Morgan Cultural Association
Music of the World Festival
The Music of the World Festival was inaugurated in 2012 at the initiative of the late Andrej Malnič, long-time director of the Goriška Museum, partly as a way of increasing the profile of the museum's main site at Kromberk Castle. The festival centres on folk musics from the across European continent and beyond, with a particular interest in artists who use their national traditions to explore more contemporary expression.
Generally held throughout August, the festival has focused on high-profile home-grown acts (Boštjan Gombač, Uršula Ramoveš in fantje z Jazbecove grape, Vasko Atanasovski, Brina Vogelnik and Neca Falk, among others), although room has also been found for global names, such as Indian percussionist Trilok Gurtu (2013), Swiss-Albanian singer Elina Duni (2015) and Hamid Drake, widely regarded as the world's best jazz percussionist (2020).
The first five editions took place exclusively at Kromberk Castle, with the sixth being split with the atrium of the Municipality of Nova Gorica building in the centre of the city. The festival fittingly returned wholly to Kromberk in 2018, the European Year of Cultural Heritage, before a collaboration with Controtempo, a Cormons-based cultural organisation specialising in jazz, tipped a portion of the festival over the Italian border into Gorizia in 2019 as the (ultimately successful) joint Nova Gorica-Gorizia bid to become 2025 European Capital of Culture gathered pace. The events were held at Kromberk and at Teatro Verdi in Gorizia, which hosted a concert by Kamasi Washington, to that point the biggest international name to appear at the festival.
The Covid-19 emergency meant that the 2020 edition was a scaled-back affair, although the collaboration with Gorizia and Controtempo continued. There was some controversy in the months leading up to the festival as the Municipality of Nova Gorica, responsible for around 20% of the festival's funding but faced with swingeing budget cuts as a result of the pandemic, sought to move the Slovenian part of the festival from Kromberk to the city centre. Resistance was largely successful, which meant that Kromberk could continue to play its role as the festival's spiritual home.
The series of Vinyl Evenings (Vinilni večeri) has preceded the festival since its inception and generally takes place on Tuesdays in July. Held initially at Kromberk and latterly at the municipality's premises, these evenings take the form of lectures and listening parties moderated by well-known Slovenian critics, writers and DJs, the only stipulation being that the music be presented in an analogue format. The evenings are usually accompanied by a small record fair.
Ubrane Note Festival
Much like Pretočnice, Ubrane Note functions as something of an umbrella for various other strands of KUD Morgan's work, being an all-year festival that encompasses the ObGlasBo, KvantAvtorske sabotaže v Novi GoVorici and JAZZ@trijA concert cycles. The first of these explores the intersections between music, the visual arts, spoken word and performance, with highlights that include Proti kapitulaciji (Against Capitulation), a multi-disciplinary, audio-visual spectacular mounted by Slovenian electronic pioneers Borghesia in May 2019 at SNT Nova Gorica, a frequent venue for KUD Morgan events. ObGlasBo has also produced events for the nationwide Stories Today Festival.
The KvantAvtorske sabotaže v Novi GoVorici cycle, which began in 2014, showcases singer-songwriters of an unconventional bent (Damir Avdić and Jani Kovačič, among others), as well as more mainstream rock artists (Demolition Group, Haiku Garden). Venues have included the terrace at SNT Nova Gorica, Mostovna Cultural Centre and Carinarnica.
Although the Covid-19 emergency brought the cycles to a premature (temporary) end in 2020, Ubrane Note partnered with Sajeta Art & Music Festival in December of that year to present the Zelena Oaza series of online concerts.
KUD Morgan began organising performances across Nova Gorica to mark World Music Day (21 June, also known as Fête de la Musique) in 2019, has collaborated with the Kontrada Festival in Kanal ob Soči, and co-organised concerts, workshops and literary events at the Sanje v Medani festival, held in Goriška Brda since 2002. In November 2019 it organised the first Pixxelmusic Festival alongside and in collaboration with the Pixxelpoint International Festival of Contemporary Art Practices and its host institution, Nova Gorica Arts Centre. Events took place throughout the city (Carinarnica, Mostovna, the SNT Nova Gorica bar and club), as well as across the border in Gorizia.
Music of the World
- Music of the World website (in Slovenian)
- Music of the World Facebook page
- List of Vinyl Evenings (to 2017) (in Slovenian)
- Report on Music of the World 2019 (Nova Gorica-Gorizia), Delo, July 2019 (in Slovenian)
- Report on Music of the World 2019, June 2019, Primorska Novice (in Slovenian)
- Report on preparations for Music of the World 2020, Delo, June 2020
- Controtempo Facebook page
- Report on World Music Day 2020, Primorski Dnevnik, June 2020 (in Slovenian)
- Zelena Oaza programme, Sigic, December 2020 (in Slovenian)