There is a city. A big city. A large city.
A lot of people. Overcrowded. The noise of machines.
It falls asleep, and it wakes up.
“Szpital Heleny Wolf” (“Helena Wolf’s Hospital”)
Marcin Pryt – 19 Wiosen band
On the 5th of April 2017, I had the honour and pleasure of participating in the discussion titled “The poetry of song" organized by the Community Centre in Łódź in a select company: Marcin Pryt, a poet and the vocalist of the 19 Wiosen band; Maciej Świerkocki, a writer, a poet and a translator; and Piotr Grobliński, a poet and a feature writer. We focused on Bob Dylan. Remembering extreme opinions about the fact of giving the literary Nobel Prize to this American bard, we agreed that the decision of the Swedish Academy is very significant and has crucial consequences, as it gives the prestige of literary work to songs.
While preparing the music repertoire of this year’s Łódź of Four Cultures Festival, I tried to see to it that these original and extraordinary music events also have a high literary value.
The music calendar of the festival is beginning and finishing with meetings with the artistic works of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen. The Nobel prize winner’s songs will be performed by Łukasz Lach during a chamber concert in the Henryk Debich Studio in the Radio Łódź. Knowing the talent and sensitivity of the leader of the L.Stadt band, we can expect true and strong emotions.
Leonard Cohen used to say that he liked it when his songs were performed by women. These female artists have included such outstanding vocalists as Nina Simone, Roberta Flack, Jennifer Warnes, Lana Del Rey, Tori Amos, or Regina Spektor. Now the greatest artists from Poland will join the ranks of these artists, as they are performing the most beautiful songs by the Canadian bard in poetic translations by Maciej Zembaty in the Wytwórnia Club. Let us search together for new meanings in these immortal verses, which is invited and encouraged by the artistic director of the concert, Leszek Biolik.
Music is a universal language. It creates a space where representatives of different cultures and traditions can meet and begin a dialogue. Undoubtedly, the joint concert by Masha Qrella, whose roots are German and Russian, and Kortez, one of the most interesting Polish debutants of the last years, will become an unusual and memorable event.
The effect of another meeting in Łódź is the “L.Story” album launched this year. It includes songs composed by the L.Stadt band to poems by Konrad Dworakowski, the artistic boss of the Pinokio Theatre. The first performance of the material with the participation of the Great Choir of Young Chorea took place as part of the Coalition of Cities for the European Capital of Culture in Wrocław. Now the audience of our festival will have an opportunity to take part in its concert première in Łódź. We invite you to these two concerts to the hospitable interior of the New Theatre.
The young Russian alternative music will be represented by the Oligarkh band from Sankt Petersburg performing in the DOM Club. Their music is a collage of folk songs and loutish melodies complemented by sounds of the bass and rap. The concert will be accompanied by their ‘video-slaughter’, which is an extremely emotional visual part, composed of fragments of old newsreels, historical films and cartoons.
I would like to invite you to a truly mystical evening, filled with traditional Jewish music, to the Scenografia Club, where you can listen for the first time to music from the “Bramy” album recorded by Symcha Keller, an ex-chairman of the Jewish Community of Łodź.
Wonderful sounds will also fill the space of the Old Market thanks to one of the most popular and most outstanding contemporary Israeli musicians. Dudu Tassa & The Kuwaitis is an extraordinary band. Its leader, a descendant of Israeli and Iraqi musicians, launched his first album as a twelve-year-old-boy. Today, he is a recognized and appreciated artist. The sophisticated mix of rock and oriental music served by Dudu has seduced e.g. Radiohead and this year the band has invited the artist in to join them in their concert tour.
Music is only a piece of the extremely rich and interesting programme of the Łódź of Four Cultures Festival. I believe that you will choose something for yourself.
Let us meet in Łódź.