Song of Our Roots

Festival format

We all need music; without it we cannot live”
N. Harnoncourt

For more than 25 years we experience truth behind those words.
Here, in the city of Jarosław, in the south-east part of Poland.
Here, we are discovering as well as showcasing the most interesting aspects of early music. Famous, greatest works as well as those less known. Monumental and brittle. Written on paper and those, which exist only in the memory of its performers.

Concerts are not the only focus here. “Song of Our Roots” Festival is also a place of debate, exploration and encounters. As Marcel Pérès, an honorary citizen of Jarosław once said: “This is not just a festival. Every year is full of beautiful concerts, but it is mainly a place of encounters. There are a lot of musicians coming here. And that is what is special about this place. Among the concert audience you can see musicians, that will be performing in the following days. There are many people here, who seek to understand, ask questions and who are open to experiments; such is the unique atmosphere of Jarosław, that I haven’t seen anywhere else. […] There is a group of people that will come back there, year after year. It’s the place, where you can really get to know something. Not just as a viewer, that is picking up knowledge, but rather through a participation, changing us as we go.”

Important questions are being asked here. The most fundamental one is about tradition. It is said, it forms an invisible thread of continuity between generations. For us, music is also such a thread. Early and traditional. Religious and secular. Liturgical and for dancing. Vocal and instrumental. Tradition constitutes our memory of days past. Music is the thread, that we hold on to when walking through labyrinths of past. Through the same thread however, the early comes to us, entering our present, asking questions about its current importance.

Is there a modern man? Is he at all different from his ancestors? Can we, as modern people, cast our mind back hundreds years into the past? Can thoughts, emotions and experiences of artists from Middle Ages, renaissance or baroque, embedded in their works, resonate with our modern sensitivity? Is there a passage from later ages all the way to antiquity?

What constitutes our identity?

We seek to find out all those things in Jarosław every year. And as was mentioned by Marcel Pérès, we are looking for answers to those questions not merely as beholders, but rather through participation. That’s why
Jarosław is also a place of workshops, seminars and encounters. Those
planned and those completely unexpected.

Patrizia Bovi (Micrologus Ensemble) once wrote on her Facebook page:
“For a couple of days I have taught some of the laudes from Laudario di Cortona to a group of over seventy singers and instrumentalists. We set to perform it later on, during a night vigil. I think for the first time I have touched something, that those XIIIth century laudesi must have felt every day: a group singing without making it a spectacle or a concert; shared joy of making music in a place where rite, context and function of it all where perfectly linked with each other.

Therefore, we invite you to make this journey to Jarosław in August. Journey that has many dimensions. Dariusz Czaja in his article once wrote: “Jarosław is a vivid place of musical pilgrimage, a rather peculiar crossroads of traditions where once a year East, West, North and South all meet each other. Although that sounds like a cheap slogan, it is – you can’t help it – nothing but a truth.

See you in Jarosław!