Talks | Tallinn Music Week
2-8 April 2018 – Tallinn, Estonia


The public free TMW Talks program weaves together the most urgent discussions in music, identity and culture from queer transcendence and environmental myths to binge-watching as the new rock’n’roll. Musicians share bad practices and debate healthier industry goals in a candid discussion of mental and physical health and wellbeing while mayors come together to explore urban innovation.

After a hiatus, the TMW Check My Demo jukebox jury is back bigger and better than ever. For a chance to get feedback on your track, place it in the box at Biit Me before Friday. TMW Talks take place from Monday to Friday 17.00 at the TMW pop-up restaurant, 18.30 at Biit Me Record Store and at Must Puudel from Tuesday to Thursday at 16.00.


Monday, April 2

Monday, April 2 17.00
TMW pop-up bar (Pärnu mnt 6)
Smells like internet: creating and  consuming videos as the new rock’n’roll #greatestcourage
+18.00 YouTube freakshow

The audiovisual riches of the internet reflect mankind’s sense of humor and lust for entertainment. They also tap into our fears, needs and aspirations. We all have the opportunity to be not only consumers but creators of this vast virtual culture. Yet, even the seemingly democratic platforms are governed by purist sentiment and capitalizable success is hard to come by. With the rise of cryptocurrencies the internet has literally been transformed into a money making machine. Are our pillars of identity held captive by new modes of space and time interacting? What role does individual human agency play in weaving the shared fabric of the internet? And most importantly – why are cat videos still a thing? The talk is followed by a YouTube freakshow session.

Moderator: Maarja Merivoo-Parro, executive editor of Radio 2
Siim Nestor, culture editor at Eesti Ekspress
Liisi Laineste, senior researcher at Estonian Literary Museum
Martti Hallik, youtuber
Rasmus Merivoo, independent film director)
Mikk-Mait Kivi, visual artist at Von Krahl theatre


Monday, April 2 18.30
Biit Me Record Store (Viru 3–5)
On the corner of Passion and Vinyl

Artists around the world value the unique culture of the record store, where informed staff and inquisitive customers engage with their music. The vinyl resurgence is still going strong. The same cannot be said about the record store. Online shops, apps and services seek to provide the product that music fans crave. Do they also provide the conversation? Is this even relevant? The people intimately familiar with the intricacies of running a record store in the Baltics share and debate.

Moderator: Sander Varusk (EE), manager of Terminal record store, Tallinn
Madis Nestor (EE), owner of Biit Me record store, Tallinn
Mareks Ameriks (LV), owner of Jersika Records, co-founder of Riga Vinyl Day
Arnas Gataveckas (LT), owner of record store and label Discotag, Vilnius
Rainer Rob Sirel (EE), owner of Gramophonetree Records, Tartu
Anu Varusk (EE), Marketing Manager Baltics at Warner Music Group


Tuesday, April 3

Tuesday, April 3 16.00
Must Puudel (Müürivahe 20)
Youth Talks: “We don’t need no education!”

Estonia just celebrated its centennial. But what would/should our education system look like after another hundred years have gone by? Who are the real deciders when it comes to education, how does the teacher-student dynamic look like and will we still need papers and pens or will it all be digital? People with a stake in today’s education discuss solutions to tomorrow’s problems.

Moderator: Marcus Ehasoo, Vice Chairman of School Student Councils Union
Astrid Sildnik, Member of the board at the Estonian Association of Teachers
Grete Elmi, project manager at Universal Music Baltics
Priit Kruus, lecturer at Tallinn University

Märt Sults, Member of the Parliament, former Headmaster

Tuesday, April 3 17.00
TMW pop-up bar (Pärnu mnt 6)
50 shades of green: busting environmental myths

We feel compelled to be environmentally conscious and choose products and activities that we feel don’t put an unreasonable strain on nature. How often does it happen that whilst striving for the good we end up doing bad? Scientists and activists reveal environmental myths surrounding us and give advice on how to be truly “green”.

Moderator: Arko Olesk, expert on science communication
Dr. Aveliina Helm, botanist, Tartu University senior researcher
Dr. Mihkel Kangur, ecologist, Tallinn University docent
Dr. Grete Arro, psychologist, Tallinn University researcher

Tuesday, April 3 18.00
Puänt Raamatupood (Pärnu mnt 4)
Estonian Refugee Council presents: Human Library “Let’s Meet!”

What would you ask an immigrant or a person fleeing war? The Living Library works just like a normal library: Browse the catalogue for the available titles, choose the Book you want to read, and have a conversation with the Book. The Books are volunteers who have agreed to share their experiences on immigration, asylum-seeking and their countries of origin. A 15 minute personal conversation gives the reader new perspective and understanding of the themes.

A face-to-face conversation with a “Book” challenges stereotypes and helps to overcome prejudices. The aim is to build positive dialogue between people who normally would not have the opportunity to talk to each other.

Human Library is part of “Let’s Meet!” project. It is financed by Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund, The Ministry of the Interior of Estonia.
The Living Library event is part of ‘Let’s Meet!’ (“Saame tuttavaks!”) project. The project is co-financed by the EU Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) and the Ministry of the Interior of Estonia.

Tuesday, April 3 18.30
Biit Me Record Store (Viru 3–5)
Podcast versus broadcast
+19.30 Public recording: Popkulturistid (Raadio 2)

The digital turn has democratized radio – anybody can publish their own talk show or DJ-set and formerly coveted radio host positions have lost some of their appeal. Why bother with office politics and a boss, when the freedom of literally running the whole show is at your fingertips? The wide selection of internet-based audio content available has changed the way people listen and radios have reacted by podcasting their programs and making everything available 24/7. Despite the overlap in means and ends, broadcast and podcast are still negotiating terms of coexistence. A panel of radio and podcast personalities battle it out!
The talk is followed by a public recording of “Popkulturistid” – Jim Ashilevi and Ivo Krustok’s show which started as a podcast, but recently transitioned into the world of broadcast.

Moderator: Ingrid Peek (EE), Head of Programme at Vikerraadio
Jakob Rosin (EE), podcast enthusiast and radio personality
Abbie Gobeli (US), radio host at KEXP, Seattle
Ari Matti Mustonen (EE), podcast personality and stand-up comic


Wednesday, April 4

Wednesday, April 4 16.00
Must Puudel (Müürivahe 20)
Youth Film and Talks: “City is ours!”

There is a general consensus that urban environments need to be functional and serve the needs of the people. There is a wider variety of opinion regarding how this should be done. The topics of street sport, historic environments, bike paths, parking spaces and public transport are mashed together in a daring discussion which invites everyone to have their say.

Keerdtrepp, YouTuber
Tõnis Savi, architect, initiator of Tallinn Bicycle Week

Züleyxa Izmailova, Deputy Mayor of Tallinn

Wednesday, April 4 17.00
TMW pop-up bar (Pärnu mnt 6)
European Capital of Culture 2024 – culture as the biggest driver of city development

In 2024 one Estonian town can serve as the European Capital of Culture. As the deadline for applications draws close two major contenders are Tartu, representing the cradle of Estonian national culture, and Narva, representing the aspiration of an integrated Estonia. Both boast a rich past, fascinating present and hopeful future and are in the center of several major industrial debates. Local thinkers share the stage to debate about the means and ends of the European Capital of Culture and urban renewal.

Moderator: Maris Hellrand (media expert)
Berk Vaher, Chairman of Tartu Department at Estonian Writer’s Union
Jüri Nikolajev, Narva correspondent at  Estonian Public Broadcasting
Linda Lainvoo, Inspector-General of Art Monuments at Estonian National Heritage Board
Ahto Külvet, cultural figure and owner of Psühhoteek record store


Wednesday, April 4 18.30
Biit Me Record Store (Viru 3–5)
The wealth in health, or how to avoid the 27 club

The expectation of a 24/7 artistic presence combined with an excess of stimuli and a culture celebrating a permanent state of flow can lead to a chasm between the soul and body. Musicians share bad practices and debate healthier industry goals in a candid discussion of mental and physical health and wellbeing.

Moderator: Ralf Sauter, film critic and blogger
Panelists: Maria Faust, saxophonist and composer
Taavi Tulev, musician and soundscape designer


Thursday, April 5

Thursday, April 5 16.00
Must Puudel (Müürivahe 20)
Bazar presents: Attention, the doors are opening! #greatestcourage

Is there a language barrier in the internet or do Estonian speaking youth mix and mingle freely with their Russian speaking peers? Are there discernible differences between how Estonian and Russian speaking youth engage with social media? How can youth play a part in promoting tolerance not only in the internet, but in real life? Is there a distinction?

Valeria Lavrova, organizer of Bazar Talks
Aleksandr Žemžurov, host at Estonian Television and Raadio 4
Victoria Villig, YouTuber
Aleks Sakson, musician
Rita Rätsepp, psychologist

Eva Lennuk, graduate student of Narva Estonian Gymnasium)

Thursday, April 5 17.00
TMW pop-up bar (Pärnu mnt 6)
Mayors’ debate: European Capital of Culture 2024, Estonia’s turn to host

In 2024 one of Estonian cities will be the European Capital of Culture. So far Tartu and Narva have announced their candidacy. Mayors of four Estonian cities will discuss the challenges and expectations of the title, the competition and preparations.

Moderator: Maris Hellrand (Head of International Communications at ECoC Tallinn 2011)
Urmas Klaas, Mayor of Tartu
Tarmo Tammiste, Mayor of Narva
Marko Torm, Mayor of Rakvere
Jaanus Rohumaa, Tallinn 2011 programme manager, EV100 Head of Management Team

Thursday, April 5 18.30
Biit Me Record Store (Viru 3–5)
Queer sensibilities mediating change

We are living in the advent of global recognition for the non-binary nature of sexual identity and the formerly othered categories of LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual and other) are gaining traction as valid representations of people’s lived experiences. With this, new sensibilities are manifested in arts, music and culture in general. Is it a simple process of claiming landscapes, or does the othering continue in a different form? Are queer identity markers assimilated by dominant power structures and thus in peril of becoming mere tokens?

Moderator: Steph Kretowicz (UK/US), writer and journalist

Maria Minerva (EE/US), musician producer and activist
Rene Köster (EE), queer artist and producer
Dr. Brigitta Davidjants, lecturer and musician
Bart Pushaw (US), art historian


Friday, April 6

Friday, April 6 14.00
Biit Me Record Store (Viru 3–5)
Music Council special edition: TMW Jukebox Jury

After a hiatus the TMW Check My Demo jukebox jury is back bigger and better than ever. Legendary tastemaker Raul Saaremets hosts an international panel of journalists, producers and DJs for a two hour session broadcast live on Radio 2. For a chance to get feedback on your track, place it in the box at Biit Me before Friday.

Moderator: Raul Saaremets, DJ and senior editor of Radio 2
Abbie Gobeli (US), DJ at KEXP
Siim Nestor (EE), culture editor at Eesti Ekspress
John Rogers (IS), Managing Editor of The Reykjavík Grapevine
Cai Trefor (UK), editor at Gigwise
Lauren Down (UK), The Line of Best Fit


Friday, April 6 17.00
TMW pop-up bar (Pärnu mnt 6)
The new glocal cool

While the media is still on the lookout for new musical acts to define the formerly exotic “Wild East”, the coming generation of artists don’t see an association with a fixed regional identity as a concern. Rather they display a global consciousness while at the same time maintaining an unapologetic, individual connection to wherever –  or whatever –  constitutes home. A panel of movers and shakers from the Baltics to the Balkans come together to deliberate whether the current generation has finally succeeded in thinking outside the “regional box”, or if the box actually exists anymore.

Moderator: Richard Foster (UK/NL), Louder than War, The Quietus

Ingrid Kohtla (EE), Head of Communications and Strategy at Tallinn Music Week
Stepan Kazaryan (RU), CEO at Moscow Music Week and Bol Festival
Makuna Berkatsashvili (GE), (Bassiani Records)
Matjaž Manček (SI), co-founder and co-manager of MENTfestival


Friday, April 6 18.30 Biit Me Record Store (Viru 3–5)
DIY or Die: the secrets of home recording

Not long ago home recording used to be a complicated affair attempted by few. Now it has become something of an industry standard allowing artists to have a direct personal impact on the sound of their music. However, many tech-savvy creators still seem to be confused about how to best prepare their songs for the process of mixing which brings about frustration and delays. This panel will focus on what a mastering engineer needs from a demo and what a record label is looking for in a completed work in order for it to be ready for release.

Moderator: Alex Maiolo (US), Senior Contributor at Tape Op Magazine
Martin Kikas (EE), musician, producer, mixer and master, founder of Ö Stuudio
Raul Ojamaa (EE), guitarist and composer
Taavi Tulev (EE), musician and producer
Mari Randmäe (EE), sound engineer


Saturday, April 7

Saturday, April 7 15.30
Telliskivi Creative City (Telliskivi 60A)
Station Narva and Narva Art Residency present: (Street)art and culture transforming Narva

The talk will follow the opening of the mural NARcissism by Szymon Kula from Narva Art Residency at Telliskivi Creative City.

Ann Mirjam Vaikla, Director of Narva Art Residency
Ivan Sergejev, City architect of Narva
Maris Hellrand, International communications at TMW and Station Narva
Salme Kulmar, coordinator of Tartu Art Residency and activist of Rural Urban Art

Saturday, April 7 16.00
TMW pop-up bar (Pärnu mnt 6)
„Tallinn of the Future and Peatänav“


Dago Antov – Logistics Professor at Tallinn University of Technology
Endrik Mänd – Chief City Architect/Deputy Head of Department
Ants Vasar – Board Member of Viru Keskus
Indrek Peil – Architect of Peatänav, Kavakava Bureau
Sille Pihlak – Architect, Co-Founder of PART Bureau

Saturday, April 7 17.00 TMW pop-up bar (Pärnu mnt 6)

Telia and Estonian Ministry of Education and Research present: Youth Netiquette – from communications haven to cyber-bullying #greatestcourage

Almost two thousand young people pitched in to create the new youth strategy for the European Union. Among their main concerns were the need to draw more attention to treating people equally, the consequences of online activities and mental health. Telia has launched a massive campaign against cyberbullying called Greatest Courage. What are the implications? Interested parties come together to discuss.

Moderator: Ülly Enn (youth field enthusiast)

Mailis Reps (Minister of Education and Research)
Katrin Isotamm (Head of communications at Telia)
Mikk Tarros (Youth activist)
Ave-Liis Kivest (Youth activist)
Kristel Aaslaid (singer and actress)