Introduction Festival “All Mazurkas of the world” 2017
We are celebrating the eighth edition of the Mazurkas of the World Festival. We come together to listen, play, sing and dance, to embrace the craftsmanship of our village Masters, to discover musical islands and continents, often submerged in the ocean of oblivion.
We meet by the Vistula river, in the heart of Warsaw, Mazovia, Poland and Europe. This is our perspective on the world: first, we hear what is close, then further away; first what concerns us personally, then what gives us a broader perspective; first we hear our native language, and after that we hear others.
This year the festival comes right after Easter, so we can – like at the first edition – begin with a celebration of “Mazurka Monday” in Bielany, uniting our body and soul, prayer and dance, Easter and spring.
Open workshops are the cornerstone of our activity: everyone interested in traditional music can learn the basics of singing, dancing and playing instruments. This year’s workshop offer is so rich that we can safely assume Warsaw has got its own University of Mazurka. We start Tuesday morning and finish Saturday afternoon – it can get intense and revolutionary.
Young musicians will contend in the Old Tradition competition. Its finale will be a full festival concert featuring 13 artists, the laureates. The (yet) unknown performers can face the festival audience, get a chance to meet each other and feel the importance of their work, which certainly is encouraging.
In terms of concerts, we are interested in three kinds of phenomena: music in local communities, forgotten music “reborn”, and the relation of Polish music to the traditions of other countries.
The concert entitled „Opoczno – the capital of oberek” presents the current image of a region which once used to burst with musical energy. The lineup features experienced musicians and innovative bands that play the guitar and drums. Music-making is planned to continue next week in Opoczno itself.
„Songs of spring, songs of summer” is a concert focused on the East. It seems that Polish Podlasie region is the gateway to another musical world, extending through Polesie all the way to Russia. The repertoire, as well as vocal manner, is archaic and common to all these regions – a true community.
The Vistula. We look at its current almost every day, but does it remind us of music? Can we imagine the melodies once resounding on the riverbanks, sung by the raftsmen at dawn? We will follow the current and go against it, searching for “The Vistula Music”: shepherds’ tunes at the mountain sources, slow kujawiak near Toruń, powiślaki and zawiślaki in the middle current, raftsmen’s dances and the songs of Warsaw suburbs. Maybe the river’s flow will carry us, enchanted?
Saturday’s Instrument Fair is a blaze of colors, sounds and personalities. We are proud to see so many instrument makers from Central Europe visiting us, and even more proud that all the pipes, harmonias, hurdy-gurdys, dulcimers, fiddles, drums, bagpipes, clay birds and other 1001 little gems find buyers and users. There is something for everyone. Apart from the stands, the Fair is also about concerts, showcases, storytelling, and Little Mazurkas – a space of musical and theatric activities dedicated to children.
There is no festival without the Dance Night. It is the climax, a wonderful night of fun lasting until daylight, where music is not only on stage, but in every corner of the hospitable venue, the Fortress. The music will be provided by the best village bands from various regions and rising stars of traditional music, guests from Russia and Scandinavia, Warsaw musicians and other surprises.
Let’s jump into the current of music and be carried away by the whirls and flows of dance!
Viva Currents, Whirls, Vistula!
and festival crew