SOUND OUT, Sokolowsko

Sound Out is a professional development and mentoring platform for creative musicians who challenge normal categorisation and is produced by Martel Ollerenshaw as an initiative of the Europe Jazz Network. The first event took place in Sokolowsko, Poland from 25th to 31st of August and had as objective to eradicate limiting factors which hold the artists back, such as insufficient industry awareness, lack of access to relationships within the music industry, limited cross border activities and communication.

The musicians taking part in this first edition of Sound Out were:

Aviva Endean – clarinet, sound artist, performance creator (Australia)

Benedikt Wieland – electric bass, electronics, composition (Switzerland)

Inge Thomson – vocals, accordion, electronics (Scotland)

Joanna Duda – piano, electronics, composition (Poland)

Karolina Rec – cello, vocals, electronics, composition (Poland)

Lucia Cadotsch – vocals, composition (Switzerland)

Morris Kliphuis – horn, composition (Netherlands)

Ramon Landolt – synths, composition (Switzerland)

Throughout the week the musicians had various workshops and guest speakers coming from all over Europe to participate and share their knowledge with this group of exciting artists. I had the pleasure of sharing a session on the recorded music business with my friend and Edition Records founder Dave Stapleton, which I thought was one of the best I did, as the questions of the group were well thought through and challenging. This session was followed by 20-minute face-to-face meetings and discussions, which touched on some of the individual needs and questions the musicians had.  Coming in on the end of the week, it was interesting to see how much the 8 musicians had bonded and grown into a group, open to communicate within the group and beyond.

While preparing for the session and listening to music from all participants, I was overwhelmed with the individual strength of each artist and the music and performances they created. The musical diversity within the group ranges from folk, to electronics, to jazz, to free improvisations and includes other art forms in wonderful collaborations.

When invited I was a bit surprised having to go to a small village in the middle of nowhere in Poland … but once there I came to understand why Sokolowsko was the perfect place for this kind of event:  The local hosts were the Contemporary Art Foundation In Situ, headed by Bozenna Biskupska, Zuzanna Fogtt and Gerard Lebik, which is responsible for many activities in the village, including art festivals, exhibitions and restoring the old Sanatorium into a wonderful place for the arts. Sokolowsko as well is home of the Krzysztof Kieślowski festival and his archive and through the work of the foundation has become a small island for the arts in Poland. No better place to be.

The first Edition of Sound Out felt to me an overwhelming success and I hope that many other editions will follow … there are many deserving artist out there and many experienced people working in the arts, willing to pass on some knowledge.

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