On Saturday 30 September 2023, Culture Connection foundation presents the premiere of Sacred Songs Rotterdam at the Pelgrimvaderskerk in Delfshaven. The spotlight is on Rotterdam choirs as well as young performers who bring us spiritual songs, poetry and music. Artists include Cici Isenia & Choir, Gerard van der Zijden & Cantorij Delfshaven, Emine Tokail & Mevlüt Akgüngör, Wendy Teixeira, Khorshid Dadbeh and Madhu Singh. They perform repertoire from their own culture about ‘Freedom and Peace’. Artistic director Monica Akihary (brand new winner of the Boy Edgar Prize), together with these artists, creates a dazzling performance with exciting contrasts and surprising connections.
Promising talents and hidden musical treasures
Sacred Songs presents Rotterdam choirs and promising young talents. Rotterdam has a large range of religious communities and spiritual movements. Sacred Songs Rotterdam draws from this rich reservoir and brings together the most beautiful Rotterdam singing voices and music styles in a single presentation with exuberant Caribbean gospel, melodious Cape Verdean songs, Christian hymns, Iranian mustical music, penetrating Sufi singing from Turkiye and Indian devotional music.
Peace and Freedom theme
In Sacred Songs Rotterdam, choirs and performers sing their own repertoire about ‘Peace and Freedom’. What gives you the freedom and inspiration to follow your own path in life? Which spiritual sources inspire you to create peace for yourself and your surroundings? Khorshid Dadbeh from Tehran came to Rotterdam to study music at Codarts. In Sacred Songs she performs mystical Kurdish music from the mountains of western Iran. “This spiritual music from Iran is from ancient times and symbolizes ultimate freedom for me.” “Through music I experience my origin and destination: singing gives me freedom and inner peace”, says Rotterdam singer-songwriter with Cape Verdean roots, Wendy Teixeira.
Artistic director, Boy Edgar prizewinner Monica Akihary
Monica Akihary has been the artistic director of Sacred Songs Rotterdam since 2008. She and Niels Brouwer together form the Boi Akih duo, which recently released the album ‘From and to infinity’. Monica Akihary is the brand new winner of the Boy Edgar prize; she is a fabulous singer who is at home in music styles from all over the world, open-minded and constantly groundbreaking. With flawless musical intuition, in Sacred Songs Rotterdam she is able to forge the different voices, genres and sounds into a single presentation. She demonstrates similarities but also exposes contrasts, and creates subtle connections through vocal improvisations.
Sacred Songs Rotterdam: creating new connections
“In this time of increasing polarization, I see Sacred Songs as an important means of connection,” says Rotterdam singer Madhu Singh, who will sing Indian spiritual music on 30 September. Creating interconnection is an important motivation behind Culture Connection, which has been touring the Netherlands with Sacred Songs since 2008. In each city, the production takes shape with local singers and choirs, always resulting in new concert performances with other artists, full of surprises and undiscovered talents. Jeanneke den Boer from Culture Connection: “Where religious dogmas throw up walls between people, music brings people together. Music arouses curiosity, opens hearts and facilitates encounters between people who might not normally meet. This is one of the main motivations for us to organize the project.”
Sacred Songs Rotterdam is a production of Culture Connection with Rotterdam partners such as Grounds, Codarts, Pelgrimvaderskerk, Desiyup, Open Rotterdam and neighbourhood partners from Delfshaven. With thanks to Pilgrim Harbour, Rotterdam municipality, Van Leeuwen Van Lignac foundation, Deltaport Donation fund, and Rotterdam Rotary Club.
Practical information, Sacred Songs Rotterdam
Place: Pelgrimvaderskerk Delfhaven, Aelbrechtskolk 20, 3024 RE Rotterdam
Date and time: Saturday 30 September 2023, 16.30 hours | ticketlink
Further info: https://www.culture-connection.org/category/sacred-songs/
For the editors:
For press inquiries, please contact Marjolein van Ruiten, PR@marjoleinvanruiten.com and +31 (0)6 200 62 844.Press photos https://www.flickr.com/photos/culturelekaravaanfotos/albums/72177720308294489
Extra: As the performance approaches, the artists will give vocal workshops and presentations at various festivals in Delfshaven. Further information about these previews through our website.