Sound of London is a four day festival organised by Farrago and Dünyadan Sesler on 12-13-14 and 15th of September. Four different venues to be announced, based on North, South, East and West London. It is organised through a unique collaborative and decentralised structure; aiming at, first and foremost, giving the spotlight to local musical and artistic communities of London.
Now, getting the facts out of the way, instead of dwelling on these regular announcement components of date, time and place, straight out coordinates for coordination and genres for taste, we’ll try to do something different and explain to you the ‘why’ of this festival. More specifically, the values we hold that bring us all together to organise one called “Sound of London”
The premise is classical: a gathering of music and arts, presenting a certain selection of artists and giving them each a certain slot to present their story in a way that embraces the collective nature of that story itself, to shed light on a very human condition that remains underneath.
There are many, many ways to go about it in practicality though. One can emphasise for example, a certain genre when organising a night. One can organise an event through the guiding principle of popularity: the sheer number of people the artists can attract. One can organise it around a certain feeling, around academic talent, around a social cause, around a networking goal, all very surefire ways of going about it.
As the creators of Sound of London, we have made it so that it is organised around the city, set to unfold the city/artist relationship. This by itself, is an interesting premise. One that has been done many times before, yet still interesting.
No artist could deny the amount of influence the “place” factor has in their expression and it is all the more satisfying to experience a music in the land it is created in, at least for my personal taste.
Also, more often than not, the size of the audience at a certain place, parallels the time the artist spends creating at that place. This is a fact valuable by itself that is not considered as often as it should, aside from the business people who try to make money for and through these artists. However, it is not our intention to capitalise on such a fact, at least directly. Our intention lies on a less pragmatic aspiration: on community.
As an artist, a member of the Dünyadan Sesler community and a new project member and collaborator of the Farrago team, I can confidently say that the most essential concept that still needs to be elaborated upon within the artistic sphere might well be this idea of “community”. A certain number of people gathered around a certain cause or exemplified by a certain characteristic, or sometimes simply live together, work together and create together.
This festival celebrates artists who are residents and natives, more than they are nomads and voyagers. It is an interesting if not dissonant idea for the 21st century minded, as the postmodern landscape devalues any rooted intellectualism and the individualistic market forcing the individual to remain exactly an individual in order for them to protect their most “optimised” state.
Going beyond your roots and not committing is romanticised, while simple everydayness and the hard-work that needs to be performed in order to make everyday work is overlooked. Living within such an ideology that some people manage to complete this puzzle that allows them to persist together to form a community.
This is something to be appreciated. And it is this underlying idea of the local flowering community that we want to highlight with this festival. Especially, in such a society where incentives are clearly not aligned with the community.
We believe to remain a community and to think as an artistic group, is necessary to exercise compromise, dialogue, democracy and sustainable resource management with great talent.
Putting the artists first
So it is first and foremost to reinforce and explore this idea that we embarked upon the journey of Sound of London, to appreciate the grassroots artistic and musical communities, the ones that sustain their everyday under much-less-than-optimal conditions and because of this particular persistence, the ones that flow with artistic character.
Although you’ll see a literal map of London in the tickets and designs, we understand that looking at the map is not the same as walking on the terrain itself. It is for that reason that we not only give space to these different artistic and musical communities to perform and share their story, but also partner with them in a manner that gives them directorial freedom and puts us all in a democratic conversation in making this experience possible.
This makes Sound of London a festival that puts artists at the core of its organisational design, having a say in managing their own experience as performers as well as the audiences’ experience as observers.
So come, be with us and experience this unique celebration of the musical terrain of London, rooted in reality and the everyday. Be in touch.