listeners, transferred information of voice, overtones, experience, intuition, vibration. 

Coming back from his memories, Saulius opened his eyes. He looked at his new acquaintance, and the bearded stranger spoke with his eyes closed as if he was still listening to the music in Saulius memories “Zalanskas was my father...”

You can also meet Saulius and find more about his music here.

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