Little Warsaw Autumn International Festival of Contemporary Music Warsaw Autumn

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Magic and the power of connections
What is the musical  l i n k  between all the continents, countries, and cultures? There are many, but it’s primarily the lullaby. What notions are hiding and  c o m b i n i n g  in the strange word of “meloharmoidiochordophone”? Find them. What do Ukraine and Poland have in common? Apart from many different things—the good stuff and the difficult stuff, as we’ve found out in the last few months—they  s h a r e  a common border and a common memory. Ukraine also has a flower Rondo, which was changed by the war. Which “rondo” are we talking about? C o n n e c t  the dots. What  b l e n d s  light and sound? For example, the notion of “spectrum.” And another mysterious, magical word: synesthesia. Thanks to this phenomenon, some people see sounds, hear colours, or see the colours of scents. It is through synesthesia that we learn tangibly that our sensory channels are physically  c o n n e c t e d, making us aware that as human beings, we are endowed with a natural gift and ability to  c o m b i n e. When difficult times or situations happen, this gift becomes most useful. In such cases, there is no better solution than creating a c o m m u n i t y.

This year’s Warsaw Autumn looks for those common points and areas, finding and building connections, highlighting them, and even showing relationship where they seem not to exist (they do, but are not discernible at first sight). When connections appear between seemingly very distant objects—some that might seem non-connectable—n e w  things are created: a totally new quality. Like on Earth billions of years ago when life happened.

The 12th edition of Little Warsaw Autumn also includes various combinations and “blends” of contemporary music with other areas, especially visual arts (abstract painting, performative painting, installations), theatre (including puppet theatre and motion theatre), dance, improvisation, and traditional music. In the end, we go for music that identifies with emotions, through which we can experience new emotions. Perhaps, too, for a theory that blending different channels and areas of human perception: sight, hearing, kinesthetics, can become an aesthetic equivalent that enables us to define specific, sharp emotions, lived through music, for which music is an effective link and medium. So what combinations are going to happen at this year’s Little Warsaw Autumn?

Motion, colour and sound, islands on the ocean of time is an installation by constructor artist Michał Silski, organised within the project Hear Light -> See Sound, which recalls the unobvious but natural phenomenon of synesthesia. During the musical show premiere How War Changed Rondo / Війна, що змінила Рондо after the eponymous book by Ukrainian duo Romana Romanyshyn and Andriy Lesiv, the dwellers of the eponymous Rondo city blend into a community to defeat the evil: War.

Meloharmoidiochordophone: what is this creature? Is it a live being or a thing? What words and notions have combined into this odd word? And can anyone repeat it? At our Lulabaje concert, eight traditional melodies will combine with eight emotions—all in order to show that in each culture and place, emotions permeate music and music does not exist without emotions.

The effect of valuable music and sound on human psyche and development cannot be overestimated. Yet this is a fairly unexplored field in relation to contemporary music composition and, especially, classical music when heard by people with autism and Asperger’s syndrome. Our uncertainty in this regard touches on both children and adults. Together with the Ogrody Muzyczne and Synapsis charities as well as educators, psychologists, and people in the autism/Asperger’s spectrum, we shall discuss these issues during an online panel titled MUZA on the Spectrum.

This year’s Little Warsaw Autumn will feature 14 premieres of works by Michał Silski, Bohdana Frolyak (Ukraine), the Paweł Hendrich and Tomasz Strojecki duo; eight improvised works by Bastard and Katarina Aleksić (Serbia); and three new improvisations by Agnieszka Widlarz, Wojciech Błażejczyk and Szábolcs Esztényi, written with the participation of children from the Karol Szymanowski Music School.

This year’s Little Warsaw Autumn will feature—using various channels of communication—performers Dagna Sadkowska i Katarina Aleksić (violin), Dominik Płociński (cello), Agnieszka Podłucka i Aleksandra Demowska-Madejska (viola), Wojciech Błażejczyk (micorophones, strings and objectophones), Agnieszka Widlarz and Szábolcs Esztényi (improvisations and piano), Bastarda featuring Michał Górczyński, Tomasz Pokrzywiński and Paweł Szamburski (clarinets and cello), and children from the Karol Szymanowski Music School in Warsaw (voices, movement and improvisation). The creative actors’ collective from the Guliwer Pupper Theatre will also connect with spectators and listeners: Anna Przygoda, Damian Kamiński, Honorata Zajączkowska, Jacek Poniński, Błażej Twarowski as well as Mariia Senko, resident of the Kyiv Academic Pupper Theatre.

Authors of events include Michał Silski (constructing artist), Anita Piotrowska (director), Anna Szawiel (director and scriptwriter), Franciszek Orłowski (visual artist and scenographer), Yasia Khomenko (costume designer, Ukraine), Mariusz Gołosz (playwright), Ewa Czuchaj (painter), Ola Rajska (theatre educator, performer), Qinke Chang (interactive artist), Błażej Twarowski (choreographer), Prot Jarnuszkiewicz (lights director), and Robert Drobniuch (co-curator of the 17 September event) as well as Barbara Bogunia and Maya Baczyńska (moderators).

Apart from venues where we have regularly held events, such as the Museum of Warsaw and Fryderyk Chopin University of Music, Little Warsaw Autumn will make its first appearance at the Guliwer Pupper Theatre and the National Ethnographic Museum. We are confident those combinations will give you many new emotions, sensations, and long-term artistic friendships.

Creating communities, the capacity to unite, the motivation to seek what binds us and resisting what divides us, the affinity to teamwork: these are some of the most important competences for the future, unravelling the potential to build our social and human capital. It is also the base of creativity. So before we kickstart the twelfth (now fully international) “Little Warsaw Autumn” Contemporary Music Festival for Children, let us wish ourselves as parents, custodians, teachers, artists, and children’s events organisers that they only find good  c o m b i n a t i o n s  around them.

This is our endeavour when constructing this year’s programme.

Anna Kierkosz
Curator of the 12th “Little Warsaw Autumn” Contemporary Music Festival for Children