Radical Loops - Bernhard Lang International Festival of Contemporary Music Warsaw Autumn

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Michał Mendyk introduced me to the works of the Radical Polish Ansambl and suggested the idea to compose a piece reflecting on the origins of the mazurka. As I have been involved in meta-composition since the early 2000s, this idea inspired me immediately: it had been sevdah music from the Balkans, which inspired my Loops for Pawel Szymański (performed at 2017 Warsaw Autumn), and recently I recomposed all twelve Etudes from Chopin’s Opus 10 (Monadology XXXVI “Chopin”); for my opera HIOB I also transcribed several klezmer songs from Bulgaria. 

Since the Radical Polish Ansambl combines both academic and non-academic players, it seems more than natural to me to refer to and implement Polish folk music for the violin, which I have studied during the last year. In springtime, I am going to work with the players individually in Warsaw, since the piece will feature both improvisation and a notated score. By now, there are ten transcriptions and ten resulting pieces, also involving electronics and playbacks. The challenge in transcribing these songs was the underlying complexity of rhythm and intonation, without simplifying the texture and keeping the ecstatic energy of this music. 

One of these transcriptions reoccurs in the new piece for Klangforum Wien, A Song for Rachela, also to be performed at 2023 Warsaw Autumn. 

Bernhard Lang, Vienna 2023

The publisher of Radical Loops by Bernhard Lang is G. Ricordi Bühnen und Musikverlag GmbH.