Protest and the energy it creates are the leitmotif of the 3rd edition of the Kwadrofonik Festival. Emilia Sitarz, Magdalena Kordylasińska-Pękala, Miłosz Pękala and Bartek Wąsik, along with their guest musicians, are going to 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 Afro-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 Sisyphean labour: arduous, repeated ad infinitum endeavour that is full of frustration and anger, what can be clearly heard in Evil Nigger.
The world of minimal music is also 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 music darkness clashes with light. The world we are living in carries out the most sombre prophecies. The next hero of the 3rd edition of the Kwadrofonik Festival Frederic Rzewski, an American composer of Polish origin, 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, 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.
The second time since its premiere in 2016, Ksenofonia composed by Miłosz Pękala and Bartek Wąsik is going to be heard in the POLIN interiors (performed by Kwadrofonik and Royal String Quartet accompanied by VJ Wiktor Podgórski). 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 proves a potential in an uprising and the spirit of freedom, which authorities are afraid of. 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.
Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.
Detailed programme: http://www.kwadrofonik.com.pl/