ABOUT THE FESTIVAL
The 13th edition of the Festival of Traditional and Avant-garde Music CODES, whose theme is “Recalling”, concentrates on the reflections and inspirations between the forms of early music and various types of new music. Traditions of the Renaissance, Baroque and traditional music are coming together. The audience will get to hear improvisations, meditative, engaged, and… therapeutic music. In particular the latter, in the times we are living in which is difficult and sometimes cruel, allows us, “in the best of all possible worlds”, to evoke longings for a slightly better world.
The multitude of topics, themes, and poetics may mean that the title “recalling” is reduced to an erudite show or a presentation of musical peculiarities and quirks. They can also be understood as a catalogue of topics and forms, a repository of overlooked threads, and hidden or forgotten themes. We hope that our “Recalling” may also serve as an attempt to cause unpredictable effects, testing bold ideas, sending signals with hope for an answer, searching for unknown musical lands – a fascinating journey into the unknown.
The recalling inevitably resonates – both one directed into the past, and one aiming at the cultural space of the present day; it does not hit the void, but an answer, sometimes most surprising. The Festival’s recalling goes into different directions: from the forgotten sounds of the lost cultures; through distant islands; to intimate tangles of corporeality and sounds, and towards the eternal Platonic ideas. When we bring up music from the furthest corner of our imagination, the depths of time and the fringes of the world, we cannot be sure what interference it will awaken, which dormant layers of our imagination it will activate, what powers of fantasy it will unleash. They will be a kind of a planned surprise for us, one awaited with impatience, fascination, and trembling.
The entire program of this year’s Festival is stretched between the “now” and “once”, between two dimensions that are decisive for our lives, our choices, and our anticipations of the unknown. Our “being in the world” is immersed in the past, constantly updating it, reinterpreting its meaning and value, and at the same time, we get high on the present. The ecstasy of everyday life and the burden of heritage causes us to live a double life, in two places at once, struggling with our past and the hardships of everyday life at the same time. Because of that, we are torn between the present and the past. We are never “here and now”, never “at home”. The present “we” constantly talks to “we| from years and centuries ago – it curses, argues, but sometimes recalls nostalgically. We recall our past, “better self” to rediscover ourselves in the unstable now. Another time, the harmonies from years ago resonate in us like new. We also find today’s complexity, diversity, and ambiguity in the past. You will experience an exceptional concentration of these tensions at the CODES Festival.
The Festival will be opened with a concert which, similarly to the Festival’s theme, recalls the figure of the paradise land of Arcadia – “Love Songs of the Green Wilderness” from Kurpie. However, Adam Strug will sing not only of pastoral sweetness, but also dilemmas, bitterness, and pain. Thanks to his music, archaic Kurpie songs will transport human emotions over geographical distances, cultural differences, and the passing of time.
In the window of the container located at the square in front of the Centre for Culture, we will hear and watch the singer, performer, and improviser, the soloist of the idiomatic Decoder group, Carola Schaal. In “Encounter” she boldly combines musical conventions and cultural associations. The performance by three multimedia artists from Germany (SCHAAL, HORWITZ, WERNECKE) evokes the myth about the Amazons from cultural memory, turning it into a story about a modern cyberfeminist. The window becomes a magnifying glass in which we watch the warrior. Time freezes in the windows like the characters in Edward Hopper’s paintings. But this time, it will move…
Each of the first three days of this year’s CODES, we will soothe emotions and frayed nerves with the events of the “Dream Band”. First, with the music of Morton FELDMAN, the next day by Henryk Mikołaj GÓRECKI, and at the end of the meditation triptych, on Friday, with a piece inspired by hunting signals. Usually, they call for hunting. The collectively written JAGD piece reverses our perception of the world. It was created from the imaginary perspective of animals, for whom the hunting signals announce death.
Gośka ISPHORDING will present the latest pieces for harpsichord, with significant participation of electronics, written especially for her. The harpsichord, an instrument deeply embedded in history, will transplant bold and dense concentrates of new music into our times. It is hard to find a more expressive meeting of tradition and avant-garde.
Following the last year’s online premiere at the Sacrum-Profanum Festival, the flute player and creator of numerous musical projects Ania KARPOWICZ will present the stage premiere of the feminist project TOVA at the CODES Festival. The pieces written by four young Polish composers vibrate with the multidimensional experience of femininity. Social rituals are intertwined with screams of despair, the need for closeness, and worship of the body. Artistically piled up everyday life means that the audience interacts with the music written by life.
Małgorzata WALENTYNOWICZ will perform a fascinating series of miniatures for piano and tape recorder (does anybody remember those?). Miniatures written by Luc FERRARI form a wise treatise on the little things. It is complemented by illustrations by Jakub BABCZYŃSKI, prepared especially for our Festival. In the premiere piece by Krzysztof WOŁEK, we will experience the power of sounds – the vast surfaces of the piano’s sounds will merge with the sounds of technologically sophisticated electronics.
The musical alchemy of the VOXNOVA ITALIA vocal group is not only a metaphor; it refers directly to the alchemical roots of our imagination, to alchemical speculations in art, literature, and science. The history of alchemical imagination is “told” through music and texts by authors both from centuries ago and in the case of Giacinto SCELSI, whom some see as the creator of the “new Middle Ages”, from several decades ago.
Traditional music concludes our Festival each year and is its emblematic anchor. This year, RADICAL POLISH ANSAMBL, known for incorporating folk music into modern times, will present sets of dances created by folk violin masters from several regions of Poland. The Night of Tradition may evoke the spirit of a joyful party, which we have already forgotten a bit, mired in the sadness.
We “exhort and implore” the good energies!
*Co-financed by the Minister of Culture, National Heritage and Sport from funds of the Culture Promotion Fund as part of the “Music” program, obtained from subsidies established in games subject to state monopoly, in accordance with Art. 80 sec. 1 of the Gambling Act of November 19, 2009, implemented by the Institute of Music and Dance.
*Co-financed from the Creative Promotion Fund of Society of Authors ZAiKS.