European Music Council
June 11, 2018
For immediate release
Press release
Black Metal and Sami Yoik Music at the 8th European Forum on Music
Photo: Endre Lohne                             
From 7 to 10 June 2018 more than 100 representatives from over 20 European countries met at the 8th edition of the European Forum on Music in Oslo, Norway.
What comes to your mind when you think about Norwegian music? Blonde singers, loud music in dark vaults or folklore singing and dancing? All of that and many more could be listened to at the European Forum on Music in Oslo.
Bearing the official EU label for the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage, the Forum – organised and hosted by the European and the Norwegian Music Council (EMC and NMC) - asked what is the future of Europe’s musical roots and gave diverse answers. In his keynote address, Ferdinand Richard referred to the theme of the conference "Looking Back - Looking Forward. The Future of Europe's Musical Roots" by saying: "I understand that my own conception of what is my identity is constantly moving in this gigantic crossroad which is Europe, as its musical roots easily demonstrate. There is no past, there is no future, there is movement."
The session on oral transmission demonstrated that traditional music throughout Europe is kept alive and further developed by new adaptations through live electronics, choir arrangements, DJ adaptations, and many more. This could also be heard in the final concert at which SafeMUSE artist Hamid Sakhizada performed together with renowned Norwegian musicians such as Marthe Valle and Håvard Lund fusing traditional Afghan music with traditional Norwegian music – the sometimes overstreched saying of “music being an international language” became a listening reality.
The session on the future of recent musical repertoire had a look at inspiring and sometimes very pragmatic programming strategies of radios and concert halls for what is often called “classic contemporary music” – and how to overcome obstacles. The future is not imaginable without an awareness on environmental issues – therefore one of the panels looked at how musicians and music activities such as festivals can become “greener.” Practical solutions were presented suggesting awareness rising for music lovers, concrete measures for organisers as well as ambassador schemes for musicians. How the ever mobile music sector – from touring artists to travelling music lovers – will manage a sustainable green approach still needs to be further elaborated.
And there are also other reasons for musicians to travel far – when being prosecuted in their home countries some need to seek refuge and Safe Havens, such as the musicians from the SafeMuse project. In the panel on freedom of expression the speakers agreed that we want all to be able to express themselves freely whether we agree on it or not, because we are a plural society.
Further to these more contextual perceptions on the future of music in Europe, a joint session with the European Theatre Convention presented the EU’s policy for culture which is incorporated in the new edition of the European Agenda for Culture which will consequently bring about EU funding programmes for music and culture, such as the preparatory action “Music Moves Europe” and the potential continuation of the Creative Europe programme as of 2021.
For the EMC and its members the future will very much focus on the implementation and further development of the European Agenda for Music, reflecting the diverse topics and looking at how the Agenda can be implemented practically also on a local level – some examples were discussed in the project presentations by EMC members.
The musical programme of the Forum was a true celebration of diversity: with "From the Vastland” a black metal band was included in the Forum programme, complemented by the Norwegian Girls’ Choir and Swedish Sami singer Katarina Barruk and Sarah-Jane Summers & Juhoni Silvola.
The next edition of the Forum in 2019 will coincide with the IMC World Forum on Music, celebrating the IMC’s 70th anniversary: Save the date: 27 September to 1 October 2019, Paris, France
More pictures here!
Following the EFM the Annual Meeting of Members of the EMC took place on 10 June 2018, where a new EMC Board was elected at the EMC Annual Meeting:
Ian Smith, President (United Kingdom)
Victoria Liedbergius, Vice-President (Norway)
Willem van Moort, Treasurer (The Netherlands)
Eirik Birkeland (Norway)
Joanna Grotkowska (Poland)
Audrey Guerre (France)
Michalis Karakatsanis (Cyprus)
David Zsoldos (Hungary)
French version here
German version here
Photo: Endre Lohne
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