More than a dozen performances in Sweden and Italy
This year the Fundació Fira Mediterrània has generated two internationalisation opportunities for Catalan roots artists, who are set to travel to Italy and Sweden in the months of June and July. These performances will serve as a showcase for the Catalan cultural and art industry and help bolster the presence of our country’s artists in the international market, particularly the Nordic and Mediterranean one. For both programmes, Fira Manresa compiled a shortlist of Catalan artists, from which the Italian and Swedish organisations then made their respective choices. Some of the most creative and interesting names on the Catalan roots scene will be taking part in the programmes.
Where Italy is concerned, the Catalan contingent will be represented by Jordi Molina and his tenora** and the So Nat group, whose repertoire is dominated by the gralla and the timpani. From 19-24 June they will visit the Festival delle Province, which is held across some twelve different towns in the province of Sassari, in the north west of the island of Sardinia, home to notable towns such as Alghero, Osilo, Ozieri, Sedini and Vilanova Monteleone. The Catalan artists will perform alongside groups from five other countries north and south of the Mediterranean – Egypt, France, Morocco, Italy and Romania – and will be the only representatives from Spain. The two groups expect to perform about ten times between them during the event. The festival is organised by the Rete Italiana di Cultura Popolare (Italian Network for Popular Culture), based in Turin. Having attended the Fira Mediterrània of Manresa in 2009, this Italian network maintains links with various Catalan cultural organisations, such as the Festival Portal Blau de Músiques i Arts de la Mediterrània (Mediterranean Music and Arts Festival), in l’Escala-Empúries, which moves into its fourth edition this year and whose director, Abel Font, will also be present in Sassari.
The second Catalan expedition will be making its way to the Nordic countries, specifically Sweden, to take part in the “Secret Festival”, from 29 June to 2 July. In the days leading up to the event nine musicians from five different countries – Catalonia, Estonia, Ireland, Italy and Sweden – will spend four intense days putting together a 50-minute concert. The participants bring their own compositions and diverse styles to the table, allowing the group to experiment with new arrangements. This experience will pave the way for four concerts in various locations across the Swedish island of Öland. On the Catalan side, percussionist Lluís Molas and Enric Montsant will be participating, meaning that, like Ireland and Sweden, Catalonia will boast two representatives in the project. As is the case for the Sassari event, the pair travelling to Sweden will be the only musicians from Spain involved in the festival.
**Note: the tenora, gralla and tarota are all varieties of the Catalan shawm, a traditional woodwind instrument.
The Secret Festival is organised by the Yellowbox Art and Music Centre, which takes its name from the architectural style and colour of the building that hosts the event. The project boasts the support of the European Union through its 2009-2012 “Leader” programme. The artistic group set to take part in the Swedish festival will also be appearing at Fira Mediterrània of Manresa, this coming November.
The artists taking part
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article submitted by:Laia Valls, Fira Mediterrània de Manresa (Catalonia / Spain)