Sunday, 11 October 2015 2 Comments
The ‘Unsound’ festival in Kraków has established itself as a major force for musical exploration since its first appearance in 2006. It has since had offshoot festivals in New York, London, Adelaide and Toronto. The 2015 festival begins today, but its launch has just been tarnished by accusations of satanism against the festival and the British musician David Tibet from one of the churches in which it holds its events. ‘Unsound’ is noted for pushing boundaries, but it has always had a friendly and cooperative relationship with Kraków churches. I know no more than what the attached press release and statement from Tibet reveal. They are remarkably restrained in tone, but it does seem from this distance that what my parents would have called ‘an interfering old busybody’ has been stirring it under false pretences. Good for ‘Unsound’ for dealing with this so coolly and with dignity and for finding another venue for this already sold-out event by Tibet’s group ‘Current 93’ next Friday.
A follow-up statement indicates that three ‘Surprise’ morning instrumental concerts have also had to be moved from Kraków churches, none of them involving (as far as I can tell) any textual/verbal content. The ‘surprise’ element has been revealed by Unsound to demonstrate the absurdity of the ecclesiastical back-tracking. The relevant part of this further statement may be read below the first statement below or in full by following this link:
See also the 2015 Festival/Events side-bar for the link to Unsound.
First Statement from the organisers of Unsound Festival (11 October 2015)
With great shock, it has come to our attention that accusations have been posted on a Polish Internet website that our festival — as preposterous as it is to even repeat — allegedly promotes and propagates Satanism. These accusations, initially made in a letter to St Catherine’s Church, are completely unfounded, unreasonable, and slanderous. They undermine the good name of the festival, which since 2003 has been an enthusiastic participant in Krakow’s cultural life, and we reject the accusation unequivocally.
Were it possible to ignore this as a sick joke, we would. Unfortunately, this statement harms not only the festival organisers, but also our guests – including both artists and the festival audience.
As the organisers of Unsound, we of course categorically deny that Satanism is now or has ever been promoted at our festival. The goal of the Unsound festival has always been bringing artists and audiences together in the promotion of art and culture. There has never been any political ideology or religious motivation behind the festival programming. And, moreover, the organisers of the festival have always appreciated the hospitality of Krakow churches, where over the span of several years many concerts have taken place.
Today, Unsound is an important international cultural event, which brings many wonderful artists and thousands of national and international attendees to Krakow. The attention it garners across the globe also brings increasing interest and curiosity about the city and all it has to offer. In regard to people who spread harmful and untrue accusations about the festival and its participants — whether out of spite or extreme ignorance, we do not know — we invite them to Unsound to discover what its main goals actually are.
We received a message from St. Catherine’s Church that they have been asked by the curia to cancel the concert of Current 93, which was meant to take place there on October 16th. We are especially sorry because David Tibet — the founder and leader of Current 93 — sent us a statement in which he explains his faith as a Christian, as he has many times in interviews. This letter was forwarded to the church, but without effect. He is upset and hurt by the fact we are now forced to change venues. Below we have published a brief statement from David Tibet.
Statement from David Tibet +++
My friends Mat Schulz and Gosia Płysa at Unsound informed me of some crazy allegations against me and my work, accusing me of being a Satanist and other such ridiculous slanders.
I absolutely deny these laughable slurs, first made in a complaint by someone to St. Catherine’s Church, and then reposted on a sensationalist and scurrilous blog site. Perhaps they should reacquaint themselves with Matthew XV:14:
“Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.”
and St. Luke VI:39:
“And He spake a parable unto them, “Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?’”
I have declared many times that I am Christian. Nearly all of my work manifests this belief, both my music and my artwork — and this conviction remains no less true even if my work often displays a dark humour — as well as my studies, including those in Coptic, which I learnt in order to work on apocryphal New Testament texts.
My lyric book, SING OMEGA, is dedicated “to Yesu the Aleph, the Secret Lion”. Indeed, the title of the book is taken from a homily by the Coptic monk Shenoute, quoting the Coptic monk Pachomius.
My work may sometimes be unorthodox and misunderstood by those holding different views to my own, but I have stated on many, many occasions that I am Christian.
I would like to thank Mat, Gosia and all of those at Unsound, who have responded to this small, and stupid, set-back with generosity and determination, and I and all of C93 look forward to seeing you in a different venue on the same night!
With Love and Chariots, and Watch and Pray!
And on the rocks
The moss is everywhere
And the sky is blackblue
And it is darkening
Statues point to the sky
And I believe
Christ is the Son of God
And I believe
Christ is His Son
from “The Blue Gates of Death”
Clear as rain and Adam
Not because falls
Not as the fox barks
The legend was a he at sea
Christ arose in glory
A rose in glory
Christ is the Rose
from “Not Because The Fox Barks”
The flowers are everywhere
Christ Glorious Entwined
The dip of the moon
And the sun as it shines
And the roots as they burrow
And tunnel through earth
And the birds as they soar on their wings
I heard them whisper your name
Second Statement from the organisers of Unsound Festival (11 October 2015)
Note: As a result of the false and bizarre claims made by a few individuals accusing Unsound of a supposedly “Satanic” agenda, we have also now been informed that we will need to relocate our morning shows on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from the two beautiful Krakow churches where they were due to be held. These shows were all meant to be surprises, as per the festival theme, but as we would like to underscore the absurdity of this situation, we will now reveal who is playing:
• John Tilbury – One of the foremost pianists in the world of experimental and improvised music. He is playing with one of Poland’s leading experimental musicians, Robert Piotrowicz.
• Raphael Rogiński – One of Poland’s most famous jazz and improvisational guitarists, who is playing the music of John Coltrane, as heard on his recent Bolt Records release.
• RRose plays James Tenney – The U.S. musician Rrose will play a piece by renowned American composer James Tenney on a 32-inch gong.
Once again, we would like to state that Unsound — an open-minded festival dedicated to the promotion of music and culture — is not guided by any political or religious agenda. Our audience and the artists who play for them are made up of people with many different beliefs and world views — they are all joined together by music.
News on alternate venues will come soon. We are also working to confirm an alternate venue for the Current 93 show. We will share this information as soon as we have it.