2004/09/16 [Scouting Trips]
On the paper, the schedule may seem a bit loony: go from Paris to Belgrade and back by car in 4 days, a 4000km trip… However, it is what we did from the 19th to the 23rd of May this year. And what a trip... After some surrealistic traffic jams at the German and Austrian borders, a nice pause in Lubljana and some more kilometres on the highway, we eventually arrived in Belgrade, fresh and ready. We had less than 36 hours to make this first exploration trip a success. Our goal was: initiate some ties with as many cultural partners as possible, get a maximum of comments on the project, and develop a method for next exploration trips (since we knew that we would need to do this kind of trips to the countries which the project includes). In fact meeting the local people in their respective countries is essential to the success of our tour. So we started this crazy day on the 21st of May with some pressure and only one planned meeting at 10 o'clock at the French cultural centre of Belgrade. Twelve hours later, after about ten meetings in the city with diverse local cultural professionals, we were live on the B92 Radio (http://www.b92.net/english
). Maybe it was "beginner's luck", but we had no bad surprises, and the events went with a perfect timing. Eventually, we came back from Belgrade with more than 20 direct contacts, who from now on are working with us for its success. Moreover, we were particularly glad that the project interested a lot of people, and their comments helped us to greatly improve its presentation. After a last meeting in Novi Sad, we came back to Paris through Hungary, Austria and Germany, exhausted but happy, with a lot of great memories in our minds and hearts...
Link to the EuropePlusNet article :
2004/09/16 [Scouting Trips]
Sure, the weekend between July and August is certainly not the best time to meet people in a foreign city and to gather contacts, since so many people are actually on vacation. But we had an appointment with the Via Donau an Austrian company specialized in the Danube navigation, and that alone was a good reason to go to Vienna. After an interesting meeting at the French Institute in the centre, we went to Donau City, a modern office area situated between the “New Danube” and the “Old Danube” (Neu Donau and Alt Donau in German). Meeting professionals of the navigation on the Danube was a great experience, and they provided us with many tips and useful information, such as the book they are editing on all Danube ports. Later, we went to Mica, the association of Austrian musicians, where we learned more about the contemporary musical production in Austria, and about who we should contact next. But preparing the Danube project is not only trying to persuade people to help us, it is also discovering cities and their inhabitants, it is also a feeling an atmosphere and a rhythm… It is indeed what we did, thanks to Niko, our jazzman friend in Vienna! Many thanks to him and to all those who took time for us, especially the people from the Via Donau.
Via-Donau website: http://www.via-donau.org
2004/09/16 [Scouting Trips]
Before working on the Danube project, I had only heard once or twice of the Sziget Festival in Budapest. As we already have been to Belgrade, Vienna, Berlin and Bratislava between May and July, it was naturally impossible for us to miss the big Hungarian cultural fair. Curious in nature, we volunteered for the scouting job with Alex. And what a job… Those who already had the chance to go to the Sziget festival may understand, but the others will have to unleash their imagination. The place in itself is amazing: the whole festival (7 days, more than 400 bands and an audience of more than 400 000 people) takes place on the big and beautiful Obuda Island located in the northern part of the capital city. Composed of beaches and hills, refreshed by a nice wind, the green island has everything to please. The festival too. Through its three zones (blue, red and yellow), tens of concert stages, of sportive activities, of associative villages, bars and restaurants, allow oneself to live outside the grasp of time in a bubble where the main concerns are music, meetings, parties, stars and naps. An idyllic place filled with a tremendous international spirit. In the middle of this musical Babel, we went to meet the organizers to present the Danube project to them. Although they had a lot of work on their own, since such an event requiring a lot of organisation, we managed to get some of their time. There too, the project was welcomed with interest, as much for its form as for what it represents. Although we were struggling again and again with the urge to party, we managed to collect a maximum of documentation on the potential local partners and the local cultural scene. So much information without this trip would never have made its way to Paris. So much information that will be essential for the completion of our trip to... the Black Sea.
The festival’s website: http://www.szigetfestival.com
2004/08/29 [Scouting Trips]
During the Belgrade trip, Mathieu, Thomas, Bruno and Greg had been interviewed on the anthological serbian radio B92. The interview is now available (Real Media Streaming format) at the following adress : B92Interview.ram
. And some Alma songs are included in it! Enjoy!
2004/07/29 [Scouting Trips]
And we are back from Bratislava! very nice and sunny town, a big pedestrian historic center, where you enjoy wandering, sure to encounter at a time or another, a tramway or a part of the Danube... But the trip was not touristic! We’ve enjoyed all the meetings we made there, and many people were very interested in the project. E.g, the French Institute of Bratislava insure us with its help, and bands like Mango Molas (already well-known in Slovakia) were ok to play on the barge.
And if you happen to be in town at the end of July, pump up the volume, you could hear the Charles interview on the Slovak radio (Radio Slovakia 1)!
Links : http://www.mangomolas.sk/
Association Loi du 1er juillet 1901 – J0 N°23 du 07 juin 2003 - MOSTAR STYLE,
une association de promotion de musiques actuelles