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« Détours de Babel » Festival

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How it all began

A tale of musical creation under total transformation

Jazz and contemporary music emerged from the avant garde scene of the last century. This intellectual and artistic movement of ‘modernity’ turned both highbrow and popular musical language and practices upside down through its representation of the social movements and policies of the time.

Today, the globalization of cultural exchange, the migration of aesthetics and the hybridization of forms reveal the new cultural challenges in musical creation. Shaking up the academicism, this new world is nourished by the blending of art forms, genres and styles until the lines between highbrow and popular music become blurred, defined genres have been hijacked, and traditions from around the world have been ‘revisited’.

Through this new challenge, modern musical creations are truly rooted in their era; they become involved in societal questions and reflect the transformations of society, culture and identity today and help to construction of ‘composite’ imaginations of tomorrow.

Between musical study and the musical industry, musical creation is revisiting the avant garde and renewing this tradition of innovation inspired by (and necessary because of) the cultural, political and societal transformations of a globalized world.

New interaction between cultures, cities, regions and their populations

Our urban landscape is also undergoing total transformation: it bubbles with life, is extensively-connected and therefore offers improbable encounters between highbrow and popular cultures. This intercultural dimension creates ‘composite’ local identities, the structures of which are supported by the immaterial provision of symbolism, imagination and collective intelligence from around the globe.

The history of Grenoble and its surrounding area, with its rich population open to cultural diversity and technological innovation, has a reputation for local and international exchange.

Its location in the mountains is juxtaposed by its rich industrial heritage making it a place where development and conservation, innovation and tradition and urban and rural environments go hand in hand to confront the challenges posed by en ever changing environment and the desire to live together in harmony.

The festivals are part of this urban identity; they represent a temporary forum where world cultures are shared and exchanged. They bring the world to Grenoble and take Grenoble to the rest of the world.

The intercommunity aspect of the CIMN project, which draws from these two structures and their past twenty years of experience, could become a cultural catalyst in local authorities’ reform projects and the plan to ‘metropolise’ the Grenoble area to include the Gresivaudan Valley

Combining the 38e Rugissants and Grenoble Jazz Festivals

For over 20 years, the 38e Rugissants Grenoble Jazz   festivals have been veritable high points of the Grenoble and Isère music calendar in the domain of so-called ‘highbrow’ music, both composed and improvised. They are recognized nationally and internationally; they initiate, produce and co-produce creative projects, welcome vast audiences, develop educative programs and diverse partnerships. They also represent a highpoint for musical professionals and journalists. 

The evolution of musical creation has tended towards the dissipation of a pure jazz and contemporary aesthetic in favor of a cross-genre dynamic, which in the latter years has led to a ‘convergence’ of these two festivals’ respective programs.

This development, which has proved to be as artistic as it is cultural and societal, has led the organizers of these two events to pool their expertise and resources to create an entirely new project in the form of a permanent organization devoted to musical creation firmly anchored in the local fabric and resolutely open to the world.

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