Kwadrofonik Festival

 

 

 

The 3rd edition of the Kwadrofonik Festival will be held on December 14-15, 2017 at the Museum of the History of Polish Jews (POLIN) in Warsaw. Protest and the energy it creates are the leitmotif of this year’s Festival. Members of the Kwadrofonik ensemble—Emilia Sitarz, Magdalena Kordylasińska-Pękala, Miłosz Pękala and Bartek Wąsik—along with their guest musicians, will recall works confronting political reality and artists who, by means of their art, have extended the area of freedom, manifested solidarity with those who stand up for their rights on streets, and brought the spirit of improvisation and, at times, musical rebellion to concert halls.

Composer and pianist Julius Eastman, as both an African-American and a homosexual, made his identity the key motif of his works. He belonged to an avant-garde circle of the minimal music, yet his repetitions are considered a Sisyphean labor: an arduous, repeated ad infinitum endeavour that is full of frustration and anger, what can be clearly heard in his provocative Evil Nigger. This piece and Gay Guerilla will be performed by the Lutosławski Piano Duo of Emilia Sitarz and Bartek Wąsik along with pianists Joanna Duda and Mischa Kozlowski during the first night of the Festival.

The next hero of the 3rd edition of the Kwadrofonik Festival is Frederic Rzewski, an American composer of Polish origin, who believes revolution lies ahead, though we still don’t know what shape it will take on. Rzewski is a declared musical activist, outsider, critic of capitalism (including music-related institutions, the publishing system, etc.), believer in a utopia in which improvisation shall rule, with free jazz at the forefront. In 1976 Rzewski recorded one of his most important works The People United Will Never Be Defeated!, variation drawn from a song which was sang by Chilean workers taking to streets to protest against Pinochet’s putsch. It is going to be performed by Michael Noble, the artistic director of the festival Music of Changes, visiting Poland for the first time.

For the second time since its premiere in 2016, Ksenofonia—composed by Miłosz Pękala and Bartek Wąsik—will be heard at POLIN, performed by Kwadrofonik and the Royal String Quartet accompanied by VJ Wiktor Podgórski on Friday. Behind the intriguing title lies a composition written to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Poznań June. Underneath the martyrological narrative, the young composers noticed a story of protest, individual rebellion, risk and courage. Losing doesn’t have to mean defeat, and each strike and protest, each and every sign of resistance, shows potential in an uprising and the spirit of freedom, of which authorities are always afraid. There is no better moment to connote major musical manifestos, and it’s hard to imagine a better setting than the POLIN Museum for such a take on music and history.

The world of minimal music will also be represented by Steve Reich, whose Daniel Variations pay tribute to Daniel Pearl—a journalist of The Wall Street Journal assassinated in 2002 by Islamic fundamentalists. In the piece which makes reference to The Bible, quotes Pearl’s last words and recalls the journalist’s passion for musical darkness clashes with light. The world in which we live carries out the most somber prophecies. During the final concert on Friday, this profound piece will be performed by an unusual ensemble combining voice, pianos, string quartet, clarinets and percussion, led by Maestra Monika Wolińska.

December 14, 2017 | 8:30 & 10:00 PM
2017 Kwadrofonik Festival: Concert 1 & 2
Museum of the History of Polish Jews (POLIN)
Anielewicza 6, 00-157, Warsaw, Poland
Free admission but RSVP required: bilety.polin.pl

December 15, 2017 | 7:00 PM
2017 Kwadrofonik Festival: Concert 3

Museum of the History of Polish Jews (POLIN)
Anielewicza 6, 00-157, Warsaw, Poland
Free admission but RSVP required: bilety.polin.pl

[Sources: polmic.plkwadrofonik.com.pl]