An idea and a history of the FESTIVAL SOUNDS OF THE NORTH

The Festival is prestigiousproject of the Baltic Sea Cultural Centre, the event that has a still place in the cultural calendar of Gdansk and on the folk map of Poland. It presents most outstanding artists, the representatives of musical tradition of the Baltic Sea, varied in style and interchangeably defining particular cultural idioms. In fact, renaissance of the contemporary „folk” music is closely connected with the need of finding one’s own roots, reviving of the sources and strengthening regional and national individuality. The „Northern” plot of the Festival is rare in this kind of events in Poland, what effects in original climate, which is appreciated by audience and musicians.

Festival was initiated in the 70. as a review of Cashubian folk bands, which in time widened its reach to folk bands from Northern Poland and finally – representatives of the Baltic countries. In the 90. it was entitled Northern Folk’s Festival, since 1999 it has been organized as Sounds of the North.

Over the years Festival’s stage has become a place for artists, especially musicians and activities that are inspired by musical roots of their own and other nations culture. Open attitude of the organizers effected in very broad range of performers: beginning from representatives of such an exotic nations as Buryats, Yakuts, Chukchees, Karelians, Mordvins, Tuvans and Saami, through folk bands from many European countries (Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Germany, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Greenland, Ireland, Russia and Poland of course), ending with special acts of jazz and rock artists performing with folk bands. In this way have been created gigs of Urszula Dudziak performing with Yakuts and Karelians, VooVoo band with Buriats, Drum Freaks with Mordvins and Olo Walicki Kaszëbë (2005) – concert that presented unique fusion of cashubian themes and modern jazz music composed by Olo Walicki and Seabridge – musical fusion of Polish famous band Kroke and Norwegian group Tindra (2010).

In 2005 the Baltic Sea Cultural Centre was invited as an institutional partner to organize prestigious 26th European Broadcasting Union Folk Festival. This great venture is produced each year in different location. Gdansk’s edition was considered very successful in terms of organization and artistic values.

Nowadays Sounds of the Northtake place each two years to charm audience during a few summer evenings with most beautiful fusions of tradition and modernity. It presents original folk performers and professional musicians who has found their inspiration in traditional music; its instrumentarium and specific atmosphere. An “inspiration” is an essential word for the Festival – we invite artists who blend traditional melodies with contemporary music experience to create entirely new sound and to bring folk culture to new artistic life.

Along with successive editionsof Sounds of the North we are broadening Festival of dance, vocal and instrumental workshops, we organize projections of documentaries and theater performances.

We kindly invite You for an extraordinary trip to the word of sounds, melodies, rhythms and tastes, where tradition interweave with freshness, and the expression which is fundamental for every folk tradition fulfills our guests!