środa, 21 grudnia 2011

DJ Lenar, Re: PRES

Bôłt. Polish Radio Experimental Studio, 2010 (CD)

DJ Lenar, Re: PRES

1. First Intro
2. First One
3. First Two
4. First Three
5. First Four
6. First Five
6. First Closing
8. Digital Silence
9. Second Intro
10. Second One
11. Second Two
12. Second Three
13. Second Four
14. Second Five
15. Second Six
16. Second Seven
17. Second Closing

Distribution: online by Monotype Records (roughly since mid-January 2011)
Release Party: 19.01.2011 in CCA Laboratorium, Warsaw during PERSPEKTIVEN / PERSPEKTYWY (one night stand with PRES, more soon)

Eugeniusz Rudnik says: “any time a pianist enters a room with a piano, there is no way for him to restrain from opening a piano lid and playing something”. Here is his approach to miniatures.

Unlike “miniatures” or “etudes”, this kind of “playing something” is rarely mentioned in the books on the history of music. It gets away from most of the categories of serious artistic practice dealing with sound. Is it composition? Improvisation? Rehearsal? Exercise? Joke? Possibly: irresistible urge to use an instrument, “playing” - as one of the greatest theorist of the category, Derek Bailey, would call it. Perhaps he was hopelessly wrong about one thing: “the largest amount of playing per cubic unit” is to be found not in free improvisation but in random and accidental situations like the one mentioned by Rudnik – when “playing” becomes an impulse, pure desire. No matter if it is a scale, fragment of a piece by Boulez or pretentious improvisation.

But let's ask who is talking? The question takes the minor anecdote to a different dimension. It is not a pianist speaking but a sound engineer. The first time I had a chance to see Rudnik approaching his real-to-real tape recorder was 15 minutes after I was introduced to him: easiness of a full engagement, like with a waiter preparing his thousand's espresso or Glenn Gould sitting by the piano one morning, be it 18th of October 1964. That is why the term “engineer” is up to the point unless it means less than “composer”. It is because the studio is really becoming a tool. Not only a composer's tool, as Brian Eno would put it. It is not only a complex of electronic devices overloaded with potentialities to create entirely new opportunities like listening backwards, precise loops, endless range of tone colors. Studio can as well be – and actually always was – an improviser's tool. Or perhaps more precisely: an improviser's instrument. An instrument being at use regardless of its groundbreaking “potentialities” or “revolutionary character”.

Obviously, there are differences between playing with a reel-to-reel tape recorder in the studio and playing piano. One of them is that the tape always leaves a trace – a recording. In case of Rudnik's “Miniatures” the traces have neither dates nor composer's explications. Nobody knows when and how exactly have they been recorded. Among them one can find cuts of laborious recording sessions, improvisations, ideas haunting Rudnik's imagination perhaps for decades as well as jokes made only to kill some time. But still – these are recordings and hence compositions, done and fixed. Imagine we have access to all the morning recordings of Gould...

Nobody knows how many miniatures have been conceived by Rudnik. But one thing for sure: a lot. Plenty enough to make a direct release impossible. The number of them calls for action – something needs to be done with them in the first place; a selection at least, some ordering perhaps. They remind a bit of music material, which form is eventually decided not by its composer but by a published or other user. Their virtual destiny was radio theatre. But in a first step of our attempt at Rudnik's “Miniatures” we pass it not to a dramatist but to a musician. Together with other pieces from the Studio as “Miniatures” are not only a material to work on but also an exposition of a specific approach to music concrète making: work quickly, in-between other things you do, don't spend too much time on it. In other words: hit and run. Marcin Lenarczyk in his portable studio improvises as often as composes or designs soundtracks. The studio is two amps (guitar and bass guitar), turntable, sampler, loop station. Even though the set up brings to mind decades of early concrete music, today it is hardly a tool to break in to new music territories. It is rather a tool to play (with). It is in the muscles and gestures of its users, just as much as “Goldberg Variations” have been embodied in hands and posture of Glenn Gould. [ML]

PRES: Bogusław Schaeffer, Assemblage

Bôłt. Polish Radio Experimental Studio, 2010 (2xCD)

Bogusław Schaeffer, Assemblage

CD 1
1. Assemblage (first simultaneous version)
2. Electronic Symphony (realisation: Bogdan Mazurek)
3. Herakliltiana (soloist: Urszula Mazurek - harp)
4. Project (solost: Zdzisław Piernik - tuba)

CD 2
1. Project (solost: Mariusz Pędziałek - oboe)
2. Listening to Heraklitiana (soloist: Mikołaj Pałosz – cello)
3. Electronic Symphony (realisation: Wolfram)
4. Assemblage (seond simulatenous version)
5. o.t. for B.S. (realisation: Thomas Lehn)

Distribution: online by Monotype Records (roughly since mid-January 2011)
Release Party: 19.01.2011 in CCA Laboratorium, Warsaw during PERSPEKTIVEN / PERSPEKTYWY (one night stand with PRES, more soon)

"Poliversional compositions" were defined by Bogusław Schaeffer already in the 60. They were pieces written down not as “definite aggregates” being an obligation towards an interpreter to perform the sounds composer had in his mind but rather potential aggregates encompassing variety of possible versions. After nearly half-century, a couple of notes should be added to the definition, even if they are nothing more than questions on its margins. They are not rooted in theoretical insight but only in working on that particular album.

Question number one: once the score is missing, can "poliversionality" mean improvising the soloist part upon listening to a fixed tape? (see: Heraklitiana - composition for tape and soloist of which score is possibly still existing but few months long search, including interventions of its author, gave no result). Is the definition of "poliversionality" wide enough to include a tiny mistake in a playback of a tape during a live performance? (see: Proietto, composition for tape and soloist – during the concert in 1994 in Zachęta Gallery played back a semitone lower than expected). If a close listening to an “original version with a score leaves a lot of doubt about the faithfulness to the score, must other – more loose – versions be mere variations? (see: o.t. dec. 2011 by Thomas Lehn). And the last one: does changing of the title free us from an obligation of a faithful performance or is it only a misuse introducing a new author to a performance which is nothing more but one of the possible realizations of Schaeffer’s compositions? [ML / MM]

PRES: KEW, Secret Poems

Bôłt. Polish Radio Experimental Studio, 2010 (3xCD)

KEW, Secret Poems

CD 1 (KEW + compositions by Wojciech Michniewski)
1. Second Secret Poem
2. In the Tatra Mountains
3. Zones of Adherence
4. Whisperetto

CD 2 (compositions by Krzysztof Knittel)
1. Norcet II
2-4. 3 Studies
5. Polygamy
4. Odds and Ends
5. Old Style Pieces

CD 3 (compositions by Elżbieta Sikora)
1. Flashback (Hommage a Pierre Schaeffer)
2. View from the Window
3. The Head of Orpheus
4. Night Face Up
5. Second Journey

Distribution: online by Monotype Records (roughly since mid-January 2011)
Release Party: 19.01.2011 in CCA Laboratorium, Warsaw during PERSPEKTIVEN / PERSPEKTYWY (one night stand with PRES, more soon)