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Education, Magic Carpets, Visual Arts

Report by: Marija Kamber
Cover photo: Domagoj Hmura

Coddled in our dens, resisting hibernation during cold winter days, we observed the city maps, mythical tribes and walking feet of last year’s Magic Carpets programme. Lessons we learned from  Paulina and Maj last year connected to experiences that came from Kamba, and the manner in which such unassuming space can achieve the transformation of surrounding space.
The courtyard of Ilica 37, where Kamba is located, is like many others in the center of Zagreb and on the axis of the street of Ilica. The facade facing outwards, to the street, is neoclassical in style, the inner yard modular and irregular, filled with few shops, garages, and the multitude of abandoned spaces. Crafts surviving, still living in the manner they did 20 or 30 years ago, are slowly dying out, related to the effects of globalization that eradicated small business owners replacing them with fast food versions of items they manufactured, leaving behind them empty shops – properties owned by the state. The return of the crafts is not an irregular occurrence in the urban fiber of the cities today but usually connected with the rise of hip(ster) neighborhoods. But these few surviving craftsmen are still holding on to the old ways of functioning, too old to adjust and be relevant, too un-hip to be considered vintage. The residents of such buildings sharing inner courtyards in Zagreb face the alienation amongst themselves caused by unclear lines in property laws (combining shared ownership and tenant laws), occurring after the war ended. The courtyards built (and in the past used) for socialization now remain as parking and a source of under-the-belt conflict (You’re in my parking spot / Who shared the ramp key to the outsider again, etc.). 

Gemma Riggs, Internal Facade, 2013
And still, life preserves in places like that, old memories exist and new ones are being created, their appearance more interesting than ever, in the world that prides itself on being posh and shiny. That is the reason why the decision to make the community of courtyard of Ilica 37 the topic for our Magic Carpets residency came naturally, in order to see what and how can we contribute in transforming such spaces, while respecting the past still hidden there.  In this context, we selected two artists, somewhat different in their expression and approach: Gemma Riggs, suggested to us by our this year’s partner Folkestone Fringe, and Matthias Krinzinger, coming from Openspace Innsbruck. While selecting our artists, we were focused on choosing someone who had experience in collaboration with different artistic disciplines and media and Gemma caught our eye straight away with her easy, gentle way of conveying different stories through her films. Matthias, on the other hand, we chose because one of the aspects we feel strongly about was choosing the artist who uses humor in their work, an ingredient Matthias has in abundance threaded through his performances, sculptures, and burning cars.

Matthias Krinzinger, Self-portrait on 1960ies stamp

Parallel to organizing Gemma’s and Matthias’s study visit at the end of February, we were in the last stages of defining Glitch, a skill expanding project intended for artists and public alike. In the framework of this endeavor, we applied for one of the aforementioned abandoned spaces in Ilica 37, former opticians’ den and even sooner than that, typewriter dispatcher locale. As our bureaucratical systems often tangle and untangle in very unpredictable ways, the fate of said space is still undefined but something good is definitely cooking. Stay tuned and listen for glitches in the fabric of what you hear, it may just be us.


Education, European Music Incubator, Music
Workshops, presentations, talks, showcase, live acts!
After Tallinn and Liverpool, musicians participating in the ongoing cycle of workshops, are now meeting in Zagreb. These seven samurais, who travel together while learning and developing new business models that transcend traditional boundaries of popular music, will take part in Music and Tourism thematic workshop at the Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb. Additionally, musicians will present their music to a Croatian audience at Improspections Festival, in clubs Pločnik and Vinyl.
Music and Tourism workshop is happening 13. 11. – 14.11. 2017!
Following events:
Performance at the Improspections Festival:
November 11 – Tommaso Rolando (IT)
Performances at the Vinyl:
November 13 – Sara Renar and Marko Jovanović (HR)
Performances at Pločnik:
November 14 – Tommaso Rolando (IT), The Unlikely Boy (FR), Natalie McCool (UK), Argo Vals (EST)
(19:00 – 21:00: reception for press, partners, associates / invitations only; 21: 30- 02:00: musicians’ showcase – live performances / free admission)
Participating artists:

Tommaso Rolando, Music & Tourism  (Italy)
 Musician with a heterodox training, born in Genoa, Italy, he spent the first years of his career as a musician playing and leading bands like Calomito (indie jazz rock – 2 records), Aparecidos (tango/cumbia/milonga – 2 records) and TOBA (impro duo with Patrizia Oliva – 2 records). Later he got involved and toured around the world, in Russia, Ukraine, and Turkey, with Orchestra Bailam. He also recorded four records with this Arabic/Genoese ensemble. During these years he also played along with his solo project STONI, on contrabass, vocals, and electronics (impro/electroacoustic – 1 record). With this solo experience, he finally started to expand his horizons in collaborations with dance, theater, and visual arts. His research at the moment has a strong focus on improvisation, instant composition, and cooperation with other disciplines.
Natalie McCool, Music and brands (UK)  Truly innovative and beautiful take on pop music. Perfect future pop that sets Natalie apart from her contemporaries, her early work was built on a foundation of deliciously dark indie-pop. Her new album ‘The Great Unknown’, however, is a new awakening – emerging from the shadows and rising victoriously with a number of prickly pop tunes. Vibrant with effortlessly catchy songs, McCool can count The Sunday Times, Wonderland, Q, Clash, Line of Best Fit, The 405, BBC Radio 1 DJs Huw Stephens and Alice Levine amongst her fans, while BBC Introducing described Natalie as “one of the finest emerging songwriters around”. At the event at Pločnik Natalie will be performing a special solo set of songs from her album in an intimate and stripped back style. Her powerful vocal and hypnotic guitar playing are sure to mesmerize everybody in the room.
Eléna Tissier, Movies and videogames (France) The Unlikely Boy is a solo music project led since 2015 by the French artist Eléna Tissier. Composer, producer, DJ, author, and musician, she regularly performs both in live and DJ set. As a live performer, she is playing her electro-organic compositions surrounded by a guitar, a bass, a synth, controllers and a mic, creating a melancholic and energetic universe melting electronic, pop and urban influences. As a DJ, she can drift from pop and urban songs to house and techno vibes and loves to highlight the emerging, independent and innovative scene.
Argo Vals, Movies and videogames (Estonia) Argo Vals has been making music for almost all his life but gained an interest in experimenting and recording music mainly on his own in 2006. He started composing and performing with live-electronics in 2008. Nowadays his setup consists of electric guitar, drum machines, looper and effect pedals. The architecture of sounds resembles at times IDM, ambient, math rock, and Nordic jazz. Argo has released two full-length solo albums so far. His debut album “Tsihcier” was released in 2012 and second album “Nokturn” in 2015. Two new singles “To a Tireless Daydreamer” from the upcoming third album were released in June 2017. This album will be available in 2018.
Sara Renar, Music & Brands (Croatia) Sara Renar is an awarded songwriter from Zagreb that has already released three studio albums and in 2015 won the Porin award in the category of vocal performance. In the last three years, Sara performed in around 250 live shows all over the region. Her third studio album, “Silence”, that was released in 2016 has been given the best reviews in the last year, with Hrvatski Radio/National radio, Ravno do dna, Nacional and Globus proclaiming it to be the album of the year. “Silence” is nominated for the Porin award in two categories: the album of the year and the best alternative music album, as well as the IMPALA European album of the year. At the moment Sara is preparing a new release of experimental profile: audio-visual performance “Gdje povlačiš crtu?”/”Where do you draw the line?”, which was originally made on the invitation of HRT, for a manifestation “Rođendan umjetnosti”/”The birthday of the art”. The project surpassed all the expectations and was performed multiple times throughout the region. The release of the vinyl is expected at the end of the year.
Thomas Cochini, Music & digital services (France)
Marko Jovanović. Digital teaching (Croatia) Marko is multiinstrumentalist from Pula, with a master’s degree in music pedagogy and the highest level of classical guitar and piano. He works as music teacher with children with special needs, elementary & high school children, as a composer, music engineer/producer, theater technician and has his own music studio (music recording, composing and production, sound production etc.). He plays piano, guitar, flute, violin, trumpet, drums, bass and all range of electronic instruments.
Partners: Trempolino – Nantes/France; Lab 852 – Zagreb/ Croatia; Municipality of Genoa /Department for Culture & Tourism – Genoa/Italy; Sound City Festival – Liverpool/UK; University of Tartu/ Viljandi Music Academy Tartu/Estonia
Local partners: Institute for Development and International Relations (IRMO), ViBRa – the society of musicians, Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb
Media Partners: Radio Student,, RavnoDoDna
Co-funded by: Creative Europe Programme of the EU, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia, City of Zagreb, Zagreb Tourist Board

Education, European Music Incubator, Music
Back to the first EMI collaborative meeting last August by The UnlikelyBoy (EMI’s artist for Nantes/France).
Totally exhausted but everything is going very well, many amazing meetings and people, no ending conversations about music, Europe, our respective similarities and differences, hopes and fears, all this sharing, all these languages, a very interesting workshop about digital teaching, many beers, bars, restaurants, parties, this afterwork in an hipster bike shop, mysterious food, wearing winter clothes in August, this beautiful atmospheric live set by Argo Vals in his rehearsal squat-like building, all this fascinating post-sovietic-raw-urban architecture, nature, low density, space, air, calm, these streets so clean, the cost of living so low, everything going slowly, at a human rythm, the Baltic sea, this karaoke stuff, thesefantastic empty cheap night clubs, this terrible russian wedding all night long at the hotel, all these smiles and laughs, the traditional costumes, this politeness, the best open-spaces I’ve ever seen (you even put sleepers to enter…), wifi working everywhere, very nice independent events in fascinating alternative venues, not crowded, with an incredible spirit of freedom, a taste of futurism, this goodwill, so many trendy cool places that you can never choose one, a mix of simplicity, common sense and fluidity I didn’t think could actually exist somewhere. Thanks, #EMI, I never did Erasmus, but through this project, I eventually have a taste of what it can be like, how it can affect people and why it is so important.
Watch the link: Talin – first collaborative meeting!