piątek, 22 lipca 2016

The Fall of Recording - Vol. I

Vol. I


Sanatorium Dźwięku

Gaudenz Badrutt
Alicja Bielawska
Bożenna Biskupska
Alessandro Bosetti 
Johnny Chang
Bryan Eubanks 
Emilio Gordoa
Jonas Kocher
Daniel Koniusz
Gerard Lebik
Michał Libera 
Xavier Lopez
Mike Majkowski
Daniel Muzyczuk 
Keith Rowe
Radek Szlaga
Valerio Tricoli

I don't want to die. I want to live”. Several notes placed neatly on musical staff, quite catchy lyrics, you may say, and short introduction from a composer, forms altogether almost a song. But the song written down on 26th of Febraury 1903 by a Czech composer Leoš Janáček in his notebook bears a different authorship than his own; he himself was nothing more but a recording device for an unintentional song of his dying daughter, Olga. These were her last words, and a last melody, uttered in bed just before she passed away; almost a swan song addressed to her father sitting by the bed but also to a man obsessed by the everyday passing of melodies of the world we live in. Words, noises, screams, animals and doors, hundreds of different birds and dogs and finally also his dying daughter found their ways to form short songs in his notebooks via the language of music notation. So do we know the final expression of his daughter? It's all there, on the staff. Perhaps a song, and if so, definitely of swan kind, a document or a memoir but also an emblem of the entire myth of recording media – a song made of dying and about dying or in other words: a recorded song about recording...

... to be continued in Sokołowsko

wtorek, 14 czerwca 2016

Scuro d'Estate


Entrato Libera


First performance in the cinema since 1986

Pior Adamski
Krzysztof Bielecki
Michał Grochowiak
Michał Libera
Piotr Kurek
Daniel Malone
Mateusz Marczewski
Łukasz Sosiński
Stella Costa
The Infamous Six of Pizzo


Libretto excerpt:

First, I need a place.
A place that can gaze at me,
with a gaze that owns the entire space,
surrounds me fully,
arrests me, if you like, this gaze,
touching me everywhere, the tiniest bits of my skin,
undressing me.

I need a place able to make my body smell,
that can make it softer,
make me feel like there's a bit of pulp,
in between my skin and my muscles.
It's never only pleasent nintense, believe me.

Of what my experience tells me,
there's always a snake, or a viper.
No room is ever empty.
Be it a sneaky reptile,
some incidental dweller of distorted mind,
some displaced foreigner with unpredictable dispositions,
it might just as well be a newt,
but in any case – always with a cutting glare,
exactly there where you can't see him,
watching you,
but fully present,
watching, gazing, peeping at you
up to the point where the air gets thicker
and you start imagining your privacy,
you almost start thinking you're alone,
this is when it jumps on you,
it stings you,
and its sting is sharp,
sharp enough to make you loose your balance,
to make you shake imperceptibly,
like when you're on a cliff,
and it takes less than the slightest movement
to make you fall.

I need this kind of place
A place brave enough to settle on my body
press down on it a bit,
to lean on my arms
to push them,

it always goes further,
or down, rather
pushing these firm hands of mine
down to my hips
and further
into the wet.

From here, I can begin.

poniedziałek, 6 czerwca 2016

The Great Learning (II, IV, VII) | Atlas Festival

Cornelius Cardew, The Great Learning
Paragraphs II, IV, VII

Atlas Festival
at Ogród Powszechny

with Michał Mendyk, Fundacja Strefa Wolnosłowa and around 100 participants from Warsaw, Bologna, Antwerp, Paris and God Knows Where

poniedziałek, 16 maja 2016


Nowy Teatr
Madalinskiego 10/16, Warsaw

Michał Libera - concept, libretto, composition outline
Pete Simonelli - voice
Hilary Jeffery - trombone
Jerzy Rogiewicz - drums
Ralf Meinz - sound design
Karolina Gebska - light design

Theatre-for-the-Ear based on "Kalkwerk" by Thomas Bernhard
or, more literally, 
Audio-Book of an unwritten text

The plot of „Kalkwerk”, one of Thomas Bernhard's masterpieces, oscillates around the main protagonist's unsuccessful attempt at writing „Studium” – treatise on listening, „the most philosophical of all senses” and the one which „had never become subject to a magnificent study, prominent dissertation, not even a solid article” (Bernhard). According to widespread interpretation, treatise on listening is nothing but an allegory; a symbol of failure, work not only unfinished but not even started, endlessly postponed, continually distracted and finally paving the road to the degenerate crime. Seen from this existential perspective, as in famous theatre adaptation by Krystian Lupa, defeat in writing about listening is a mere narrative background, anecdotal course of events which only serves to display grand metaphysical drama which is at the core of Bernhard's real interest.

KALKWERK / STUDIUM is rooted in an entirely different reading of „Kalkwerk”. Listening here is not an incidental alibi to examine more profound realms of human's existence. Quite the contrary. There is no drama in Bernhard outside of listening or perhaps the drama is the listening itself. Construction of the book seems to support this thesis. It is not built of characters but rather overheard and misheard voices – uncertain gossips, never fully reliable rumours and contradictory tales written down and given to the reader in a fragmented and sometimes disembodied versions. „Kalkwerk” is thus firstly a book on listening and more importantly a book to listen to and it is in the latter one where the piece displays its structural majesty. Seen in this way, it is questionable if treatise on listening had never been written. It is true that it was not conceived by Konrad, the main character of „Kalkwerk”. Yet one can argue that Bernhard wrote „Studium” himself, aware of the fact that the theme of listening calls for liteterature for the ear rather than the eye. 

If Austrian author wrote the treatise himself, the only possible way to depict it is to follow the auditory features of the given discourse, reconstructing Bernhard's theory of hearing. 

piątek, 6 maja 2016

Farewell to Emilia

fot. Maja Wirkus

A handful of acts dedicated to an empty building

Wolf Eyes

The Great Learning by Cornelius Cardew
perfromed by a workshop group of Fundacja Strefa Wolnosłowa

acts by Warsaw artists incl. 
Ray Dickaty
Alessandro Facchini
Gamid Ibadullayev
Irad Mazliah
Philip Palmer
Candelaria Saenz Valiente

co-curated by Paweł Nowożycki

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.