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Sacrum Profanum 2023



ICE Kraków Congress Centre


Bad Acid Trip

Have you ever wondered what classical music would sound like if the composer were tripping while writing it?

“Ever since I was born, I have been surrounded by digital images, synthetic sounds, artifacts. Artificial, alienated, filtered – that is the nature of humankind today” – Fausto Romitelli.

This exquisitely accurate diagnosis of the contemporary world has become even more apt since the pandemic. The Italian composer, mutinous rocker and guitarist explored such reflections to create a niche of popular classical music. He added, “At the centre of my composing lies the idea of considering sound as a material into which one plunges in order to forge its physical and perceptive characteristics: grain, thickness, porosity, luminosity, density, and elasticity.” As a pupil of spectralist, his compositions resemble sound sculptures. In his most famous work, Professor Bad Trip, Romitelli delivers three important lessons. The epic cycle of the three chamber compositions is fuelled by LSD and inspired by the art of some of its most infamous acolytes: paintings by Francis Bacon, poetry by Allen Ginsberg and Henri Michaux and writings by the advocate of psychedelic drugs Timothy Leary. Romitelli’s works also resounds with influences of psychedelic rock of the 1970s and 1980s and Miles Davis’ music from the period. His compositions serve as a mirror reflecting their creator, who passed away before his time.
The concert opens with Fondamenta by the Austrian composer Olga Neuwirth, dedicated to the Russian/American Nobel-winning poet Iosif Brodsky. The work is inspired by Neuwirth’s stay in Venice and the specific sound and acoustic aura of the city where Brodsky was buried.

Olga Neuwirth – Fondamenta (2001) 8’
Fausto Romitelli – Professor Bad Trip: Lesson I-III (1998-2000) 41’

Spółdzielnia Muzyczna contemporary ensemble
Lilianna Krych - conductor


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.