Three workshops in one

Here is a film clip from Saturday’s singing course at Folk Practice Academy. We had three themes; rhythm (Kristofer), spring- and maysinging (Astrid) and Sailor songs (Kristin). Of course we had to do the sailor songs at the old shipyard in Saxemara, where the traditional boat club had there yearly cleaning day.

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Telling the stories

Saturday I visited Skånes Spelmansförbund‘s yearly meeting. I was asked to come and tell the fantastic stories about Baltic Sea Inter Cult and Folk Practice Academy. Agnes joined me and we played some Estonian and Polish tunes, and also even everyone our favorite oberek. It was a nice evening with good food, jamming and reunions. I got to meet two of my old fiddle and nyckelharpa friends that I used to play and sing with when being a student in Lund years and years ago.


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Martin revisiting Suwalki

One of the things we were supposed to do in Poland was visiting the schools participating in the Krusznia Academy. Unfortunately, there had been some kind of misunderstanding, because all the students were away from school, attending concerts…


But we got to do a public performance anyway, on the Thursday evening, the Krusznia crew arranged a meeting with launching of “Chwilę wiosna”, the documentary film from the Wiosna festival last summer and a small concert, as we wrote about earlier.

The session took place in the school building in the small village Maćkowa Ruda. We did not expect many people to come, but when we started at six o’clock, the place was crowded! There were approximately 40 people there.


 We started the evening by showing the film. It was really good and everybody seemed to appreciate it. We dreamt ourselves back to those wonderful summer days.

After that, it was our turn to enter the stage. We played and sang several songs, for instance some Swedish polskas, the type of tune, which as the name indicates, most likely originates from Poland. We also presented and talked about the BaSIC project and what we had experienced together so far.

Afterwards, we listened to our Polish friends playing and singing some nice tunes, but then the audience wanted more Swedish music, so we had to do many encores. We had not had time to practice a lot, and therefore we hade to make fast decisions on stage, we did not really know which songs to play…

Then we had a some time for a jam session before we left the place. It was a very nice evening, because the people were very interested in what we were doing and liked our music. Paweł, got many phone calls the following day from people who just wanted to tell him how much they enjoyed it.


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Wind and winds in Poland

Friday turned into an excursion day, going 4-wheel-driving on the border to Lithuania. It was a very windy day and Kuba, Jerzy, Martin and I went for two missions – looking for crosses by the road and looking for a venue for Wiosna-festival 2013. One of the places was  Krasnogruda, the family home of the poet Czesław Miłosz, which now has been restored into a Culture Center.

Cross close the border of Lithuania

Cross close the border of Lithuania

Checking out the Literature Center in Krasnogruda

Checking out the Culture Center in Krasnogruda

Pitstop in Piotrek's lovely kitchen

Pitstop in Piotrek’s lovely kitchen

Piotrek's own chapel that he built in 2012

Piotrek’s own chapel that he built in 2012

Cross close to the Lithuanian border

Cross close to the Lithuanian border

My cameraman in action

My cameraman in action

We also visited the photographer Piotr Malczewski in Buda Ruska, where we had a cosy evening in his kitchen, looking at photos and where Pawel got to know everything about how to travel around the lake Baikal.

Yet another visit in a lovely kitchen (at Piotr Malczewski's house)

Yet another visit in a lovely kitchen (at Piotr Malczewski’s house)

Pawel and Piotr discussing the best way to travel to Bajkal

Pawel and Piotr discussing the best way to travel to Bajkal

Even more winds on Saturday going back to Warsaw when meeting up with flute maker Grzegorz Tomaszewicz and his wife Natalja. We had a wonderful dinner with interesting talks about political history, about the Soviet times. In the end Grzegorz stood up, took a chair and put it in the middle of his music room. “Sit!” he ordered and then he turned on a piece of music that we all sat and listened to for at least ten minutes. It was a sublime experience. When the piece had ended he said: “Well, Astrid, did you think about politics now?”. I answered him no and he said: “Good!”

Music cinema at Grzegorz's

Music cinema at Grzegorz’s

Before heading off for an Irish music concerts we stopped at a boutique launch in the center of town, where a commercial film, that Kuba had been co-producing, was to be shown. Quite an opposite experience compared to the other things we did that night, trying to blend in among fashionable people with two violins and an accordion.

The old filmer and the young fiddler

The old filmer and the young fiddler

At the irish pub we listened to Beltaine and I got to experience what networking actually is about; really getting to know people. It was wonderful to reunite with musicians that I met last May, who recognized me – “the fiddler” – and whom I immediately could start talking to about instruments, playing and everything else necessary  in life.

Beltaine on stage

Beltaine on stage

The last day of our trip Martin was introduced to Warsaw. We saw the Culture Center and the Old Town. And the weirdest thing happened when we visited one of Warsaw’s largest CD-stores – Traffic Club. We couldn’t help ourselves looking through the World Music section and found only one CD on Scandinavian music, and which appeared to be Blekinge Spelmansförbund’s first CD. In other words I found my own tracks…

Martin and the Culture Center

Martin and the Culture Center

Street musicians in Warsaw

Street musicians in Warsaw

Sometimes you need a piece of heaven....

Sometimes you need a piece of heaven….

Blekinge invasion of Warsaw... yet another evidence

Blekinge invasion of Warsaw… yet another evidence


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Sun and singing in Suwalki

We are now, Martin and I,  in the middle of our fantastic Spring trip to Suwalki. We flew in to Warsaw Wednesday and immediately hit the road north-east together with Kuba, arriving at midnight at Pawel’s farm in Posejnele. The icy cold air and bright stars were giving a hint about some coming sunny days.

Thursday we went for long walks in Pawel’s forests and in the evening the Krusznia crew had arranged a performance in the old school of Mackowaruda. The main attraction was the film from the Wiosna-festival that was be shown publicly for the first time. We got to present our project and what we have achieved during the last two years.

Of course there was a lot of music and we reunited with friends we have learnt to know both at the Wiosna-festival and in Ronneby in September, when the Polish group visited us.

mackowaruda mackowaruda2 mackowaruda4 posejnele1

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Christmas Memories

“February – the most meaningless month of the year” a friend said the other day. Maybe it’s true. It’s a month stuck between the joys of Christmas and the warmth of the Spring. Here in Sweden we don’t even have any festivities this time of the year, like fasching in the south.

So, the only way to keep up the spirit is to remember the nice Christmas get-togethers. The 28th of December we were a whole bunch that met up at Gamlegården for a Julstuga – an evening of singing, dancing and playing.


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Rehearsing for Midvinterton!

At this very moment a handful of the BaSIC youth is rehearsing for a dance gig next weekend. Come and listen to them (and loads of other bands) at Midvinterton in Olofström!



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