czwartek, 21 stycznia 2016


Barbara Kinga Majewska, Emilia Sitarz
Franz Schubert 


1. Gute Nacht
2. Die Wetterfahne
3. Gefrorne Tränen
4. Erstarrung
5. Der Lindenbaum
6. Die Post
7. Auf dem Flusse
8. Rückblick
9. Irrlicht
10. Der greise Kopf
11. Wasserflut
12. Die Krähe
13. Letzte Hoffnung
14. Im Dorfe
15. Der stürmische Morgen
16. Täuschung
17. Mut
18. Rast
19. Frühglinstraum
20. Einsamkeit
21. Der Wegweiser
22. Das Wirsthaus
23. Die Nebensonnen
24. Der Leiermann

Voice by Barbara Kinga Majewska
Piano by Emilia Sitarz
Concept and rearrangement by Barbara Kinga Majewska and Michał Libera

Recorded and edited at homes by Barbara Kinga Majewska and Michał Libera in 2015
Additional recordings by Michał Kupicz
Additional edits by Robert Migas
Mixed and mastered by Ralf Meinz


Richard Youngs
Parallel Winter


Voice, guitar and zither by Richard Youngs
Composed, recorded, mixed and mastered by Richard Youngs



Joanna Halszka Sokołowska
Franz Schubert 

Voice by Joanna Halszka Sokołowska

Recorded by Michał Libera in Komuna// Warszawa on 29th of October 2015
Mixed and mastered by Ralf Meinz
Premiered at Playback Play in Dwa Osiem on 12th of December 2014


All three CDs:

Produced by Michał Libera
Cover art work by Aleksandra Waliszewska
Layout by Piotr Bukowski
Published by BôłtRecords
Distributed by MonotypeRec


Motto of Populista Winter Triangle came about on 13th of December, 2014. It was a cold and windy day, a classic of pre-winter Warsaw, cold, wet, transparent yet at the same time grey, or perhaps mostly grey. It was also a day of the first Warsaw show of Richard Youngs in Komuna// Warszawa. Not fully by accident, there was a piano in the room, which made Richard propose performing „Parallel Winter”. Few hours later he was introducing the piece to the audience saying that its duration is something in between fifteen and forty five minutes. It is because, he continued, that the piece has as many lines as we have winter days and hence is something one needs to go through, not unlike going through winter.

Is there a better introduction to „Winterreise”?

Legendary music cycle of Franz Schubert accompanies the poems of Wilhelm Müller and is today more than a classic, it is a must in virtually all and any music canon, a model of romantic songbook about misery, love and solitude and last but not least – a 19th Century equivalent of a pop album mirroring emotional lives of generations to follow after its completion in 1828. Musicians' encounters with Schubert are rarely coincidences, especially in case of „Winterreise”. Regardless of approach, methodology in developing the interpretation, performance's concepts and techniques, facing the cycle is always a challange. It is due to the scale of the piece, varied and settled performance traditions, canonic value and more than often inconspicious refinment of the music which all together require musician to engage deeply and responsibly. It always means something when somebody takes on Schubert.

Interpratations of Barbara Kinga Majewska and Emilia Sitarz are crazy, funny, touching, sad, passionate, icy, irreverent, charming, sharp, ironic, tender, sweet, sensual, repulsive, ostensibly true and movingly artificial. Most of all however, they are a consistent, unhesitating and precise story of high integrity, not easy to forsee though, even for Winterreise's experts. The story is a far reaching interpretation of Schubert and Müller, bold and consequent, not stopping half way, not sucking up to the history of great performances of the piece. Quite the contrary, it is an undogmatic exegesis, open and idiosyncratic, the one that only the two artists in team with the producer, Michał Libera could create, an interpretation displaying new tensions and new interrelations existing in Schubert's cycle. At the same time, it is a work of great admiration and respect, more than often characterized by prudish perfections and surprising faithfulness to the romantic original.

The version of Joanna Halszka Sokołowska is diametrically different, although the distance from Schubert seems comparable in both cases. The album is in a way a field recording of a night session in the theatre. In less than two hours, her singing was captured with no rehearsals, in one go, and was followed by no overdubs or other studio treatments. It seems to be closer to Richard Young's „Parallel Winter” than the other take on Schubert. Perhaps because they both share a thoroughly camouflaged conceptual content uniting all the details and formal decisions with the content interpretation. It is switfly covered with the sound of pop or folk music or whatever kind of music it is which is more about playing than performing. Hence its theory comes more from an instinct and accurate decision than detailed exegesis, which by the way seems quite close to Schubert's fascination with folk songs. But there the similiarities with the original end. 


John Tilbury & Derek Bailey
Playing with a Dead Person


Side A
Birthday Party I (05.44)
Birthday Party II (03.55)

Side B
Birthday Party III (12.55)

Piano: John Tilbury
Guitar: Derek Bailey

Session commissioned and produced by BBC
LP produced by Bôłt Records.
LP distributed by MonotypeRec.

Thanks to Karen Brookman. 

„Derek and I always wanted to do a duo recording together and we never quite managed that. Within the later years that we were trying to set something and his health was failing, we would get close to it and he would phone up and say „I'm just not up to it, I can't do it”, and of course he died and I always regretted it – that we never did that. […] So when you contacted me about the duos, I thought there is nothing more original than playing with a dead person […] which is curious because Derek is very much alive, especially when we hear his voice and I feel he's sort of sitting here, in the studio, and he's waiting for me and I'm waiting for him and we're not quite sure what's gonna happen”

John Tilbury on BBC talking about the session. 

sobota, 12 grudnia 2015


A month before a new Populista Winter Triangle 


- BRPOP 14: Barbara Kinga Majewska and Emilia Sitarz play Franz Schubert Winterreise
- BRPOP 15: Richard Youngs plays Parallel Winter
- BRPOP 16: Joanna Halszka Sokołowska plays Franz Schubert Winterreise

Official release date: 25/01/2016

Release and pre-release parties

21/12/2015, Komuna// Warszawa, 19.00: pre-release performance by Joanna Halszka Sokołowska, Izabela Chlewińska, Michał Libera and others (please note: 17 hand made and signed albums containing pre-release material of "Joanna Halszka Sokołowska plays Franz Schubert Winterreise" - available for sale)

21-28/12/2015, XS, 7 hand made and signed albums containing pre-release material of "Joanna Halszka Sokołowska plays Franz Schubert Winterreise" - available for sale

22/12/2015, Copenhagen, concert: Richard Youngs plays Parallel Winter

25/01/2016, DZiK, 20.00, concertBarbara Kinga Majewska and Emilia Sitarz play Franz Schubert Winterreise, official release party, day 1

26/01/2016, Królikarnia, 19.00, concert: Joanna Halszka Sokołowska plays Franz Schubert Winterreise, official release party, day 2

26/01/2016, Eufemia, 21.30, DJ set: Michał Libera plays Winter Music, DJ set, incl. B-sides and unreleased material of new Winterreises in Populista


Motto to the upcoming Populista Winter Triangle came about on 13th of December 2014. 

It was cold and windy, a typical Warsaw-style pre-winter day, wet, transparent and grey, well, mostly grey, and also the day of Richard Youngs' concert in Komuna// Warszawa at Playback Play. Almost by accident, there was a piano in the room which made Richard propose to perform "Parallel Winter" which I didn't know anything about. When introducing the piece to the audience a couple of hours later, he mentioned playing it only few times before that day. It takes something between 15 and 45 minutes to perform, I remember him saying, because there are as many lines of the text as there are winter days. So it is all about going through the piece, I still recall his voice, not unlike going through winter. 

I have never heard a better introduction to Winterreise by Franz Schubert. 

niedziela, 15 listopada 2015


Grand Ensemble

6-channel sound installation 
PrzełomyNational Museum in Szczecin

Michał Libera, recordings, found footage, montage
Ralf Meinz, sound design

Premiere: 17/12/2015

Commissioned by Piotr Wysocki for permanent exhibition in National Museum, Szczecin (room to be shared with Grzegorz Hańderek). Installation material consists of field recordings and found footage only, all related to what the French neatly call Grand Ensemble

sobota, 17 października 2015


The one and only

John Tilbury, Grand Tour, Poland, October 2015

14/10, Kraków, Unsound Festival
John Tilbury / Robert Piotrowicz

15/10, Łódź, Muzeum Sztuki
John Tilbury / Samuel Beckett / Celine Condorelli / Wojtek Traczyk

27/10, Warszawa, Studio PR im. W. Lutosławskiego (20.30)
John Tilbury / Zygmunt Krauze / Szabolcs Esztenyi / Hubert Zemler 
Morton Feldman (Three Pianos), Terry Riley (Keyboard Studies), Cornelius Cardew (Solo with Accompaniment), Tomasz Sikorski (Zertreutes Hinauschauen, Echoes II), Zygmunt Krauze (Stone Music, One Piano Eight Hands), Christian Wolff (Tilbury 3)
program may change slightly

30/10, Warszawa, Muzeum Rzeźby im. X. Dunikowskiego (18.00)
John Tilbury / Hubert Zemler improv
John Tilbury plays Morton Feldman (Palais de Mari)

More information

środa, 9 września 2015

Tyto Alba on Tour

Tyto Alba LIVE

Michał Libera: voice, text, concept, composition
Martin Küchen: saxophone
Ralf Meinz: sound design, electronics
Barbara Kinga Majewska: voice

September dates: 

21st: Muzeum Sztuki Nowoczesnej, Warszawa
22nd: Muzeum Sztuki, Łódź
24th: Galeria na Czystej, Wrocław
25th: Centrum Amarant, Poznań
26th: TBC, Berlin
27th: Teater Alabtross, Goteborg (part of Tilde project)

more details soon

released on Bolt Records

A bit too depresing for me
Frans de Waard

Sound essay "Tyto Alba", initially conceived as studio album now is reworked for live performance or a modest chamber opera for a saxophonist, sound designer, two readers and a number of “caged tape-birds”. It is a sonic take on melancholia, the sounds of melancholia, the hearing of melancholia, obsessions and pains, pleasures and loops of melancholia; a landscape with Max Ernst, Alvin Lucier, Walter Marchetti, Michel Serres, W.G. Sebald, Giorgio Agamben, Rainer Maria Rilke, Georges Perec, Javier Marías and many more.


The notion of melancholia covers a vast semantic territory from art history to global politics to most intimate and idiosyncratic psycho-geographies. It tends to be more vibrant in times of transition, even if only imagined, and it is far from coincidence that last decades witnessed „Rings of Saturn” by W.G. Sebald, „Melancholy: Genius and Madness in Art” exhibition in Neue Nationalgalerie or world awards winning „Melancholia” by Lars von Trier. The visual and conceptual realms of melancholia are well rooted in our collective representations. Yet until now, it has never been a subject of a thorough audio-analysis. "Tyto Alba" is a unique inquiry into sounds of melancholia. More than that, it shows that it is an inevitably aural phenomena, which only through sound can reveal some of its features.

"Tyto Alba" has been conceived as a theoretical research and a recording studio experiment which resulted in a sound essay published by a leading contemporary music label, Bôłt Records. Blurring the edges between sound genres, it is a horspiel and a reading; a piece of electroacoustic music as well as plunderphonics; an attempt at sound portraits or simply a collection of songs. All in all, it remains a sonic take on melancholia. But forget weepy piano music and sad boys' songs. The sound of melancholia is extreme and obsessive. It is painful and pleasureable. Apathy and self-dismissal come not from weary music but from sonic hallucinations, acousmatic sounds and alien voices arriving at a special mode of hearing. In one of the footnotes of „Stanzas”, Giorgio Agamben points out that the well known melancholic posture of a man leaning his head against the hand is actually an attempt to get away from suffering of his ringing ear. This observation is the main coordinate of the piece's development. It departs from melancholic listening which turns women into birds and was portrayed in the opening chapter of W.G. Sebald's „Rings of Saturn”. From there on, the leading voice of the performance imperceptibly meanders between reading, commenting, quoting and misleading the tale – an interpretation of the Sebald's initial intuitions. Narration wriggles from Auguste Rodin to Bedřich Smetana, from Georges Perec to Alvin Lucier. Their music and words are accompanied by hundreds of found footage samples bringing together laryngological patients, paranormal voices, death rattles, monaural beats, tinnitus sounds but most of all birds, in particular barn owls. They are all mirrored by saxophone playing by the one and only – Martin Küchen.

Live performance of "Tyto Alba" heads for an overwhelming and immersive seance in which all the aforementioned sounds merge and collide to form an audio phantasy of melancholic listening, a room-full of sound in which a listener loses a sense of space - designed by one more one and only sound engineer in Europe, Ralf Meinz.

piątek, 4 września 2015


Alessandro Facchini / Michał Libera / Ralf Meinz 

08/09/2015 (Tuesday)

The only day the three of us meet in the same town and by some coincidence it is Warsaw. 
We decided to celebrate. 
Post-Smutaz DJ duo with a great guest from Tubingen playing vinyls, CDs, mp3 files, maybe waves as well as digital sound generators.
There's gonna be depression, noise and beauty. 
I think. 
We'll see. 

Weekend passed and resulted in a different triangle.  
An update. Ralf had to stay in Germany. Piotr Kurek will come. 
Smutaż after Smutaż, apparently.
One night only.

Alessandro Facchini / Piotr Kurek / Michał Libera 

08/09/2015 (Tuesday)