After the great success of 2009’s 11th edition Giving Voice in Wroclaw, Teatr ZAR ensemble, in association with the Grotowski Institute, is opening in 2010-2011 the first season of a series of reflective voicEncounters, workshops and exchanges organized around the phenomenon of human voice and musicality and its various cultural realizations.
The story of humankind engraved in music, and its oral transmission from generation to generation is a legacy that is slowly being eroded as cities expand and a different pace of modern life takes over. I often question what my musical heritage is, where it comes from. I wonder whether musicality ever existed in my own ancestral lineage, and I believe it must have, because I fundamentally believe that it was once an essential tool for expression throughout the world.
I have come to understand that it is a great gift to be able to observe and dialogue with one’s own musicality. Thanks to the work with Teatr ZAR I have been offered this opportunity through the reflection of my companions and the invaluable meetings with masters and people of music from around the world. Through voicEncounters I would like to open up the possibility to other people to share the individual quests of some of my colleagues in Teatr ZAR, and meet some of the wonderful people that we have already met and are still longing to meet.
Ditte Berkeley, program coordinator of voicEncounters.
The aim of voicEncounters is to provide a space in which the multifaceted components surrounding music can be brought together under one roof. The seed and the spine for each encounter is music, but what is touched on and engaged with will not only be the music. Each encounter will aim to recall the microcosm of the world surrounding music from the particular theme and will be tailored to the needs of that subject.
voicEncounters aims to provide a flexible yet structured environment in which participants are not simply mesmerised by the virtuosity or knowledge of the musicians and speakers, but where they feel free to meet, explore and engage with the artists in a manner that is meaningful and personal to them. Participants will be able to drive their own enquiry through different channels : by practically engaging with the music; listening to performances; attending lectures; participating in debate and discussion and pursuing their individual research through access to the new and growing voice centre archive, which is part of Teatr ZAR.
Through voicEncounters we hope to provide a chance for individuals to reflect on the role music plays in their own life and culture and their own connection to voices and music of the past.
voicEncounters will happen 3 times a year, with Na Grobli Studio of the Grotowski Institute as its base. From this centre we will expand out into other spaces in and around Wroclaw, filling them with voices. Each session will be founded on a question or theme, connected with the researches and travels of Teatr ZAR and this subject will be engaged with by artists and academics from Poland and abroad.
The first encounter will take place between 5-8 November 2010 and it will deal with The phenomenon of Latin Confraternities – symbol of an ideal society centered around the church with singing as a major vector of communion. We will be welcoming to Wroclaw the confraternity di a Pieve di a Serra from Corsica, the confraternity of Castelsardo from Sardinia, and guest researchers from the Museum of Corsica.
The second session, in early 2011, will be dedicated to the Armenian music at its climax before 1915, and the outlines of Komitas Vardapet’s works and life.
The impulse for the third session are the voices of women from the Middle East and it will touch on the theme of the silent/silenced voice.
We invite you to join us on our journey of voicEncounters!