A travelogue from when NAPA participated with workshops, networks and Nordic notes at Greenland’s largest music festival Arctic Sounds in Sisimiut.
Arctic Sounds 2021 took place over two weekends in April. Greenlandic and Arctic artists gathered in Sisimiut to celebrate music, interaction and the artistic relations. All concerts were completely sold out – the gratitude of being able to enjoy the concerts and the culture was evident. Within the audience and with the artists. The program included ÎVA, Da Bartali Crew, FINNi, Andachan, Ivaana and Zika.
The festival consisted of small intimate concerts in the church, large concerts in the culture house Taseralik and in Katersortarfik (public culture house) and concerts especially for children and young people at Hotel Sisimiut. In addition, there were also network meetings, masterclasses and workshops. Arctic Sounds calls its workshops ‘Nordic playgrounds’ to emphasise exchange, equality and co-creation.
NAPA’s Per Bloch took part in the festival and arranged a series of activities in collaboration with Arctic Sounds. The purpose was to stimulate Nordic co-operation, across languages and cultures in the Arctic.
Do It Together
Together with Jacob Froberg, festival director for Arctic Sounds, NAPA arranged a webinar on publishing your own music for musicians and music entrepreneurs. Three Nordic guests took part via Zoom and gave presentations and afterwards the participants asked questions. The event took place at Serravik, the music school in Sisimiut, and the event was also streamed to selected musicians in Greenland, who Arctic Sounds had invited to participate. In a Nordic spirit, the theme went from being Do It Yourself (DIY) to focusing on Do It Together (DIT) and the discussion revolved around the Greenlandic music life of the future – locally and in relation to getting the music out into the world.
Our guests who inspired and debated with the participants were:
Kristoffer Rom from the record company Tambourhinoceros and Danish Independent Record Companies (DUP)
Musician Nana Jacobi from HUN SOLO, who also performed with an online concert at Arctic Sounds
Kristian Blak from the Faroese record company TUTL.
NAPA also organized a “Nordic Playground” with the theme of sound production. The musician and producer Jesper Skovgaard alias Noosfære, who performed at Nuuk Nordic Culture Festival 2019, guided and inspired the musical innovations via video connection. During his presentation, we asked questions and afterwards we continued with sounds, knobs and effects.
The fact that Arctic Sounds was housed by Serravik, Sisimiut Music School, also affected the activities that took place during the festival. We also conducted a Nordic Playground for children and young people aged 10-15 on podcasts. The goal was to give children and young people tools to create and to express themselves about being young in Greenland. During the afternoon we talked about listening with big ears, about horror stories, about audiobooks and we made our own podcast recordings, which we edited on the computer. Maybe we plantet the seeds for the podcast voices of the future?
Favourite words and native language
During the festival days, NAPA also conducted six interviews with residents of the West Greenlandic city. It became the fourth episode of NAPA’s podcast, (N)ORD about Nordic languages and words. The episode is called “What is your favorite word in Greenlandic?” and it’s in Danish and a little Greenlandic.
The participants are young people from Serravik, the Music School in Sisimiut – Nanna, Iluuna and Apia – as well as some of the people behind the festival: Laura Lennert Jensen, Kimmernaq K Heilmann and Salik Parbst Frederiksen.
Listen to the episode in your favourite podcast player – search for the Nordic Institute in Greenland or (N)ORD – or via our website.
Collection and exchange
When NAPA travels, it is to promote the Arctic perspective. In Greenland, you are subject to the weather and often have to improvise and change plans. We also experienced this during the festival, where a storm delayed and prevented traffic to and from Sisimiut. Then it’s about being creative, but fortunately we are both used to and good at it in Greenland.
Arctic Sounds is a hub and an obvious window for collaboration. And as festival director Jacob Froberg said, NAPA is not just a sponsor, but an important partner. A term we are very pleased with at NAPA, because Arctic Sounds – like NAPA – seeks to facilitate Nordic co-operation with Arctic anchorage. Often tied up on ‘sounds’, but not only.
Arctic Sounds on Youtube, where you can see some of this year’s concerts
Photos: Nuka Kristiansen, Maria Camilla Kristiansen and Per Bloch, NAPA
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