Melting Pot is an improvisation initiative, which was started in 2013 and consist of a collaboration between four partner countries, Ireland, Germany, Poland and Denmark with DSI Swinging Europe as one of the operators. It is all about European musicians getting together and improvising and playing each other’s compositions.

Melting Pot took place for the first time in Dortmund on the 9th-10th of November 2013 and was titled ‘Made in Wroclaw, vol. 1.’

Melting Pot – 2014

10405408_10152169607416569_482369821178362072_nGuitarist and composer Gorm Askjær describes the year’s first meeting in Wroclaw as follows:

“I arrived in Wroclaw on a Monday where we got together with most of the other participants in the afternoon. For the next two days we had rehearsals, primarily with the other musicians but also with a dancer. It was a mix of free improvisation and playing each other’s compositions, among others a composition I had made especially for this occasion, which had its first performance at the concert on Thursday.
It was interesting to meet the other musicians from Poland, Germany and Belgium and we got to play lots of great music. The project has simultaneously provided me with good contacts from these countries – including organizers (festival and venue) from Poland and Belgium, which I have made a direct contact to. The concert was held in Wroclaw’s philharmonic hall and was well visited in terms of attendance. The music was accompanied by a dancer and scenography with light and sculptures by an Polish artist. What were really rewarding for me were the trials, the social, the meeting with new musicians, new contacts and new experiences.” (Photo from Gorm’s Facebook profile) 

IMG_6239Bilal Irshed participated at the second meeting in Wroclaw. He is mentor for the multi-cultural band Grænseløs and he has gained experience in mixing musical traditions and describes the value of Melting Pot as follows: “Taking part in the Melting Pot project has been a great experience for me. The rehearsal sessions, leading up to the performance was very interesting and furthermore, it was a process that I definitely learned a lot from. For example, in the piece written by Kristian Blak called Water and Stone, a combination of written music and improvisation was combined with filmed scenes from the Faroe Islands, creating a very unique and challenging musical situation. The intercultural meeting with musicians coming form different places and having musical backgrounds different from mine, was both very challenging and inspiring at the same time.
The compositions and the way the composers worked and interacted with the band was a totally new experience for me and it showed me a whole new way of looking at music. At the same time, I could see that my personal contribution to the project was noticeable, especially given the fact that I play an instrument that is almost never to be found in such projects. I feel that it helped to give the band a more unique sound. The performance took place in Impart/the Chamber Hall in Wroclaw and was attended by a large audience. In fact, it was nearly a full house and I would estimate that 160 people came.”

Melting Pot – 2013

1208730_10151974430175362_851024101_nSwinging Europe chose Søren Knudsen Lyngsøe as the representative of the organization.
Søren is a sound artist and composer who, among others, have played with the Danish big band Blood, Sweat, Drum + Bass. (photo from: www.sorenlyngso.dk)