Kieślowski's Three Colours (blue, white, red), the three slogans of the French Revolution (liberty, equality, fraternity) and three musical traditions (classical, contemporary and avant-garde) – all of these three planes will be reflected in Apartment House's concert programme, which mixes the contemporary with the traditional and the experimental. This is not a series of clashes – instead, we see complementary approaches. The following repertoire forms a series of looping musical and temporal continuities.
I hear you ask: “Why Kieślowski?” Let’s try to answer this in order… Starting with blue. Ryoko Akama created a series of compositions inspired by Kieślowski's photo archive located in Sokołowsko. We are going to hear one of them alongside the melancholic composition Blue, Blue, Blue by Laurence Crane, which evokes similar emotions to Anton Webern's romantic quartet. Then – Red. Louise Bourgeois’ Insomnia Drawings feature a large amount of this exact colour. Their musical interpretation will be undertaken by veterans of graphic scores. The Lithuanian artist Mikalojus Čiurlionis, a painter, writer and composer, also did not shy away from using the colour red in his paintings – Castle Fairy Tale, Altar, Fairy Tale II, Angel. Together, we are going to discover his passionate Canon in C minor.
Apart from Ryoko Akama, this programme was inspired by Jim O'Rourke – alternative music virtuoso, guitarist, producer and composer, whose musical experience is so extensive that it would be enough for dozens of artists. Last year, he wrote a vocal trio for Apartment House – is there any other festival in Poland, where we could listen to it? Music by the members of Sonic Youth is a recurring chorus of the Festival. And finally, white – the colour of spirituality and purity. We begin with Olivier Messiaen and an excerpt from his famous Quartet for the End of Time. Then, we will follow it up with the final piece – the centrepiece of the festival – Maya Verlaak’s All English Music Is Greensleeves, a piece that harps on the British tradition, the Greensleeves folk song and stereotypes about composers and musicians from the British Isles. In addition to those, we will also listen to Stravinsky's Double Canon in memory of the painter Raoul Dufy, a French fauvist who loved the colours white and blue. And this is how we go around.
Olivier Messiaen – Louange a l'éternité de Jésus (1941) 9’
Maya Verlaak – All English Music Is Greensleeves (2014, rev. 2019) 10’ (Polish premiere)
Igor Stravinsky– Double Canon (Raoul Dufy in Memoriam) (1959) 1’
Jim O’Rourke – Best that you do this for me (2020) 15’ (Polish premiere)
Mikalojus Čiurlionis – Canon in C minor (1902) 2’
Louise Bourgeois – Insomnia Drawing (1994-95) 5’ (Polish premiere)
Anton Webern – Langsamer Satz (1905) 9’
Ryoko Akama – I see everything as a failure* (2019) 7’ (Polish premiere)
Laurence Crane – Blue, Blue, Blue (1986) 7’ (Polish premiere)
*composition based on Krzysztof Kieślowski's archive