composer, b. 22nd June 1930 in Grodzisk Mazowiecki; d. 28 February 2017 in Grodzisk Mazowiecki. In 1954-60 he studied composition with Tadeusz Szeligowski in the State Higher School of Music in Warsaw (currently Fryderyk Chopin University of Music) in Warsaw. He was one of the initiators and organizers of the Polish Jeunesses Musicales movement, in which he was actively involved in 1958-62. He founded the Carmina Academica music publishers and worked there as an editor.
For his work in the field of composition, he has received numerous awards, incl. in 1960 – the Ministry of Culture and Art Award “for perseverance and excellent results in the popularization of culture”; in the same year – an award in the Grunwald 1960 competition for Warmien and Masuren Suite for solo voices and mixed unaccompanied choir (1960); in 1961 – an award in the Young Composers’ Competition of the Polish Composers’ Union for Canti al fresco for 9 female voices and instrumental ensemble (1961); in 1962 – 1st prize in the International Competition for Composers in Prague for Concertino da camera for chamber orchestra (1961); in 1963 – 3rd prize (1st and 2nd were not granted) in the Grzegorz Fitelberg Competition in Katowice for Ornamenti for flute, clarinet, bassoon and strings (1963).
In 1992, Leoncjusz Ciuciura was named Man of the Year by the International Biographical Centre, Cambridge and granted the 20th Century Award for Achievement in the field of contemporary music. In 2004, American Biographical Institute bestowed on him the Honorary title of 'Great Mind of the 21st Century’.
I observed that the creation of my compositions, as well as their each individual performance or perception, is governed by the law of the spiral. In 1915, Albert Einstein claimed that “all that exists is space. There is an organic relationship between time and space. Space is everywhere – and is warped.” On the macro scale, this warp is recurrent and takes the form of a spiral, e.g. a spiral galaxy or spirals made up of galaxies, and in the micro-world on the DNA level, Watson and Crick discovered double spirals called helices. Simultaneously, I realised that contemporary music has greatly enriched its musical material thanks to computers and electronics, but to date, in the field of form, music has not worked out any coherent equivalent of these material-technical achievements.
Beginning with the cycles Spirale I per uno and Spirale II per uno e piú of ± 1964 → ∞* (* – each performance is a premiere, so the date must be constantly updated), I started to develop my own concept of spiral form, for which the point of departure can be a graphic score or sonoristic textures, prepared or ‘combined’ sounds, as well as minimal music, Momentformen, collage, happening, conceptualism, and so on, and so forth. Thanks to its predictive, virtual and eschatological possibilities, the new spiral form of a musical work opens up the way to self-fulfilment, self-knowledge and self-betterment. It also makes it possible to develop a wider and deeper sense of the convergence of ‘art’s formalistic interests’, both individual and general. Since sound art is a-semantic, it enables us to reconcile and comprehend one another directly, and therefore can form a bridge over divisions of language, viewpoint and religion as we work towards a universal cultural integration.
The world premieres of Spirale I, II were presented at the ‘Warsaw Autumn’ International Festivals of Contemporary Music in 1968 and 1972 as well as the International 'World Music Days’ Festivals organized by the International Society for Contemporary Music in, among others, Athens (1979) and other cities.
A spiral development of Spirale I, II and a continuation of the same set of formal problems came with the cycle Creatoria I, II per uno e piú (first performed, among others, at the ISCM Festival in Warsaw 1972 and the 1997 ‘Warsaw Autumn’). Creatoria are being born* (* I began my work on the cycle in ± 1963 and it is still continued) out of my dreams about a world without wars, without intolerance for other worldviews, a world without hunger, poverty and destruction of the natural environment. The work is inspired by a yearning for a world of social justice in which individual freedom, fraternity and solidarity are the fundamental values. I believe – and I strive to express it in my works – that also music can to some extent contribute to the improvement of our world and that music can, like science, discover the universal rules which synthesise our view of the reality. Music integrates and inspires, builds up spiritual energy, unites a man not only with other people, but with the universe at large.
In my compositions, there is no division into performers and the audience: there is only a homo creator, the sensitized man co-experiencing the world syntonically, imaginative, with an open mind, sensitive to new intellectual-aesthetic experiences, a man with the ability to accommodate. It has always been clear to me that in order to accomplish such programme objectives, a new form must be developed. The spiral form is – in my view – most adequate, because its fundamental feature is the dynamic integrating tendency of all its elements towards internal unity, cohesion and substantial perfection.
The spiral of time is a transcendent form. The spiral of musical time is the author’s interference with the objective and the transcendental. It proceeds from potentially existing, but not actualized values to infinity, tending to the maximum of value realisation. This process can be presented schematically as follows:
± ∞ → R → P → E → ± ∞
The spiral musical rhythm is thus a cosmic rhythm, a rhythm of infinite coming-into-being in the present and in the infinite future. The performers who actualize the piece create it again each time - de novo creat – they create what did not exist. It is also an attempt to face the dangers of the scientific-technological revolution with its schematic repetitive jobs, automation and unification, which could bring the technological man to self-destruction. An alternative for this vision can be found, in my view, in homo creator, the man with an open, creative attitude who, by way of spiral self-fulfilment is offered the chance to pass (transito) into the phase of homo universalis and later - homo galacticus.
A spiral development of the issues addressed in Creatoria can be found in the other cycles that I am working on, such as Incidenti I, II, Recontre I, II, Intarsio I, II, In Infinitum I, II for various freely selected solo, chamber and symphonic forces. The problems of spiral form and this ‘musical poetics’ have so far been presented to audiences in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, England, Germany, France, Belgium, Greece, Norway, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, the United States, Mexico and other countries.
Quartetto per fiati (→)
Fonodiagra for flute, oboe, clarinet, violin, trombone, percussion and harp (→)
Hommage à Wanda Landowska for harpsichord (or piano) and string quintet (→)
Rencontre, Versione per flauto, oboe e tromba (→)
Rencontre I, Versione per clarinetto, trombone, violoncello, pianoforte (→)
Rencontre I, Versione per flauto, violoncello e pianoforte (→)
Rencontre I, Versione per 30 esecutori – 46 strumenti * (→)
Rencontre II, Versione per solo violoncello, trombone, clarinetto, pianoforte e 24 esecutori – 38 strumenti (→)
Rencontre per MW2, Versione per 3 esecutori – 5 strumenti (→)
Intarsio, Versione per 5 esecutori-10 strumenti (→)
Intarsio I, Versione per flauto, oboe, tromba, celesta, marimba, xilofono, campanelli solo e 30 esecutori-44 strumenti (→)
Intarsio I, Versione per pianoforte-cembalo solo e 4 esecutori (→)
Intarsio I, Versione per alto solo e 2 esecutori – 3 strumenti (→)
Intarsio I, Versione per soprano (mezzosoprano) solo e 2 esecutori – 3 strumenti (→)
Intarsio I, Versione per baritono (basso) solo e 2 esecutori – 5 strumenti (→)
Intarsio I, Versione per tenoro solo e 2 esecutori – 4 strumenti (→)
Intarsio I, Versione per 3 voci – soprano, tenoro e basso (→)
Intarsio I, Versione per oboe solo e strumenti (→)
Intarsio I, Versione per flauto solo e strumenti (→)
Intarsio II, Versione per clarinetto-saxofono-clarinetto basso solo e 9 esecutori – 12 strumenti (→)
Intarsio II, Versione per flauto solo e strumenti (→)
Intarsio II, Versione per oboe solo e 10 esecutori – 12 strumenti * (→)
Intarsio II, Versione per flauto solo e 8 esecutori * (→)
Intarsio II, Versione per tromba solo e 7 esecutori – 13 strumenti * (→)
Intarsio II, Versione per trombone solo e 5 esecutori – 8 strumenti * (→)
Intarsio II, Versione per violoncello solo e 5 esecutori – 13 strumenti * (→)
Intarsio II, Versione per celesta-xilofono-vibrafono-marimba solo e 5 esecutori – 11 strumenti * (→)
Intarsio II, Versione per clarinetto, violoncello, trombone, pianoforte-cembalo solo e 24 esecutori – 38 strumenti (→)
Creatoria I per uno e piú for any solo instrument or any set of instruments * (→)
Creatoria II per uno e piú for any solo instrument or any set of instruments * (→)
<In infinitum I per uno e piú for any set of instruments * (→)
In infinitum II, Versione per solo, duo..... e tutti (→)
In infinitum II, Versione per solo, duo..... e tutti – 8 esecutori – 13 strumenti (→)
In infinitum II per uno e piú for any set of instruments * (→)
Incidenti I, Versione per 5 voci e 5 strumenti (→)
Incidenti I, Versione per tenoro solo e strumenti * (→)
Incidenti I, Versione per alto solo e strumenti (→)
Incidenti I, Versione per baritono solo e strumenti * (→)
Incidenti I, Versione per soprano solo e strumenti * (→)
Incidenti II, Versione per 4 voci e strumenti (→)
Two Songs for voice and piano (1957)
Recitativo e arioso for violin and piano (1958)
Varianti concertanti for clarinet and piano (1959)
Invocations for mixed unaccompanied choir (1960)
Canti al fresco for 9 female voices, vocal and instrumental ensemble to words by K. I. Gałczyński (1961)
Ornamenti for flute, clarinet, bassoon and 42-69 string instruments (1963→)
Penetrations for 4 orchestral groups, 4 conductors and composer (1963→)
Emergenza for 2 choirs, orchestra, 3 conductors and composer (1963→)
Spirale I per uno for any voice and percussion instruments * (1964→)
Spirale II per uno e piú [1st version] for any instrumental ensemble * (1964→)
Spirale II per uno e piú [2nd version] for any instrumental ensemble (1964→)