I am Araceli Tzigane. Welcome to Mapamundi Música‘s October’s newsletter.
I write you from the office now, after returning from Jeonju Int’l Sori Festival where I was with Janusz Prusinowski Kompania and Manu Sabaté and the Fira Mediterrània de Manresa, where we premiered the collaboration between Vigüela and the Valencian Josep Aparicio “Apa” and Eduard Navarro. Here below I am with my right hand, Sherezade, at our stand at Fira.
But I am already packing the woolen caps and the scarfs to head to Tampere. It’s WOMEX time! I will be pleased to meet again so many old and new friends from the world music community. Find me at Sounds from Spain.
For the meantime, enjoy these appealing contents: a mini-interview, with Bojan Djordjevic, from festival Todo Mundo (Belgrade), a deeper plunge in the European Folk Network with Nod Knowles and the usual sections of the newsletter.
If you have any suggestion of contents for the next editions, let us know. Thanks for your attention.
Araceli Tzigane – firstname.lastname@example.org +34 676 30 28 82
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· Mini interview with festival manager: Bojan Djordjevic from Todo Mundo (Belgrade, Serbia).
· Nod Knowles, administrator of the European Folk Network, explains some details in depth.
· Find me at…
CURRENT AND FUTURE CHALLENGES FOR FESTIVALS
If you haven´t read them, you can find the previous interviews clicking on the names: Michal Schmidt (Folk Holidays, CZ) – Jun-Lin Yeoh (Rainforest WMF, MY) – Luis Lles (Pirineos Sur, ES) – Amitava Bhattacharya (Sur Jahan, IN) – Nicolas Ribalet (Sukiyaki Meets the World, JP) – Sergio Zaera (Poborina Folk, ES) – Per Idar Almås (Førdefestivalen, NO) – Bożena Szota (EthnoPort, PL) – Ken Day (Urkult, SE) – Mads Olesen (5 Continents, CH) – Karolina Waszczuk & Bartek Drozd (Jagiellonian Fair, PL) – Alkis Zopoglou (Mediterranean Music Festival, GR/CH) – Tom Frouge (Globalquerque, US) – Braulio Pérez (Música en el Parque, ES)
MINI INTERVIEW WITH BOJAN DJORDJEVIC FROM
FESTIVAL TODO MUNDO
Bojan Djordjevic, together with Oliver Djordjevic, Marija Vitas and Svetlana Spajic are the board of the World Music Association Serbia, whose work of dissemination is huge and of high quality. Check their website.
Most of the festival program is our personal “taste”, but we cannot bring todo mundo to Belgrade at once. What I like is that artists are standing strong with the music they play, that one feels dedication. Mostly we do not go for highly commercial groups, as we find that already on many spots.
Even in the new world with all the media, there are things that has to be discovered and are worthwhile to be discovered.
On the other hand it is nice to know that the artists are with their feet on the ground and understanding the reality in this part of Europe.
MM – Which are the global objectives of your festival?
BD: I think that there is great music played in every corner of the world, we just have to be curious and discover it.
The festival name shows that as well – therefore music from many countries should be presented.
Of course we always wish to have focus on some region, country, instrument or style, and also to present few local artists, but apart from that we want to have not more than one group from each country. And, not to forget, sometimes is important to bring artists, who, beside the high quality have also social impact – like Vardan Hovanissian & Emre Gultekin this year, or to bring here artists from the countries that have not been presented here before, – I am sure less than 1% of people knows anything about music from Cyprus, so presenting high quality act like Monsieur Doumani was very important.
MM – What are the most complicated or difficult issues to deal with in your festival?
BD: Living in Serbia means you always have to fight with financial issues. Culture and music has been supported, but in the way, that every year one have to fight from the start and the results of supporting decisions are known late April and that is why we had to move the festival for the second half of the year.
The other issue is how to deliver our message to more people when the media are mostly going for commercial music. Few years ago media situation was different. There were more options to present this music on radio and TV programs and in the magazines, now most of them are much more into the politics, reality and sports. So, we have to find new ways to reach the people, as social media networks are not enough.
Combination of new and old approach seems like the solution at this moment.
BD: Doing festival like this is great pleasure. On the other hand, as I said, there are so many great bands that deserve to be presented here. But, we cannot have 20 concerts at the festival. Even 10 is bit too much. So, we have to keep our desires under the control 🙂
And, when we do not have as many concerts as we would love to, we have to be careful about presentation of the local world music scene.
There is lots of great music coming from Serbia nowadays, some new and young artists coming, but also we have to present some of the great and well known names.
MM – In one sentence, summarise the reason/s to go to your festival.
BD: Festival is done with great love and enthusiasm and musicians felt that and are willin’ to stay here longer. The other reason is contact with the audience – usually after the show the contact is so friendly that audience and artists are going together for a glass of wine or beer and stay into the discussion almost till the morning.
That means the atmosphere is great and you feel it from the start. Beside that we have two concerts per evening, so anyone has time to search around Belgrade and discover some secret or well known places in the friendly city.
On top of all that you can hear many great concerts at the festival where all artists are treated equally – we do not have support group nor headliners.
- Bojan at the last edition of Festival Todo Mundo, courtesy of Marija Vitas.
- Cover picture of Todo Mundo at Facebook.
EUROPEAN FOLK NETWORK IS BORN
In the previous issue of this newsletter we announced the birth of the EFN, linked its website and noted the first meeting, planned for 28 & 29 November in Brussels. Mapamundi Música is founder member and I want to encourage the community to join too.
In this occasion we have had the chance to ask Nod Knowles, the administrator of the network, some questions to get in more detail into some points. If you haven´t checked the website, I recommend you to do it before reading the interview. It is here.
Nod Knowles, former President of Europe Jazz Network, has had an international career including as Head of Music at Scottish Arts Council, CEO of Bath Festivals, one of the founding organisers of the European Folk Network (EFN) – and also of the UK/Ireland Jazz Promotion Network (JPN) and, currently, initiator and manager of an artistic exchange programme with the Netherlands.
He has held a number of advisory roles (e.g. with British Council, Arts Council Northern Ireland and Arts Council Wales) and as an independent consultant for over 40 years he has worked with a wide range of artists and organisations in research, review, policy, funding, education, project management and artistic direction.
Mapamundi Música: The EFN has been made public few weeks ago but the initial idea is much older, isn´t it? What is the background of this initiative?
Nod Knowles: The genesis of the network originated after a research project – commissioned by the Burnsong organisation in Scotland – reported on the potential for establishing a Scottish-European base for the American folk music organisation Folk Alliance. Whilst the research found that proposition was not viable, it found one of several underlying reasons for this – the surprising fact that there was no structure linking folk organisations in Europe (whereas most other aspects of music – e.g. jazz, opera – and the arts in general – had well-established, often EU-funded network structures).
That report and subsequent discussion papers and meetings on the idea of a European folk network were shared with delegates to various showcases and many European organisers were invited to informal consultations and meetings, as were officers from other UK and European agencies including British Council and Kunstenpunt (now Poppunt) from Flanders. The results of planning meetings from 2015 onwards had to be put on hold for at least two years due to purely temporary personal circumstances but in 2018 a small group took the initiative again and in early 2019 the network was formally structured and legally registered.
MM: A basic website that explains the aims and ambitions is already available but I’d like to ask you about one of the areas of activity, that I think is one of the biggest needs of our community: policy and advocacy. In previous issues of our newsletter it was mentioned the lack of representation in relevant contexts of policies. Is there already any concrete planned initiative related to this topic?
NK: The EFN will need to build up its contacts with policy makers in European countries and in pan-European agencies such as the EU. This will not happen overnight but will be the work of the next couple of years. Contact is already being made with various national and international authorities and EFN will place advocacy at the heart of future planning – its influence will strengthen as the network develops.
MM: Regarding the previous question, the EFN is registered in Brussels, I think that it is for obvious reasons of proximity with the European centers of decisions. Have you had any contact with any authority? If so, which feedback did you get?
NK: We are not yet in direct touch with EU authorities but that will be one of the key plans for the future (see the answer above).
MM: The EFN has already scheduled a meeting in Brussels for days 28 and 29 of November. Can you share with us any of the topics that will be discussed?
NK: The agenda for the conference will be shaped by the members – we are asking for suggestions and subjects but there will be plenty of opportunity to introduce subjects during the conference. Because it is a first meeting of the members, the agenda will focus on discussion of members’ priorities and realistic plans for future work
MM: Is there any profile of persons or organizations that the EFN is specially in need of?
NK: Just more members from every country in Europe – and not just EU countries but all of the continent, from Iceland to Russia to Portugal.
MM: And, finally, tell the readers why should they join the EFN.
NK: Members should look at the vision and aims of the network. By joining they contribute to the collective impact and voice of the network and can contribute to the work of the network.
The main benefits of membership are opportunities to meet, share and collaborate with others, increasing members’ own contacts, the collective influence of a strong sector, and the mobility of artists and organisers in Europe.
FIND ME AT…
- WOMEX. Tampere (Finland). 23rd – 27th October. We’ll have a table for Mapamundi Música at the booth of Sounds from Spain and a showcase by Monsieur Doumani on Thursday at 24h.
- Torres Vedras (Portugal). 8th November. Festival Accordeões do Mundo, for the concert by Janusz Prusinowski Trio focused on harmonia polska.
- Oslo (Norway). 14th-17th November, for Folkelarm.
- Israel Showcase for Jazz and Worldwide Music. 20th-23th November. I will be in Tel Aviv and available for meetings on days 18-20, before the festival.
- Brussels (Belgium). 28th-29th November, for the first meeting of the European Folk Network.
WHO WE ARE AND SISTER PROJECTS
We also offer you our Mundofonías radio show, probably the leader about world music in Spanish language (on 46 stations in 17 countries). We produce the Transglobal World Music Chart with our partner Ángel Romero from WorldMusicCentral.com. And we lead also the Asociación para la Difusión de los Estilos.