Exploring mythologies



The „SoundCart” project came into being in the summer of 2017. It has been established by an international and interdisciplinary trio consisting of two polish citizens: Eryk Nowacki and Piotr Delimata and Mandar Purandare from India; now living in Poznan for more than 10 years. The trio wants to explore and research in finding out the various possibilities of musical language, which could fit for storytelling of myths and fairy-tales through using music only. Basic inspirations for creating music for these epic or mythical materials are traditional or ancient stories as well as contemporary books or stories. On the one hand the language of the music is universal communication code for different cultures, on the other hand it also triggers a certain kind of imagination among audience if they are made to ‚listen’ to the music.

The latest interdisciplinary project of SoundCart called „Exploring mythologies” has been created and designed together with Kobalt Art Studio. The studio works for creative development of various elements of society through artistic activities. Kobalt is managed by two artists namely Marta Węglińska and Patrycja Plich. Both are graduates of University of Fine Arts, Poznan.

The project „Exploring mythologies” combines music and visual arts as a performance and workshops. The special feature of the project is that the audience would take part interactively in deciding the format of this event and thus audience is an active part of the performance also. We have readily invitations from two very renowned places in India: „The Centre for the Performing Arts” of Savitribai Phule Pune University in Pune and from International Association for Performing Arts and Research also situated in Pune. We are still waiting for the answer from Polish Institute in New Delhi and organizations in Mumbai and Kolkata for our performances.

The plan of the journey is to visit specified places because philosophy of the band is to focus on every particular place trying to develop a form of meeting, performing and creating having a local flavour. We strongly believe, that this approach would allow us to have a real intercultural contact and would enrich us. Since the teachers have to know their students, we plan to adapt all sessions shall to the age of our participants students. Workshops will be prepared for every possible age group (above 6 years).

India is a country with a great lingual and cultural diversity. However Hindi and English are nationwide official languages. One of the members of our group – Mandar Purandare who has grown up in India speaks perfectly English, Hindi and even Marathi. Another member- Eryk Nowacki – being an Indologist, speaks English and Hindi. Rest of the members use English fluently. That gives us a guarantee that we could solve any communication problem during performances and traveling around the country.

Our show or meeting consists of two parts: Usually a workshop followed by a performance. The basic foundation of performance is musical, wherein European musical traditions meet Asian ones. The sound story narration is inspired by the well-known „Vikram and Vetal” stories written originally in Sanskrit in XIII century. We are connecting these stories with mythologies of Slavic traditions and it is mostly based on a book „Bestiariusz Słowiański”. These two traditions and literary motifs may seem to be very far from each other, but actually they have got many common points including a one of the very interesting characters – a vampire ! This is a character, that exists within the realms of life and death.

The structure of SoundCart music is based on Indian music scales and East-European folklore music. Each of the three musicians is born and brought up in different music tradition but the real goal is to find similarities deep inside and familiar inspirations which could help to illustrate the legend of „King Vikramaditya” and his wisdom.

During the music workshops members of a band plan to divide an audience within subgroups as: sounds effects, rhythm session and sound performing group. Each of the member from trio will conduct these sessions. After two hours of lesson teachers are going to swap.

Studio Kobalt will be adding visual elements to the musical narration, it aims to create an interactive scenography. It shall be interactive and inter medial visual art based on idea of triangular, cotton flags. These elements would build some kind of scene and a place for music performing. Other scenography elements will be created during visual workshops together with audience. Workshop members (including children) will have an important task to invent matching visual elements according to „Vikram and Vetal” stories and Slavic myths. Stage setting style should be fusion of local folk elements and minimalist geometric forms. Despite of local folk elements we aim to have a good mix of traditional and contemporary look of the stage.

The interactive elements created during workshops like masks, shadow theater puppets etc are the key elements here. But this won’t be the only task for children and adults. The biggest role for them will be to animate recently created puppets during the performance and to become a part of the show. Thus the effects of performance will depend upon the workshops.

The key issue will be: how to pass the border between artist and spectator. It would surely be a great occasion to verify alternative artistic-education models with full-involvement of audience. The long workshop sessions would serve as great occasions to meet each other and help to understand the story aspects. The common actions – during scenography building and testing will help to understand their animation potentials and test how to use puppets, masks or other modules. Workshops will also open artist’s eyes to local context and individual aspects of audience perception and their sensitivity. Furthermore, their active membership shall build abstract space of ideas exchange, discussion and study to find out which elements are fundamental for knowing and understanding each other as members of different culture regions.

Cooperation between music band – SoundCart and visual collective -Kobalt, shall be a great opportunity to check and study how wide are interdisciplinary activity potentials in educational and artistic aspects. Other thing is to exam how visual and sound authors – creators of two completely different arts could find perfect way of common arrangements. This multilayered reflection is obligatory for creating non-amusement piece of art. Finding alternative ways of impact is a necessary condition to build an intercultural dialog.

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