Robert Jürjendal


Robert Jürjendal (1966) studied classic guitar at Georg Ots Tallinn Music School. He also studied composition in same school with Anti Marguste (1931), composer, whose music primarily emanates from Estonian old folk song (regilaul) and who has derived new development methods and emotional nuances from the laconic pattern of Estonian traditional music.
Starting 1992 Robert Jürjendal took part at 3 series of Guitar Craft, guitar and personal development classes, founded by Robert Fripp, who is best known for his work with King Crimson. Later on he was touring in Germany with The Berlin Guitar Ensemble.

Main activities:

Weekend Guitar Trio was formed in 1993 after Robert Jürjendal’s participation at a Guitar Craft Course in Germany. It consists of Robert Jürjendal, Tõnis Leemets and Mart Soo, with backgrounds in classical guitar/Guitar Craft method, electronic music, and jazz/free improvisation, respectively. They have performed at countless jazz festivals all over Europe, had compositions written specially for them by Estonian and German composers, and presented their own compositions at contemporary music festivals.WGT won first prize at Lausanne International Guitar festival (1995).
WGT has released 6 albums under their own name and is featured on many more. The Estonian Radio and the Estonian National TV have produced programs about them and their music has also been on air on BBC 3 and numerous other European radio stations.
The trio has collaborated with top Estonian and British DJ-s, players of traditional instruments (kannel and bagpipe), choirs (from the Gregorian chant ensemble Vox Clamantis to the Estonian National Male Choir), and many improvising musicians like Jan Bang (live sampling), Brian Melvin (percussion), Markus Reuter (touch guitar), David Rothenberg (clarinet) and Toyah Willcox (vocals). After their concert at the 2011 Punkt festival in Tallinn, their music was instantly “remixed” by Erik Honoré, Eivind Aarset and Arve Henriksen.

Trio Fragile was formed in 1997 as a performance project together with duo Fragile (Robert Jürjendal/Arvo Urb) and an artist Tõnu Talve. The aim of this collaboration was the show in real time with improvisational music and painting.
Fragile has performed in Estonia, Portugal and Udmurtia and played/recorded together with Evelin Saul, Riho Sibul, Tõnis Leemets, Lotte Jürjendal, David Rothenberg, Tarvi Laaman and Nadia Utkina. Fragile has released 4 CD-s.

UMA - duo formed with Aleksei Saks in 2007.

Various collaborations:

Quartet to the End of Time (Modus Novus) (2012): “The group, made up of four guitarists, took its name from Olivier Messiaen’s famous composition and was formed in the year of his hundredth birthday. However, there is no claim made to be related to him or his music in any way.” – Markus Reuter. The guitarists: Robert Jürjendal, Tõnis Leemets, Markus Reuter, Mart Soo.

Three Corners Of The World (2007) is an improvisational music project by Robert Jürjendal (guitar, electronics), David Rothenberg (clarinet, voice, computer) and Petri Kuljuntausta (live samplings, electronics).

This Fragile Moment (2009) is an eclectic musical assemblage fronted by the charismatic English vocalist Toyah Wilcox.
Predominantly improvised live-in-the-studio performances by Toyah, bassist Chris Wong (of Toyah’s other current project The Humans), producer & touch guitarist Markus Reuter, plus the members of Estonian duo Fragile: Arvo Urb (drums) and Robert Jürjendal (guitar).

Suurõ’ Pilvõ’(Big Clouds)(2009) are: Celia Roose – voice, harmonica, bagpipe, norwegian flute; Tuule Kann – voice, estonian zithers, jewsh harph; Robert Jürjendal – guitar, live electronics. Estonian folk/ambient trio Suurõ Pilvõ was formed originally in 1997. They have been focused on estonian old traditional folk songs and instrumental music combined with guitar and live electronics, soundscapes.

Collaborations with Estonian musicians: Tõnis Mägi, Riho Sibul , Kärt Johanson, Henn Rebane, Siiri Sisask, Jaak Tuksam, Jaak Johanson, Taavi Kerikmäe, Henri Laks, Alari Piispea.

Compositions and commissioned works: Robert Jürjendal has written for guitars, string quartet, cembalo duo, recorders, various chamber ensembles and choirs.

Music for documentaries:
“Sundasunik” dir. Rein Maran
“Rannaniitude laulud” dir. Ago Ruus
“Black With Red” and “Lanswood Gardens” dir. Pawel Kuczynski (Poland)
“The Measure of Man” dir. Marianne Kõrver

Music for film:
“Teispool vihma“ dir. Margus Paju
“Igatsus” dir. Steve Cute (USA)

Music for theatre play:
“Elvis oli kapis“ dir. Aare Toikka
“Kähku igavikku” and ”Lahuselu“ prod. Roman Baskin

Robert Jürjendal has appeared on more than 30 records and performed on festivals in USA, UK, Germany, France, Finland, Sweden, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania and Russia.
He is a lecturer in guitar and improvisation at Tartu University’s Viljandi Cultural Academy and Estonian Academy Of Music And Theatre.