'Melting Pot Collective' takes Scotland to Poland (2)

We are raising money to send thirty talented musicia including singers, instrumentalists and dancers who are based in and around Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and the north-east of Scotland to perform at the ‘Nakielsis Cantat’ Festival in Poland (6 – 8 October 2018).

The Invitation

This visit is attributable to a generous reciprocal invitation by Nadzieja Choir from Nakło nad Notecią, Poland,(to the Polish Association Aberdeen and The Melting Pot Collecive fusion band) whose members were originally invited to Aberdeen in January 2017 to participate in Aberdeen city’s ‘Polish-Scottish Commemoration and Celebration’ events.

Nadzieja Choir were so overwhelmed by the positive reception to their visit that they decided to invite the Polish Scottish Song and Story Group, the Melting Pot Collective, as well as singers and musicians Iona Fyfe (Glasgow), Elen Zack (Moscow) and Hanka Wojciak (Cracow), to perform at the autumn festival ‘Nakielsis Cantat’ in Nakło nad Notecią in September 2017.

The thrilling consequence of the cross-nation partnership and success of the original cultural exchanges is that the Polish Association, Polish Scottish Song and Story Group, The Melting Pot Collective fusion band, Iona Fyfe, Elen Zack, and Gosia Zuranska Wilkowska of Jakim Cudem the Polish all-girl super band (Bydgoszcz district) have been invited to return to the Nakło festival this October 2018

Bringing Scottish and Polish Music Abroad

This visit to Poland is a further positive step in promoting Aberdeen, its international partners, its music, and the diversity of its talented residents. The visiting Players,Singers and dancers will perform over three days for a Nakło public of over 700 people, and these events will be covered by Polish National television, as well as TVP3 in Bydgoszcz, and Radio Nakło.

From the perspective of Polish Association Aberdeen, it is great to be able to help and give lots back to the music community in Aberdeen, which welcomes so many of our Polish-Scottish events. For local musicians there will be several benefits: a cross-cultural collaboration with musicians from Poland and Russia; workshops for the participants; learning new music, songs and dance; and the chance to learn about Poland through visiting the regional cultural hubs of the region around Bydgoszcz. This is a fantastic and unique way to promote the great city of Aberdeen and the immense talent it contains.

There are more planned collaborations with Polish bands in Aberdeen as well as the Polish based musicians

The History of Our Musical Partnership

The ‘Polish-Scottish Commemoration and Celebration’ events in January 2017, which heralded the collaboration, were organised by Polish Association Aberdeen (with the cooperation of the University of Aberdeen’s Elphinstone Institute and Queen’s Cross Church). They included a Polish-Scottish celebration night (a Polish-Scottish version of ‘Burns Supper’) with Danse McCabre playing traditional ceilidh dances, krakowiak, and polonez from both countries. The Polish Scottish Song and Story Group and our Polish guests from Nadzieja Choir, performed traditional songs from both countries with a great finale of ‘Auld Lang Syne’, which was performed by everyone in five different languages (English, Polish, Japanese, Russian and German). It was a great and memorable event which was very well received by Poles and Aberdonians – including the Vice-Consul of the Polish Consulate and the Lord Provost of Aberdeen – and also local musicians. The event also featured traditional foods from Poland and Scotland, such as bigos, pierogi, sledziki, and haggis, neeps, and tatties.

For members of Nadzieja it was a memorable experience. In addition to the above event, they met with members of the Melting Pot Collective at Tea Zone, where Nadzieja performed ‘Remedium’, a Polish classic by Maryla Rodowicz. This meeting began a strong friendship between the musicians. Though Nadzieja Choir have won many Grand Prix choir competitions, for some of them it was the first time they had ever flown on a plane.

Members of Nadzieja and their award-winning conductor, Michał Gacka, love Scottish-bred music, and greatly enjoyed the music from around the world which they heard performed by The Melting Pot Collective. They were so pleased by how well they were received in Aberdeen, that they decided to invite all of the musicians and dancers to perform at the autumn festival ‘Nakielsis Cantat’ in Naklo nad Notecia.

There were more collaborations at the ‘Polish-Scottish Mini Festival’ in January 2018 with guests from Poland including ‘Panieneczki’ from Bydgoszcz; ‘Formacja’ from Gdańsk, Gdynia and Sopot and musicians of University of Silesia - including Professor Tomasz Orlow, Dr Magda Szyndler, Dr Wojciech Golec, Marcin Zupanski, and ‘Folkus’, a traditional “highlander” band from the University of Silesia.

Renewed Interest in Polish and Scottish Fusion Music in Aberdeen

Since January 2017 events, there has been a huge surge in interest in Polish and Scottish traditional folk music, and many of the musicians who are members of the Melting Pot Collective have joined the Polish-Scottish Song and Story Group. There are more collaborations planned, for example between the Panieneczki band, Formacja band (Gdansk), the University of Silesia music community of Poland, Hanka Wojciak of Cracow and Zakopane, Susanna Jara, contemporary singer of the Galician region of Ukraine Poland, the Polish-Scottish Song and Story Group and The Melting Pot Collective.

With your support, we can help make this further visit to Poland possible, and continue to promote Aberdeen’s exciting talent, both here and abroad.