czwartek, 7 kwietnia 2016

Ivy Snowstalkers of Ancient Apron

Piotr Kurek, Ivy Snowstalkers of Ancient Apron

Opera commissioned by Kody Festival
Lublin, Centrum Kultury, 20.30

Piotr Kurek – music, dramaturgy
Michał Libera – libretto, dramaturgy
Łukasz Sosiński – scenography
Laura Ociepa – screenings
Magdalena Łazarczyk – costumes
Natalia Przybysz – voice
Anastazja Bernad – voice
Hilary Jeffery – trombone
Kamil Szuszkiewicz – trumpet
Jerzy Rogiewicz – percussions
Hubert Zemler – percussions

Libretto (excerpt):

(In less than five minutes)

Within basidia of hymenium
and moraine of Karachi

in whale calfs' unborn barnacles
or over shallow end
of a small vernacular gravel
of some Northwestern town
in the country
of Romani ground

eighteen wreck DEAD

(In time, quite soon)

When you're all no longer here
'xcept some dusty sludge

in a paddle strained of smog
or of human stinky wet
your particles snowing down
amid the wooden planks
in the floors
of your homes

thirteen DEAD

(In a while)

When the times arrive
of no torso corpse

in a tombless land
only leftovers
disperse their turns
in the solids
yet always over

fifty DEAD

(Very soon)

In borers walks
over man's veins

spread from
Diabal to Maine
by linches
on bloody



Leave on

among end
and by


wtorek, 15 marca 2016

Salon de Salon de Fleurus

Salon de Salon de Fleurus
Salon de Fleurus

18/03 - 15/05
Muzeum Sztuki, Łódź
Więckowskiego 36

Sound adaptation for an exhibition by ICI

It is quite certain that the space of the Salon at Rue de Fleurus, at the time Stein and Toklas were in residence, when canvasses of Picasso, Matisse and Cézanne graced the walls, when those paintings were viewed by Joyce and Pound in person … there is no doubt that the entire space of the salon at this time, in this most original company and accompanied by the most original originals, was filled with art enjoying the status of mere lesser replicas. This art was music. The music was played on phonographs, and had been recorded on vinyl or shellac records decorated with the words “Pathé” or “Odeon” as well as other words informing one that in these unassuming grooves one can find the voice of Mistinguett or of Maurice Chevalier. These texts were beheld by the eyes of Paris’ high society, yet they were just the same texts as those read by other Parisians. By anyone, in fact, who had come into possession of a copy and played their record on any other gramophone located in any other salon. The sounds which fell on the ears of Stein and Pound were just the same as the sounds heard in the houses of lesser-known streets. And they were just the same as the sounds which fall on our ears today, in our homes. We only need to avail ourselves of other copies of those same records, which as it happens is possibIe . You can buy copies. They are by no means cheap, but they are certainly much less expensive than the acquisition of a Matisse or Picasso canvas from Stein’s salon. 

The mere vocal presence of Mistinguett or Chevalier at Rue de Fleurus 27, especially in the form of precisely grooved vinyl or shellac, seems a very particular work of art. This artwork announces - in this very salon in the 1920’s, 1920’s and 1930’s - the arrival of the work entitled Salon de Fleurus, dated from the early 1990’s. And this announcement fulfils its own ambition: perhaps the records – copies – played in the salon were already for Stein and her guests in fact more significant and tell them more about the history than the original artworks, whatever those artworks might, properly, be – say, as performed live in concert. If it is true that mere copies might have meant more, it is because fiction was turned by those records into real history and because the listeners were given the space to contemplate and review the past while listening. Perhaps this is why the music could not have been canonised in the Salon – precisely because it had already been canonised before. Questions where, why and how certain narratives about modern music were originated through the salon structure had already found answers in these unassuming records themselves, even before those records reached the music stores from where they progressed to Rue de Fleurus and other streets of pre-war Paris. And if it’s true that the answers to these questions are not very present in the copies of “Mon homme” or “La femme a la rose” which were to be found in the salon, we may still hope that answers will be clearer in the copies found in Salon de Fleurus. These are versions which Stein and her friends could not have listened to because they represent a phonographic “life after life” of  the hits of Paris from the time of the Salon, giving us some insight into the period that followed – from the forties until today. 

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