7th Melting Pot laboratory in Wroclaw Poland

The 7th Melting Pot improvisation laboratory took place on the 22 November 2015 during the 12th Jazztopad Festival in Wrocław, Poland. In the framework of Melting Pot a roundtable debate also took place with the title “Balancing the bottom line with innovative programming” on the 23 November involving artists, representatives from European festivals and venues, record label managers and journalists.

Melting pot is a multi-disciplinary artistic and research project supported in this last year by EJN and the Creative Europe programme of the European Union based on improvisation laboratories involving up-and-coming musicians as well as performing and visual artists such as painters, comics illustrators, dancers and more.

In these laboratories artists from Poland, Belgium, Ireland, Germany, Luxembourg, Denmark that didn't collaborate before, have a short residency together and then to develop a public performance that mixes these different art forms. Most of all Melting Pot is an occasion to experiment at the same time artistic collaborations between different nationalities and intertwining between art forms on the basis of free improvisation.

This last laboratory was combining music, in particular jazz and avant-garde, with dance, with the involvement of dancers from Centrum Inicjatyw Artystycznych in Wrocław.
The round-table debate on the 23 November started with a presentation of the Melting Pot project and some interesting reflections on the importance of the venues where an event is presented and how it affects the relation with the audience. In the case of Melting Pot, in the previous laboratories unconventional venues where used for the performances in order to reach out to people not usually exposed to improvised music, and all the rehearsals where open to the public. Another interesting point of discussion was about how to “give a soul” to a music venue, through innovative programming and experimentations, and at the same time balancing the need for financial sustainability and constant audience support. Very interesting in this regard are the cases of the recently opened National Forum of Music in Wrocław, but also of Sage Gateshead in the U.K and of Cakarjev Dom in Slovenia, which have a longer history and were able to share the lessons they learnt in these years.
The final event of Melting Pot will take place at the end of April 2016 in Wrocław, as part of the programme of the European Capital of Culture 2016, and will involve all the 70+ artists that took part in the programme in a collective multi-disciplinary performance. The event will include a conference on the lessons learnt from the project, the outcomes of which will be very useful to EJN members and in general to music producers and presenters all over Europe.