Rabih Abou-Khalil (The Lebanon) and the Band: Jarrod Cagwin (Austria), Michel Godard (France)
Meditation music concert
The chronicle of former Festivals
About Christian Culture Festival
Christian Culture Festival was organized for the first time in 1997 on 10th Anniversary of the Logos Theatre. In a sense, it extends the idea of Christian Culture Weeks organized in Poland in 70s and 80s of the last century, which were to become counterpoise to lay media model promoted by the State. Lodz Christian Culture Days were organized in churches all around the city, so as to accommodate the artists, spectacles, exhibitions and projections.
One of such places was the John Paul lecture theatre in the vault of the Assumption of Holy Mother Church in Kościelna Street. This is where the Logos Theatre started, before it was moved to the church in Maria Skłodowska-Curie. It was this church that Archbishop Władysław Ziółek gave to the Lodz artists in 1993, and in which the Centre of Creative Communities’ of Lodz Archdiocese was appointed. It is here that the ‘logistic’ centre of the Festival is located, and where some of the Festival events take place.
Traditionally, the Festival takes place in November, on the first Sunday after All Soul’s Day. It usually lasts for two weeks, during which various event take place – spectacle premiers, other theatres come to Lodz, there are exhibitions of invited artists, performances of choirs and musicians, very often not to be seen anywhere else in Poland at any other time. The Festival programme is the result of the whole year’s work of rev. Waldemar Sondka, the Festival Director, who – using his contacts – invites artists who are interesting, out of the ordinary, noteworthy and creating art perhaps not always religious, but always searching and at the highest level. Care for the level of the Festival offers is a permanent rule, the Logos environment has always wished to provide the Lodz citizens with the possibility of contact with art deprived of parochialism, open to the man and as perfect formally as possible.
The Festival is not an activity that brings profit. Any entrance cards are issued as invitations that are free of charge, and the team of the Logos Theatre and all the people engaged in the Festival organization, act as volunteers. This does not mean that Christian Culture Festival costs nothing. On the contrary, to organize such a cultural event at appropriate level is always connected with costs. Rev. Waldemar Sondka deals with organizing means to secure the Festival events all year round. He manages to gain sponsors (without whom the Festival would not exist) and subsidies from institutions that deal with funding culture (without which the Festival could not develop). All that in order to realize the basic idea of the event that derived from the Lodz Christian Culture Days – to enable anyone who wishes and needs that, to live the Mystery through art. This idea assumes a free of charge participation in all the artistic events, which has been the case since the very beginning of the Festival until today, the only condition is that on the day of the Festival opening, one must queue as long as it takes to get invitations. The only limit to the number of invitations is the capacity of rooms in which the events are organized every day throughout the two weeks of the Festival.
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XX Christian Culture Festival in Lodz
6th — 20th November 2016
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Born and raised in the cosmopolitan climate of Beirut in the sixties and seventies, Rabih Abou-Khalil leaned to play the oud, the Arabian short-necked lute, at the age of four. In the Arab world this instrument is as popular as the guitar or the piano in the West and is the composer's instrument par excellence. The Lebanese civil war forced him to leave his country in 1978 to study classical flute in the German city of Munich, where he was tutored at the Munich Academy of Music by Walther Theurer. The analytical preoccupation with the European classical tradition enabled him to grasp the Arabic music from a further, theoretical position, opening his eyes to the possibility of operating simultaneously within musically divergent systems. Whereas Arab instrumentalists were content to imitate human voice techniques, Abou-Khalil set out to explore new ways of playing his instrument. Music critics have even recommended his accomplished technique as a “study for jazz guitarists”; his ballads, on the other hand, rekindle memories of the poetic dawn of Arabian culture, without ever sounding even remotely traditionalistic.
Rabih Abou-Khalil has asserted himself in the avant-garde as a composer as well as an instrumentalist. This is not just because he is ahead of his time — but because he also questions what others might pursue without further reflection. With his original composing technique, his unconstrained, yet daring approach to dassical Arabic music, he has found a musical language entirely his own. Commissioned by the Südwesrfunk (Southwest German Radio), Abou-Khalil wrote two unusual compositions for string quartet in his own rhythmically and melodically charged style. The maiden performance with the Kronos String Quartet was the highlight at the Stuttgart Jazz Summit in 1992. On his CD, “Arabian Waltz”, with the Balanescu String Quartet he successfully integrated the string quartet — for centuries the domain of European classical music — into his musical language.
What superficially appears to be a chance encounter between opposing instruments and a seemingly antagonistic dash of talents from different musical worlds is in fact the result of a well pondered upon concept. Under Abou-Khalil's guidance these undeniable differences by no means descend into Babylonian confusion. On the contrary, the cosmopolizan musicians from different cultural backgrounds draw inspiration from their shared intuitive understanding of the serious challenge they face in interpreting Abou-Khalil's music. The intellectual and emotional identification with these compositions unleashes charges of enthusiasm in each of the players, inciting new heights of musical mastery. Yet the temptation of individual one-upmanship is never as strong as the collective innovative endeavor and exploration into uncharted terrain. The highly varied works by Abou-Khalil — all nonetheless derived from this very elixir — now stand in their own right, extending so far beyond convention that they somehow elude all fixed categories. Abou-Khalil's music thrives on creative encounters and not on exoticism. From a combination of diverse cultural elements something very personal and coherent emerges. Thus it would be fruitless to mull over descriptions such as Orient or Occident, jazz, world music or classical.
Commissioned by the BBC Concert Orchestra to write music for orchestra, Abou-Khalil wrote works that were performed in London and Chichester. For another project for the German city of Duisburg he chose to collaborate with the Ensemble Modern, one of the most renowned orchestras specializing in contemporary music. “While working with Rabih Abou-Khalil, I was starkly reminded of a saying by Herbert von Karajan: 'Do not pIay the bar along with the music, play across the measure'.” That was how Dietmar Wiesner, the flute player of the Ensemble Modem, summed up his impressions from the rehearsals: “Unbelievably fine, irregular rhythms, masterfully formed into melodic chains that remain in a floating condition, never setting to land, and thus reaching a high level of charm that relentlessly pulls the listener into its magic.”
by Jerry G. Bauer
Rabih Abou-Khalil at international festivals:
Berlin Horizonte Festival, Germany 1988
Neuwied Festival, Germany 1988
Raab Jazz Festival, Austria 1988
Crawley Jazz Festival, England 1988
North Sea Jazz Festival, Holland 1989, 1993
Lugano Jazz Festival, Switzerland 1989
Jazzfestival Kiel, Germany 1989
Weltmusikfestival, Wien, Austria 1989
Mediterranean Music Festival, Catania, Sicily 1989
Theaterhaus Festival Stuttgart, Germany 1989, 1990
Willisau Festival, Switzerland 1990
Gibellina Ethno-Festival, Sicily 1990
Bleiburg Jazz Festival, Austria 1990
St. Ingbert Jazz-Festival, Germany 1991
Oldenburger Weltmusiktage, Germany 1991
International Jazz Festival, Greece 1991
Hamburg Jazz Festival, Germany 1991
Leverkusener Jazztage, Germany 1991
Jazz Summit Stuttgart (with the Kronos Quartett) 1992
Festival Mediterraneo, Spain 1992
Rennes Arts Festival, France 1992
Jazzfestival Jesolo, Italy 1993
Jazzfestival Rome, Italy 1993
Jazzfestival Besançon, France 1993
Montreal Jazzfestival, Canada 1993
North Sea Jazz Festival, Holland 1993
Jazz Festival Taipeh, Taiwan 1993
Viersen Jazz Festival, Germany 1993
Neuwied Jazz Festival, Germany 1993
Jazz Open, Suttgart, Germany 1994
Jazz Festival Zürich, Switzerland 1994
Jazz Festival Berlin, Germany 1994
Jazz en Provincia, Spain 1994
Jazz Festival, Atwerpen, Belgium 1994
Musical Passages East/West, Athens, Greece 1995
Damascus Jazz Festival, Syria 1995, 1996
Jazz Festival Sevilla, Spain 1995
JazzFest Berlin, Germany 1995
Istanbul Jazz Festival, Turkey 1996
Amman Jazz Festival, Jordan 1996
Saalfelder Jazztage, Austria 1996
Skopje Jazz Festival, Macedonia 1996
Jazz Festival Lausanne, Switzerland 1996
Jazz Festival Strasbourg, France 1996
Jazz Festival Lausanne, Switzerland 1996
Jazz Festival Basel, Switzerland 1997
Jazz Festival Utrecht, Holland 1997
Jazz Open, Stuttgart, Germany 1997
East-West Jazz Festival, Nuremberg, Germany 1998
Jazz Festival, Thessaloniki, Greece 1998
Bell Atlantic Jazz Festival, New York, USA 1999
Rome Jazz Festival, Rome, Italy 1999
Ravenna Jazz Festival, Ravenna, Italy 1999
Baalbeck International Festival, Lebanon 1999
Brussel Jazz Festival 1999
Sons d’hivers Music Festival, Paris 2000
International Festival of Arts & Ideas, Yale, USA 2000
Brussels Jazz Festival, Belgium 2000
Roccella Ionica, Rumori Mediterranei, Italy 2000
Charleroi, Festival de Wallonie, Belgium 2000
Jazz Festival Rabat, Morocco 2000
Jazznojazz Festival Zurich, Switzerland 2000
Jazz à Liège, Belgium 2001
Festival Krizanke, Ljubljana, Slovenia 2001
Jazz Festival Skopje, Macedonia 2001
Jazz à Vienne, France 2001
Festival La Ciudadela, Pamplona, Spain 2001
Nancy Jazz Pulsations, France 2001
Beijing Jazz Festival, China 2001
Bath International Music Festival, England 2002
Alamar Festival La Alcazaba, Almeria, Spain 2002
Villa Ada Festival Incontro il Mondo, Rome, Italy 2002
Festival International de Jazz, Montreal, Canada 2002
Classic Music Festival, Monsarraz, Portugal 2002
Festival Babylon, Istanbul, Turkey 2003
Isla de la Cartuja, Sevilla, Spain 2003
Les Trois Jours, Netherlands 2003
Paris Jazz Festival, France 2003
Willisau Jazz Festival, Switzerland 2003
Jazz Festival Saalfelden, Austria 2003
London Jazz Festival, England 2003
Festival Babylon, Istanbul, Turkey 2004
Isla de la Cartuja, Sevilla, Spain 2004
International Music Festival Baalbeck, Lebanon 2004
Les Trois Jours, Netherlands 2004
Paris Jazz Festival, France 2004
Willisau Jazz Festival, Switzerland 2004
Jazz Festival Saalfelden, Austria 2004
London Jazz Festival, England 2004
Tampere Jazz Festival, Finland 2004
Talos Festival, Ruvo di Puglia, Italy 2004
On The Beach, Raahe, Finland 2005
Calagonone Festival, Sardinia 2005
Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 2005
Traumzeit Festival Duisburg, Germany 2005
JVC Jazz Festival, Paris, France 2005
Rimini Jazz Festival, Italy 2005
Queen Elizabeth Hall, London (with the BBC Concert Orchestra), England 2006
Ljubliana Jazz Festival, Slovenia 2006
Budapest Music Festival, Hungary 2006
Asian Olympics, Doha, Qatar 2006
Cultural Festival, Aleppo, Syria 2006
Morgenland Festival Osnabrück (with the Symphonieorchester Osnabrück), Germany 2006
Born near Belfort (France) in 1960, Michel Godard soon established himself as an extraordinarily versatile exponent of tuba, pursuing a career in jazz and classical music. Today he is one of the most virtuous tuba and serpent players in jazz as well as in improvised music.
Michel Godard's tuba performance is fantastic in every sense: his technical skill is astounding, his tone clear and warm, his ability to produce overtones ("multiphonics") and his musicality leaves the listener surprised at how light a seemingly cumbersome and heavy-weight tuba can sound.
In 1979 he picked up the ancestor of tuba, the serpent, an instrument with a name derived from its form — looking like a coiled snake. The serpent's ivory mouthpiece gives it a characteristic warm and intense tone. With this “second” instrument, Michel Godard has taken yet another step in broadening the field of expression in ancient music as well as in jazz. Since 2002, Michel Godard has been the serpent teacher at the “Conservatoire national de musique” in Paris.
On the classical side, since 1988 Michel Godard has played with the Radio-France Philharmonic Orchestra, the French National Orchestra, the Ensemble Musique Vivante, , the ancient music Ensemble La Venice and “XVIII-21Musique de Lumieres". He was also a member of the “Arban Chamber Brass” quintet (notably touring Japan, the U.S., Africa) and interprets works from the solo ropertoire, too. Little wonder than, that with recourse to such experience, he gives international master classes, and has been discovered by European jazz as well as by the avant garde. On the jazz side, he was a member of the French Orchestre National de Jazz from 1989 to 1991 . Since then, Michel Godard has been involved in numerous creative projects all over Western and Souther Europe with Michel Portal, Louis Sclavis, Henry Texier, Enrico Rava, Michael Riessler, Kenny Wheeler, Ray Anderson, Rabih Abou-Khalil, Sylvie Courvoisier, Klaus König, Simon Nabatov, Wolfgang Puschnig, Linda Sharrock, Pierre Favre, Misha Mengelberg, Linda Bsiri, Gianluigi Trovesi, Christof Lauer, Maria Pia De Vito, Pino Minafra, Luciano Biondini,Willem Breuker, Herbert Joos, Dave Bargeron and many more.
As a composer, Michel Godard’s pieces were commissioned by Radio France (“Penthés(il)ée II”), Donaueschinger Musiktage/Südwestrundfunk (“de mémoire de tuba”, “Tra la folla, mora, mormora” , “Praeludium”), French Ministere de la Culture (“Bradamente aux aguets”, “les enfants d’un paradis”).
He recorded many CDs wit his own projects: “Archangelica”, “ImpertinAnce”, “Cousins Germains” for CAMjazz, “Castel del monte”, “Tubatuba” for Enja, “Deep”, “trio rouge” for Intuition...
Michel Godard also played and recorded with a pipeband of the Normandy town Quimper, with a reggae star Alpha Blondy and with “Canterbury” rock musicians John Greaves and Pip Pyle. Together with harpsichordist Freddy Echelberger, he collaborates with a writer Nancy Huston (Tendres ténèbres, pérégrinations Goldberg, Tentatives de renaissance).
Jarrod Cagwin was born and raised in rural Iowa, in the central part of the United States. He began playing drums at a very early age, and was inspired by the late 70s funk, soul, and blues bands of the time. He participated in various regional and national music contests through his adolescence, ranging from rudimentary solo competitions, to high school jazz, symphonic, and field ensemble formations. In 1992 he received a scholarship to attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. There he was exposed to a very cosmopolitan musical atmosphere, with students coming from all corners of the globe. He studied percussion and drums under professor Jamey Haddad and was exposed to various hand drumming techniques from India, the Middle East, Northern Africa, and Brazil. In 1995 he received a grant to study South Indian drumming techniques with Tricky Sankaran at York University in Toronto, Ontario. Upon graduation from Berklee in 1996, he moved to New York City.
There he was part of the avant-garde music scene, performing regularly in such venues as the Knitting Factory, Tonic, and the Blue Note Jazz clubs, as well as working in the studio scene. He also began performing often throughout Europe in the contemporary music scene. In 1999 he began working with the Rabih Abou-Khalil Group, and shortly thereafter he relocated to Paris, France. He has traveled and done extensive field studies the Middle East, North Africa, and West Africa, which had produced a unique percussion & drum set playing style. Other performing and recording credits include collaborations with Joachim Kühn, Gvork Dabaghyan, Charlie Mariano, Michel Godard, Gabriele Mirabassi, Luciano Biondini, Dusko Goykovich, Emmanuelle Somer, Mehmet Emin Bitmez, Kudsi Ergurner, Ferenç Snetberger, Dave Bargeron, Ellery Eskelin, Antonio Hart, Howard Levy, Joe Beck, & Dave Samuels. He is also a guest artist with the Ensemble Modern, and has been a featured soloist with the BBC Orchestra.