This Exposition illustrates my artistic doctoral project 'Polska Travels', wherein I use composition and arrangement as practices for the hybridisation of several musical genres, with folk music from Sweden, Finland and Norway and Western art music as points of departure.
From its baroque German-Polish origins to the current Nordic local variants, the polska folk dance tune type has enjoyed a history marked by the crossing of geographical, temporal, and societal boundaries. The interdisciplinary study of this phenomenon addresses both theoretical and practical fields, such as musicology, ethnomusicology, music theory, and the performance practice of the local polska styles. The gathered knowledge becomes the basis for of the creation of new music that sits right ‘at’ the crossroads of many genres but further aims at composing ‘the’ crossroads itself, in the form of hybrid, temporary “musical homes” able to negotiate a dynamic dialogue between ever-changing personal identities and external bodies of knowledge.
The artistic output is organised in four concerts, each focusing on a different geographic area where the polska thrived, and a CD recording. The written thesis summarises the research findings, taking the string quartet ‘Stringar’ based on the Norwegian springar as a case study to suggest the concept of “personal tradition” inscribed in the open, itinerant field of trans-genre contemporary music.