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‘I made up my mind to go gaga for a few weeks and write some verse loosely based on the bios of my family members,’ explains Michał Rusinek, otherwise a serious and reputable literary scholar, translator, and writer. ‘My ancestors were apparently rather ordinary. Still, I am convinced that even a very ordinary family can be viewed from an unusual perspective.
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Born 75 years ago, Wnuk-Nazarowa obtained her master’s degree from Krzysztof Penderecki’s class in 1974. Her professional life has been a long series of challenges and successes, and she is well-known for her achievements in the fields of education, management, and politics. She was, among others, the head of Cracow Philharmonic, the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra (NOSPR) in Katowice, and (in 1997–1999) – Minister of Culture.
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From his debut album Outside Sources (2004), Canadian bassist-composer Michael Bates felt that even contemporary open jazz constrains him, which he honestly admitted, saying that he takes inspiration from Miles just as willingly as from the noisy recordings of Bad Brains. It was from punk that he started his adventure with music composition and performance. He sailed into new waters with an album of Acrobat (a quintet led by Bates) daringly taking up the legacy and composition technique of Shostakovich (titled Music for, and by, Dmitri Shostakovich, 2011).
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Bloody crime, family tragedy, the force of destiny… The timeless works of ancient playwrights continue to move audiences also today as well as inspiring present-day artists. Aeschylus’ "Oresteia" has thus become the basis for Agata Zubel’s dramopera to a libretto by Maja Kleczewska.
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‘The heart – a void, a gaping wound. / A wound on the left-hand side of the world.’ It is with his heart that Aleksander Nowak seems to have read Radek Rak’s Nike-awarded novel A Tale of a Serpent’s Heart or a Second Word about Jakób Szela. His opera thus abounds in emotions perfectly comprehensible to a sensitive audience – emotions that are nearly obvious, though the author shuns literalness.
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The eponymous piece, written for its current performer Jakob Kullberg, derives its title from the composer’s belief that creating a work of art calls for friction on both the conceptual and purely personal level. The other two concertos on VARIOUS FORMS OF FRICTION, released in PORTRAITS series, are Motions, Stases for piano and large ensemble (with Małgorzata Walentynowicz as soloist) and Open/Close for bass clarinet and large ensemble (soloist: Michele Marelli). The soloists perform here with Ensemble OMN under Szymon Bywalec.

Kuba Stankiewicz - Inspired by Ludomir Różycki
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One of Poland’s most compelling jazz pianists, Kuba Stankiewicz has shared the stage with, among others, Jan Ptaszyn Wróblewski, Zbigniew Namysłowski, Artie Shaw, and Art Farmer. For many years he has explored the impact of pre-WWII film music on jazz, which has resulted in splendid releases of music by Victor Young, Bronisław Kaper, Henryk Wars, as well as their teacher Roman Statkowski. Stankiewicz’s variations on themes from Różycki’s works are the next stage of his journey in search for the sources of jazz.
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The workings of inspiration are truly inscrutable. Karol Szymanowski sought it in the Antiquity, the Orient, and in Polish folklore. The artists of to-day, though cast from a different mould, are in turn inspired by the oeuvre of Szymanowski. They take up anew what the giant of Polish music left off nearly a hundred years ago and use his works as a point of departure for more explorations, a journey into the unknown. This is certainly true of sax player, composer and producer Adam Pierończyk – a restless soul, an artist who has collaborated with, among others, Sam Rivers, Archie Shepp, Bobby McFerrin, Tomasz Stańko, and Avishai Cohen. The US website ‘All About Jazz’ hailed his virtuoso playi
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