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« Détours de Babel » Festival

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The International Centre for Nomadic Music (CIMN)
and the "Détours de Babel" Festival

Following on from 38e Rugissants and Grenoble Jazz Festival, Grenoble’s INTERNATIONAL CENTRE FOR NOMADIC MUSIC (CIMN - Centre International des Musiques Nomades) coordinates and produces creative residencies throughout the year as well ensuring their promotion and edition. It is also organizing an international festival devoted to contemporary world music every spring in Grenoble: the Détours de Babel or ‘Babel Detour’  Festival. 

Not only does this festival encourage a mix of musical genres and categories, it inspires ‘cross-genre’ and ‘transcultural’ creations that reflect the social and cultural transformations of today and contribute to the ‘composite’ construction of tomorrow’s creations.

Each year a new theme will echoes the challenges of modern society enabling artistic confrontation and debate. The 2011 theme of ‘Music and Identity’ will be followed by ‘Music and Politics’ in 2012 and ‘Music and Religion’ in 2013.

CIMN’s artistic project

Encouraging a ‘transcultural’ approach to creation

The CIMN has developed the idea of ‘transculturality’ as a vector of musical innovation and creation, but also as a way of taking a sensitive look at the challenges our society faces today. This approach looks beyond the accepted notion of aesthetics to question modernity and innovation in music at a time when the ‘creolization’ of cultures has reached a global scale. Its key aim is to encourage transcultural initiatives through the artistic projects of musicians and composers who ‘smuggle’ from culture to culture. Mixes and hybrids, in the sense of ‘compositions that retain their integrity’ will drive the decisions based on these actions. 

This festival will showcase a range of styles from contemporary western compositions to performances of the oral traditions of many non-western cultures and civilizations, it will invite major solo artists to give performances based on the oral characters of jazz, modern music and world music, it will develop cross-cultural ‘hybrid’ projects and musical and digital art… among other things!

CIMN selects and supports projects based on the level of risks taken by the creators and the uniqueness of their approach. Particular attention is paid to their ability to enrich or renew contemporary musical language and also their involvement in societal debates, the pertinence of their interrogation of the world and the links and the connections they make between aesthetic and cultural perspectives.

A new theme each year

By opening up to a wide range of musical forms and aesthetics, this event calls for a common theme to link the artistic proposals together. By adopting a coherent ‘editorial’ line with each festival, the artists address a common and key theme. The themes reflect the challenges of our globalized culture; they inspire debate and attempt to make sense of it in relation the big societal questions of identity, religion and politics. 

Various creative projects will be developed around these editorial choices, as well as artistic residencies, receptions and complimentary actions to inform and raise awareness, educational projects, professional encounters and debates, film projections, exhibitions, and radio and television programs.

Welcoming ‘artists and/or associated groups’ and supporting young creation

More composers of contemporary and improvisational music will become involved in the projects with each new festival and each new theme. These artistic collaborations will fuel commissions for pieces, productions, creative residencies, master classes, pedagogical projects in connection with music schools and academies. CIMN productions are supported artistically with particular attention paid to the project’s gestation period and conditions. It targets both European and international audiences and is also available on CD, DVD and via digital means. Moreover, the CIMN organizes ‘chantiers’ (building sites) every year, which are in fact a call for projects aimed at young composers and musicians in Europe.

These projects are an integral part of the Detours de Babel program which encourages their performance at regional and national venues by inviting programmers and providing promotional documentation and videos.

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