Tu Gdzie Jestem – Here Where I am…

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Friday evening we picked up Gustav and went by car – Kuba, Aga, Gustav, Kristin and I – 300 km up to the village of Posejnele in the very north-east of Poland. That’s where Pawel (the drummer in Krusznia) has his farm. This weekend happened to be the great “All saints”-weekend and the roads were packed with cars leaving Warsaw for visiting relatives outside the city.

Finally, at one a clock in the morning we arrived and was met by a buffé of food and locally flavored vodka. The night meal was lovely and jolly, we sang and laughed and laughed and sang…

fredagsmys….in Polish…

The Saturday was dedicated to practicing for the concert and taking care of the cows. We got to see the lovely lakes and take some nice pictures.

Going for a walk
Precious…
cd-cover?
Kristin och Gustav
Kuba and Pawel (the man with the two hearts and four lakes…)

Late afternoon we all left for Raczki, 60 km away, where the launch of the film “Tu Gdzie Jestem” (Here where I am)  would take place. Last summer Kuba Pietrzak produced a film together with six teenagers about their lives and dreams in Suwalki. And we – Kristin, Gustav and I – had the honor to have a concert after the show. And we were warmed both by the overcrowded room in the culture center as well as the appreciative audience!

Preparing for the film show
Excited audience…
polska-oberek-time

The night was full of jamming of Swedish and Polish music and we did all thank the higher powers for the extra hour of sleep given by the transition to winter time…

minor-tune?

The Raczki youth did not only surprise us with great service, but also with a disco party at 9 o’clock in the morning and some interesting background music for us when leaving for Warsaw. Singing, drums and hand claps followed us all the way into the bathroom (!) and out to the car. It felt as if we were part of the movie Black Cat, White Cat… We love you all!

We also managed to find time to plan for the future. Hopefully, if all funding will be cleared we will have three youth teams meeting in the spring in Blekinge!

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Growing south….

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Finally we are growing southward! This week we are on a planning tour to Poland to, to meet all our new friends (and friends of friends). The first two night were spent with Miki Wielecki, who is a percussionist specialized in Latin-american tradition. During the Kuba Pietrzak, a member of Krusznia, guided us around the amazing city of Warszawa.

Wednesday night Miki guided us into the Warsaw club life. Unfortunately, the expression “lille-lördag” does not exist in Poland, so the action was slow, but we finally ended up at the Culture Center chatting and drinking cider.

Dinner at Miki’s

Thursday night we spent at the club W oparach absurdu at a folk music jam sessison together with Kuba, Aga Sroczynska and Miki. We met a truly amazing double bass player, Lukasz, and played one tune even more assymetrical than the other.

jamming in the club

Friday we got the chance to meet two new friends of friends. First we had an interesting  skype-meeting  with Janusz Prusinowski, and an hour later we had coffee with his band-collegue Piotr Piszczatowski. We talked about how to bring folk music to the next level in society. Brilliant!

Astrid convincing Piotr about our brilliant ideas….

Then, of course we had to see the Chopin-monumentet and stroll in the park, where the squirrels were strangely tame…

is it alive or just a decoration…?
Wonder if it understands malungsmål?
hmm…swedes or…?
She smells good…?
SHIT! He jumped up on my leg!!

Now we’re waiting for our bandmate Gustav to arrive so we all can travel up to Suwalki, meet the Krusznia and finally play at Tu Gdzie Jestem – Raczki.

Skåne-tour…

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Yesterday was finally spent on the road again. The weather was fine and it was nice to enter the car at 6.a.m. filled with expectations, laughter and songs.

Our first stop was Österlens Folkhögskola in Tomelilla, in Skåne. We spent a few hours listening to (and of course playing with) Rasmus’ folk music class*. They were rehearsing for today’s concert – good luck!

Rasmus playing the mandoline (oops, we only got half of Reine, so you have to imagine the other half…)

The other mission was to meet their teacher Reine Steen, a legendary folk violin player with lots of knowledge about folk music in the Baltic Sea region. Together we discussed future plans for projects including folk music around the Baltic Sea.

The afternoon was spent in Lund and Skånes Musiksamlingar/Folklivsarkivet, where we met an extremely dedicated archivist, Patrik Sandgren, who promised to help us with future work. To open the sound- and textfiles felt like opening a box of chocolate, so after a few hours work we just had to crush down at a nice café…

multimedia….?

High on sugar we then went to Gustav’s place. The three of us are giving a concert in Poland next week – a perfect excuse to meet and play together!

Kristin and Gustav discussing next weekend’s program

* Rasmus is one of our young participants in the project Baltic Sea Inter Cult

Performance and forests…

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The best way to perform folkmusic is to have the opportunity to bring it back to a place and an environment where it once used to exist.

Today we were a part of the opening of an Eco-park in the forests on the border of Skåne and Blekinge, by the lake Raslången. Vast forests of beech trees, those enormous trees that create an open and bright forest that seems to amaze every time you see it. And although the weather was windy and wet it was a nice day.

Last week we visited, together with some of the participants of the project Baltic Sea Inter Cult, the archive DAL (Dialekt- and ortsnamnarkivet) and listened to old recordings of calling and herding in these same forests. “Valla på skog” (herding in the forest) seemed to be a common expression among the informants. A practice that seems to be obvious in the northern part of Sweden, but still needs to be rediscovered here in the south.

And today we had the opportunity to bring the cultural sound of the forest back in its original place. It was the forest company Sveaskog, that hired us to bring a cultural and historical perspective to the opening, as well as setting an atmosphere.

We played tunes and sang songs from Skåne, Blekinge and Småland. And in between the different stations we did some office work in the car…

Moveable office…

And we’re off!!

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Thinking, planning and discussing has been going on for a while…but now we can actually say that we are up in the air! We have a blog and soon it will be connected to our new website  www.folkpractice.com.

This blog will be part of an awesome place – a center for folk practice discussions around the Baltic Sea. Folk music practice in action, in use, now and in the past.

Lat Wednesday and Thursday “the Operating Office” – i.e. Astrid and Kristin (so far…) – spent two days pulling everything together. First a day at Musik i Blekinge and the Litorina Folk High School presenting the Baltic Sea Inter Cult project. And then we tucked ourselves into a cabin by the sea to allow energy and thoughts to run freely.

Look out for more information…