This years Sacrum Profanum Festival starts on Saturday 23rd September under the theme ‘Multiwersum’
We invite you to this year’s Sacrum Profanum Festival! Together in the Multiverse we will look for multi-: versions, variants, species, spaces, locations, worlds and relationships.
Festival of many worlds and dimensions
In this years edition, Sacrum Profanum enters the Multiverse to prove that contemporary music is a field in which many worlds and dimensions coexist. We will once again try to blur the boundaries between the so-called classical and alternative music, reaching for absolutely unusual combinations.
The name of the Sacrum Profanum Festival is based on combining opposing worlds and building connections between them. This year’s Multiverse invites you to a programme set at different times and in different places in Krakow. We will find its dimensions in music, compositions, the city and places, and among the invited artists. We will play in places we don’t usually play, and we will turn some of the concerts into a journey through time and space.
What is the Sacrum Profanum Festival?
The festival is an international project which has become one of the most fascinating music events in Europe. It presents the latest music with the aim of blurring the boundaries between contemporary music, frequently perceived as difficult and inaccessible, and the achievements of ambitious pop and experimental scenes.
The concerts “profanate” the ideas of classics, traditions and conservatism, and “sacralise” experimentations, avantgarde and curiosity. As well as holding concerts, Sacrum Profanum also features operas, exhibitions and audio art installations, meetings, discussions and workshops exploring the festival’s theme.
There are also plans to expand into ballet in the future! Stylistically, the programme is an alchemical blend of three themes: 20th-century contemporary music, avantgarde and indie-classical.
MULTIWERSUM – SACRUM PROFANUM 2023
Embark on a journey through the multiverse of contemporary music! The Sacrum Profanum festival begins on 23rd September.
This Saturday, on the Main Market Square in Krakow, Erwan Keravec’s bagpipes will signal that the festival of contemporary music is beginning in the city. Audiences who value artistic experiment will meet in the most interesting concert locations in Krakow to jointly explore the dimensions of Sacrum Profanum. The September part of the festival includes two concerts: Bugle Call and In Between, during which we will hear, among others, meditative bagpipes, Scandinavian lullabies and an electronic requiem.
icon-day 23rd September
icon-location Main Square + secret location
We are again focusing on an unusual instrument in the new repertoire – this time the bagpipes. Erwan Keravec will perform pieces by Glass, Radigue and his own in various parts of the Main Square. He will play in the very heart of the city – solemnly, artistically and officially, like a bugler, giving a signal to the inhabitants of Krakow that the festival has begun in earnest!
Each composition presents a different aspect of the bagpipes: marching playing traditional for this instrument, dynamics and rhythmicity, as well as long sound and meditation. The Frenchman is a virtuoso in playing the Scottish bagpipes and is interested in both traditional and contemporary music, including improvised music. At Sacrum Profanum he will perform the famous Two Pages by Philip Glass, OCCAM OCEAN XVII by Éliane Radigue and Urban Pipes by his own authorship.
After the first part of the concert, we will take the participants to a secret location where we will hear Duo van Vliet, currently composed of accordionist Rafał Łuc and violist Rafał Zalech. The band’s name comes from the surname of the late Don Van Vliet, better known as Captain Beefheart – a great personality of avant-garde rock.
The band’s goal is to explore their own possibilities and expand their repertoire for both instruments. The concert program included works by the most interesting Polish artists of the young generation: Monika Szpyrka, Paweł Malinowski and Rafał Zapała, combined with compositions by James Black. The program combines reflection on contemporary times with music: sometimes dreamlike, sometimes precise, filled with beautiful harmonies, elements of performance, ASMR and plunderophony – quotes from other works.
icon-day 24th September
Ensemble E is an international ensemble of artists and musicians led by Mats Gustafsson operating in the fields of contemporary experimental music, noise, improvisation, folk, free jazz and other musical traditions. He created a completely new expression built on fragments of memory. Gustafsson asked the artists to share their most important personal musical memory – the melody of the first lullaby or song that became permanently embedded in them.
This was the starting point for collective work on the song EE Opus One. The concert is held in cooperation with the Avant Art foundation – it is a Krakow stop on the route of the Polish-Scandinavian project In Between Norway & Poland.
That evening we will also hear a concert by Jędrzej Siwek, balancing between contemporary and ambient music, written for analog synthesisers, a virtual choir, a virtual string quartet, loopers and electronics.
The artist tells stories with sound, balancing between experimental, contemporary and ambient music. He debuted in 2020 with the album La Mer, referring to a work by Debussy, and now draws inspiration from the rich heritage of requiem – funeral masses, especially those created in the eras of classicism and romanticism: compositions by Mozart, Verdi, Fauré and Berlioz. The first performance of Requiem during Sacrum Profanum, combined with the album premiere, is an offer to join the collective experience of sadness and loss. The concert is also a space for meditation, deep listening, and finding peace of mind against the background of music that promotes calm and letting go.
Jędrzej Siwek will also meet with high school and college students during the Experiment! workshops. Practically an encounter with sound.
The full program of the 21st edition of Sacrum Profanum is available on the festival website. Tickets are available for sale on KBF: BILETY, in the KBF application: PLUS and on EVENTIM.
I was pleasantly surprised to see Scottish bagpipes featuring in the opening and closing concerts of this years festival!
WHO ARE KBF?
Kraków Festival Office, KBF (Krakowskie Biuro Festiwalowe) are the amazing people behind so many great festivals in Kraków, mostly, but not only related to music, literature and film, they also do a number of other activities and cooperate in the field of arts and culture.
Kraków Expats Directory, recently became a partner of KBF, we plan to develop our cooperation to inform about cultural events and integrate cultures in our magical city.
Look out for more cultural content in the future in cooperation with our new partners KBF.
You can also find out more on our KBF Listing.
David fell in love with Kraków 24 years ago, making it his home in 2011.
In 2020 he was awarded the title of Kraków’s Ambassador of Multiculturalism, by the President of Kraków, and is also a member of the GlobalScot network, representing Scottish culture and business abroad.
We’re always looking for interesting stories, events, characters or groups to feature. Likewise, if you’d like to join us, as a contributor, please get in touch.