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Sacrum Profanum 2022



ICE Kraków Congress Centre


LEM: The Laconic Expression of Modernity

2021 is the Year of Stanisław Lem, celebrated with the headline I saw the Future. The Sacrum Profanum Festival joins the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Stanisław Lem. Lem did not shy away from describing music in his prose – always different, experimental, modern. In the year dedicated to this extraordinary writer, we decided to complement the bevy of literary, scientific and philosophical events with something for music aficionados. This year’s Sacrum Profanum will feature not one, but two programmes with premiere compositions, including the interpretation of Lem's literary works by exciting Polish composers of two generations.

Lem often engaged in linguistic games with his own name, treating it as an acronym with various iterations. We join in the fun and welcome you to LEM: The Laconic Expression of Modernity. The four compositions written for the proMODERN vocal ensemble feature a variety of styles and approaches to new music, exhibited by artists of two generations – Nina Fukuoka and Andrzej Karałow, as well as Zofia Dowgiałło and Cezary Duchnowski. The composers did not directly refer to Lem – instead, they developed their own concepts and visions, which were in line with his reflections and prose. Fukuoka searches for the concept of freedom and grapples with her own reflections on the surroundings, which came to her during the pandemic. Dowgiałło has been inspired by the situation of creating, presenting and listening to music using computers – leading her to a reflection on the human condition in a world dominated by machines. Karałow was inspired by Solaris – one of its sub-plots, where Andre Berton, searching for his lost companion, sees a phantasmagoric city. The composition serves as an impressionist piece, a vision from a surrealistic dream, symbolizing the loss of a former life. Berton probably sees the shards of the psyche of a man who disappeared on the planet Solaris, absorbed by its ocean. The vision is accompanied by the light of red and blue suns of Solaris, whose fluctuations and refractions are a factor in shaping the musical material. Duchnowski, on the other hand, chose A Perfect Vacuum, referring to the five selected reviews of Lem's non-existent books and apocrypha from the collection published in 1971.

Nina Fukuoka – fever dream made manifest (2021) 9’ (Polish premiere)
Andrzej Karałow – out of the light of the two suns a phantasmagorical city appears (2021) 14’ (World premiere)
Zofia Dowgiałło – Lubię (2021) 12’ (World premiere)
Cezary Duchnowski – Z doskonałej próżni (2021) 12’ (World premiere)



ICE Kraków Congress Centre

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The centre is a modern world class building, meeting the requirements of international congress organisations, as well as the highest acoustic and stage mechanics standards. The building has been designed in such a way as to host various types of congresses, conferences, concerts, theatrical shows, exhibitions and other prestigious cultural and social events. The high standard of the building place it among the most desired and exclusive congress centres in Europe.