Unsound Festival, Krakow.

I’ve been meaning to check the Unsound Festival for the last couple years, fortunately every thing aligned this year to enable Magda and I to check it out.

Unsound is pretty much like no other festival out there at the moment in my opinion, the only thing that comes close in comparison was the Triptych Festival from a number of years ago, last held in 2008 in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.

The difference between these and traditional idea of a music festival (in a field with thousands of not very like minded people) is that Unsound is held in a city with lots of events simultaneously going on in various locations and venues. Its the nature and quality of these events that seems to attract very like minded people, which is refreshing to say the least.

Unsound is whole weeks worth of forward thinking music, art and discussion, a lot of it is very specialised and niche, yes – but, if you’re open, then you’ll find some wonderful and unexpected experiences. I will be making the trip again in 2014 for sure.

Highlights for us were many…  Sound recordist and ex Cabaret Voltaire member Chris Watson had a wonderful sound installation in Krakow’s 200 year old Jagiellonian University Botanical Gardens, more info here. Infact the Gardens are well worth a visit on their own…

….and a special mention to the many great talks from artists at Bunkier Sztuki during the day from the likes of Underground Resistance, Svengalistghost, Richard Mosse et all, the Polish label forums and showcases, the heavy, late Nights at Hotel Forum, Robert Richs’ sleep concert, the late night Interference film season, Mullholland Drive Clinic and so much more.

So, this is a photo blog, what about the photographs ? Well, as part of Unsound ‘Interference’ theme cameras were banned at all the events, which I thought worked brilliantly  and was a refreshing change that you only really noticed in hindsight.

Of course I took a camera, the Contax T2. Here’s a few images from in and around Krakow.

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August 23

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…the weather is rubbish and my cameras are full of half finished ISO100. Here’s a few randoms that were kicking around my HD.

Shortly we’re off to Bilbao then a little camping trip to the Basque Country coast  – hopefully there will be sun….

Bread instead of games

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Whilst the Euro 2012 Championships hosted by Poland and Ukraine have been deemed to be a success by the world media, In Poland the organisation of the championship was sold  as a huge development opportunity for Polish cities. There was/is however an undercurrent by many people in Poland that it was a disgraceful waste of money and the real cost of the championships will never be disclosed.

The above photographs were taken in Poznan during the first few days of the Euro’s where  hundreds of people protested against the anti social policy of Poznan municipality and polish government.

Here’s the full statement by the organisers – http://10czerwca.eu/

good morning

Contax T2, Fuji Pro 400H

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Returned home from a great long weekend in Glasgow. In a city where 95% of the year its raining we were treated to some great weather and shot a load of film over the four days, which i’ve just sent off for processing this morning.

We decided to stay in a different hotel each night which in hindsight was a bit of a pain but more importantly it was worth it as made us get our stuff together earlier and see a lot more than maybe we would have if we just stayed in the same place nursing our hangovers.

Fraser Suites on Albion Street in Merchant city, was a large studio apartment type layout and cheapest of the three at £65, no breakfast but good value and location. We then moved to the Grasshopper Hotel on Union Street near Central Station. At £95 per night it was the most expensive, probably a bit over priced to be honest but the fantastic view over the roof of the equally fantastic Central Station made up for it. For our last night we stayed at the Citizen M Hotel on Renfrew Street, a modern boutique type hotel but not at all pretentious. Very modern but small rooms but with big views across the city on the 7th floor. With lots of iMacs, a lively bar/restaurant, living room style areas with cool furniture and at £78 including breakfast this was a bit of a bargain and definitely recommended.

Friday night we randomly ended up in the Tron Theatre to see the excellent Waterproof/From Paisley to Paolo. Saturday was lunch at the excellent Stravaigin, with friends I havent seen since 1998, followed by night action at the Sub Club for some elderly dance type moves ( or rather random jerk type twitching and skipping ) amongst the yougsters.

In between we saw some nice brilliant photographs at the GoMA by Alan Dimmick , and the excellent work by artist Adrian Wiszniewski  at Glasgow Print Studio and Transmission Gallery.

Also, must give an unusual positive shout to the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company for the excellent logistics and price with boat/rail/coach link to Lancaster station then on to Glasgow – although ironically its all come about by the Ben-My-Chree being in dry dock getting fixed…

Photographs soon come….