The Jagiellonian Fair Festival, a three-day celebration of traditional culture, is just around the corner! From August 18-20, 2023, the streets of Lublin will come alive with traditional music, dance, and craftsmanship. Are you interested in learning about the musical elements that will be featured in this year’s event? Today, we are excited to share the initial details of the diverse musical program. The festival is part of the European Youth Capital Lublin 2023 programme of events.
Re:tradition – The Jagiellonian Fair Festival is an event that values both tradition and its creative continuation. With this in mind, we have curated a diverse programme that includes various musical performances.
Throughout the festival, we invite you to music events in Błonia near the Castle. This year, the artists we have invited present the immense possibilities that tradition offers in terms of music, instruments, and singing. We will have the opportunity to listen to musicians who have dedicated themselves to researching and recreating traditional melodies and songs. We will also meet performers who use tradition as a foundation for their own creative explorations, blending traditional music and singing with new and innovative sounds, says Karolina Waszczuk, the festival’s director.
18 August (Friday)
19.30–22.30 | re:tradition concert | Festival Stage, Błonia near the Castle
One of the highlights of the festival is the re:tradition concert, which this year focuses on the musical repertoire of the Polish part of Polesie.
Polesie is a region located at the crossroads of Poland, Ukraine, and Belarus. The blending of cultures, languages, and beliefs has greatly influenced its musical heritage. Unfortunately, over time, the rich tradition of singing and instrumental music started to fade away, almost disappearing and being forgotten. However, there were passionate individuals who made a conscious effort to revive and bring attention to the essence of this tradition. They took it upon themselves to transcribe the musical elements anew, ensuring that its old style and character were preserved. By doing so, they brought it back to life, allowing it to be appreciated and celebrated.
In this year’s re:tradition concert, we are thrilled to present the remarkable outcomes of their dedicated work. Specially crafted renditions of the traditional music will take centre stage. On Friday evening, Poleski Skład Smyczkowy (The Polesie String Ensemble) and Polesie_PL will enchant the audience with the captivating sounds of the region. Their performances will be enhanced by the brilliant arrangements of composer Atanas Valkov and the vocal improvisations of Jagoda Valkov. This extraordinary collaboration will seamlessly blend the authentic tradition of the region with fresh interpretations, resulting in an unforgettable experience for all who attend.
19 August 2023 (Saturday)
19.30–22.30 | Puuluup [EST]; Lolomis [FRA] | Festival Stage, Błonia near the Castle
The Estonian group Puuluup will introduce us to the sound of the talharpa. This traditional instrument, once associated primarily with the Swedish community on Vormsi Island, has a rich history dating back to the Middle Ages. The talharpa miraculously survived into the 20th century and, despite its rarity, has garnered increasing interest due to its unique and enchanting sound. Puuluup’s performance is a true testament to their originality. They skillfully incorporate traditional instruments into their music in a completely fresh and unexpected way. Prepare to be amazed by their own compositions, contemporary satirical lyrics, electronic effects, and experimental playing techniques. Ramo Teder and Marko Veisson, the talented members of Puuluup, are sure to delight the audience with their innovative and captivating musical journey.
The second concert will feature the performance of the French group, Lolomis. The fusion of diverse sounds, languages, and emotions they create defies classification into a single musical genre. The charismatic vocalist, Romane Claudel-Ferragui, borrows lyrics from the traditions of many distant corners of Europe. The fusion of acoustic and electronic sounds is masterfully crafted by harpist Elodie Messmer, flautist Stélios Lazarou, and percussionist Louis Delignon. Together, they create a musical landscape that tells stories of love, life, and death, demonstrating that imagination knows no bounds. The fusion of modern sounds with traditional inspirations results in a rich, passionate, and mysterious experience. These are just a few words that attempt to capture the essence of what awaits the audience on August 19th at the Festival Stage.
20 August 2023 (Sunday)
14.00–15.00 | Wernyhora [POL] | The Dominican Basilica, Złota 9
Every year, the Sunday music programme begins with a concert held in the historic interior of the Dominican Basilica. This year, the space will be filled with the captivating music of the Wernyhora ensemble. The trio from Sanok will take the audience on a musical journey to the world of the Boykos. Led by vocalist Daria Kosiek – the granddaughter of the Boykos displaced from the Bieszczady mountain region – the group delves into the rich heritage of the Boyko culture, seeking to rediscover melodies that may have been sung by her ancestors. Accompanied by Anna Oklejewicz and Maciej Harna, who skillfully play historical instruments, Daria breathes new life into these original tunes and lyrics, adorning them with fresh musical arrangements. In Wernyhora’s compositions, a wealth of emotions intertwines with thoughtful simplicity in form. The focus is not on exact reconstruction, but rather on exploring unique ways to present the sounds of the past. Prepare to be transported to a world where history and music converge in a truly remarkable performance.
19.30–22.30 | Odpoczno [POL]; Balkan Taksim [ROU] | Festival Stage, Błonia near the Castle
The Festival Stage is a space where tradition seamlessly blends with modernity, where the power of unity gracefully dances with individual flair and where the spirit of togetherness harmonises with creativity. The groups gracing the stage on Sunday evening epitomise this beautiful amalgamation.
One such group is the Odpoczno ensemble, a collective of individuals with diverse musical backgrounds, passions, and visions on how to express the traditional Polish village heritage in a contemporary language. The foundation of their music lies in the traditional melodies from the Opoczno region, which they skillfully combine with new sounds. This intricate mosaic was not created overnight; it is the result of numerous experiments and a dedicated search for the right effects to create a cohesive whole while genuinely exploring tradition. The musicians allowed themselves time for these explorations, employing a trial-and-error approach, immersing themselves in the Opoczno folklore, and remaining open to its reinterpretation. The sound of traditional violin melodies, played by Marcin Lorenec, intertwines with the guitar sounds of Marek Kądziel and the percussion of Piotr Gwadera. Joanna Szczęsnowicz’s vocals, accompanied by distinctive electronic effects, add a unique touch to their performance.
Adding to the excitement of Sunday’s stage lineup is the Romanian group, Balkan Taksim. Sașa-Liviu Stoianovici, a talented multi-instrumentalist, and Alin Zăbrăuțeanu, an electronic artist, draw inspiration from the rich musical heritage of the Balkans. Their inspirations encompass a wide range of traditions, including Serbian, Macedonian, Bulgarian, Albanian, Turkish, and Aromanian tunes.Sașa-Liviu travelled through various corners of the Balkans, connecting with local instrumentalists and singers. He explored the Botoșani region, recording songs and stories of the Aromanians, and ventured to Anatolia, where he discovered the Turkish saz. Balkan Taksim’s music sometimes preserves the original lyrics and parts of melodies, while at other times it builds on the raw sounds of traditional instruments. These foundations are then rearranged and transformed through the use of electronic effects, combined with the distinctive vocals of the singer. The result is a captivating musical experience that offers a glimpse into the rich and diverse musical landscape of the Balkans and its neighbouring regions.
After the Friday and Saturday concerts, we will also be hosting dance parties for you to enjoy. Stay tuned for more details about these exciting events, which will be announced soon.
Re:tradition – The Jagiellonian Fair Festival
18-20 August 2023
Lublin – Old Town, Błonia near the Castle
More information: retradycja.eu
Organisers: Workshops of Culture in Lublin, The Cultural Institution of the City of Lublin, Lublin – The City of Inspiration
Honorary Patronage: Mayor of Lublin – Krzysztof Żuk, National Institute of Cultural Heritage
Co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.
This year’s edition of Re:tradition – The Jagiellonian Fair Festival is one of the events of the European Youth Capital Lublin 2023 programme.
Sponsors: Tavex, Herbapol
Partners: Jula, Muzeum Narodowe w Lublinie, Ivan Honchar Museum, ÚĽUV, The Dominican Monastery in Lublin, Gardzienice Centre for Theatre Practices, Folk Artists’ Association (STL), Kultura Enter Foundation
Media patronage: Polskie Radio Dzieciom, Radiowe Centrum Kultury Ludowej, Radio Lublin, Presto, CzasDzieci.pl, muzykatradycyjna.pl, KulturaLudowa.pl, Kultura Enter, Onet