Originally hailing from London, Shanghai-based Felicita is one of the most interesting young producers working with fractured sounds. Soft Power was originally commissioned by Unsound, in collaboration with traditional dancers from Śląsk Song and Dance Ensemble, the oldest and most renowned company of its kind in Poland. This unique work synthesizes traditional choreography and costume with new music to create a hypnotic multimedia experience. The concept stems from Felicita’s childhood education in traditional dance, and explores folk culture, national identity, tourism, branding, illusion, and farce.
As Ben Ben-Beaumont Thomas wrote in The Guardian: “Folk dances, involving lots of twirling around and dramatised romance, are paired with plangent piano melodies, scorched ambient noise and, most incongruously, wild synthetic pop. Despite (or rather because of) the aesthetic clashes, it hangs together in a supremely atmospheric whole. Devised in the wake of Brexit, it’s a stirring affirmation of how cultures can coexist while retaining their own voices.”
Opening is Speaker Music aka DeForrest Brown, Jr. who will present “a Black rhythm happening to fill a crease,” a new improvised composition expanding on the lush ensemble energy music found in his debut album of desire, longing (Planet Mu, 2019). Referencing free jazz trumpeter Eddie Gales’ culturally noteworthy 1969 album Black Rhythm Happening, Speaker Music probes further into the sonic narratives of African American expression towards a novel rhythmic and romantic abstraction of vibration and frequency.
Soft Power is organised in collaboration with the Adam Mickiewicz Institute as part of the Polska Music programme and POLSKA 100, the international cultural programme celebrating the centenary of Poland regaining independence.Financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland as part of the multi-annual programme NIEPODLEGŁA 2017–2022.