Inhabitat:Stalowa International Festival of Contemporary Music Warsaw Autumn

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Two outreach music events organised in cooperation with local communities will be held in Warsaw’s public space as part of the InSitu/City initiative.

Programmed by Ania Karpowicz, the Inhabitat:Stalowa concerts will be performed by members of the Warsaw-based cooperative Hashtag Ensemble, dedicated since many years to bringing new music to unconventional places and venues. 

Stalowa Street in Warsaw’s Praga district will thus become a laboratory of urban sound interpretation. We will be guided through out-of-the-way tenement yards by young people from Community Animation and Education Groups (CAEG). 

Live music experience is a sum of many sensitivities: those of the composer, performers, programmer, and the context of the place.

In bringing new music to inner city yards, which are a uniquely intimate type of urban space, sensitivity to the place and surroundings gains crucial importance. 

For Praga’s yards to resound with congenial and genuine music, we will let ourselves be shown around by unique guides: teenagers from CAEG groups. Led by streetworkers, these groups bring together Praga’s young inhabitants, who feel most at home in the environment of city yards. CAEG’s shun formalities and routine, tuning into the rhythm of their communities’ lives. For those young people, the streets and yards are the main part of the world as they know it. 

Two volunteer CAEG groups built simple photo cameras (socalled pinhole cameras) over the summer months and set out to explore Stalowa Street’s yards with them. Their original photographs have then been transformed into graphic scores, interpreted by musicians from Hashtag Ensemble. 

In cooperation with the local communities, two concert venues have been selected, which can be found by walking up and down Stalowa Street on Saturday afternoons, following one’s ear and the clues placed in the gateways. 

The concert programmes include instant pieces interpreting the photographic scores as well as works by contemporary composers who take up the theme of being in danger of social exclusion. In the backstreets of Praga, we will hear about issues with which the CAEG youth have to cope on a daily basis. 

Ania Karpowicz