ULYSSES – a European odyssey for young artists
The ULYSSES project was originally inspired by an illustrious generation of 18th Century artists who wandered all across Europe, visiting at each “stop” along the way the greatest masters’ workshops in order to improve and to complete their skills. Following the steps of the Homeric hero, their odyssey was an initiatory journey paving the way for future generations of young European artists. Europe’s singularity is characterized by the rich diversity of artistic situations and sociological contexts. The ULYSSES “journeys” aim to exploit this singularity to the fullest. ULYSSES holds that this is the only really modern approach to education.
In this spirit, it is the goal of the ULYSSES project to propose and construct a variety of “journeys” that target particular needs and offer unique opportunities to young artists. Composers, performers, and ensembles will all be able to undertake journeys providing them with rich and diverse experiences not offered elsewhere.
ULYSSES aims also to give the journey a more metaphorical meaning as well.
Firstly, the journey metaphor applies to the “professional journey” that young talent must undertake in order to become mature artists. ULYSSES aims to propose “paths” that will enable young artists to find their way from the academies, through the journeys that ultimately will put them in a position to be offered commissions for creating new works to be premiered in world-‐class venues, thus serving as a “launching pad” for their careers.
Secondly, the journey metaphor applies to potential young artists where the goal is to propose a “journey” that will take them from the discovery of new art forms to a stage where they can become creative themselves in a variety of projects fitted to their needs. They will, for example, be able to discover a musical work and “remake” it using innovative technologies available on portable devices (see the Remake project below). Promising school age performers will be able, for example, to have a learning experience in a professional environment that prepares them for the next stage in their professional evolution.
Thirdly, the journey metaphor is applied to audience building. Audiences of all ages will be offered activities that will take them from a first encounter with an artist (or a work) to a deeper understanding through activities that: 1) aim to place the artist’s work in a wider context (through encounters, lectures and seminars covering historical, social and aesthetic aspects); 2) provide participatory activities enabling the audiences to have “first hand” experiences of the creative process.
Lastly, the journey metaphor will be deployed in virtual world of the online ULYSSES Platform by enabling music professionals (artists curators, artistic directors etc.) and amateurs to follow the evolution and accomplishments of our young artists and be made aware of the added value of the ULYSSES Network.
The current project period, running from June 2016 to May 2020 and co-funded through the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union, aims to leverage the positive results and accomplishments of the first ULYSSES Network project, that had been initiated in the framework of the Culture Programme and running from May 2012 to April 2016 (Archives available here).