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Music therapy, relaxation with sound, sonic experiences: we present pieces which explore the phenomenon of autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) – a tingling sensation in response to stimuli such as rustling, whispering, crackling or fizzing sounds. Mikołaj Laskowski’s piece from his series Deep Relaxation features elements intended to be performed by the participants, drawing them into a ritual of regeneration through sound. Rather than addressing the topic directly, Wojtek Blecharz’s Liminal Studies scrutinises our emotions and strives to reach the deepest parts of our psyche. The Royal String Quartet’s performance is an auditory vivisection, and their sounds hypnotise and intrigue in equal measures. To finish, we will hear a meditation on the sound of a string quartet according to Alvin Lucier. This will serve as a perfect come down after a series of auditory massages.

The concert opens with Krzysztof Penderecki’s string quartet, paying homage to the Maestro who passed away earlier this year with a composition which is a veritable alphabet of the sonoristic abilities of string instruments. We can go as far as stating that it is a kind of meta-ASMR specially designed for instruments rather than voices.

Krzysztof Penderecki – Quartetto per archi (1960) 6’
Mikołaj Laskowski – Deep Relaxation vol. 8: Do It To Yourself* (2020) 15’ [world premiere]
Wojtek Blecharz – Liminal Studies. Part 2 (2014) 15’
Alvin Lucier – Navigations for Strings (1991) 15’

Royal String Quartet

Venue: Cracovia

*commissioned especially for the Sacrum Profanum festival