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Sacrum Profanum 2024


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Two unique and distinctive voices of young female composers presenting new sensibilities and setting new musical trends.

Marta Forsberg, Swedish artist of Polish roots, composer of the young generation associated with the new organ music scene (Malone, Arkbro). She grew up in Härnösand, Sweden. She first played violin in the school orchestra, then in local bands. After moving to Stockholm in 2010, she quickly joined the local community of improvisers. In the Swedish capital she had the opportunity to visit the famous Elektronmusikstudion and also to study electroacoustic composition at the Royal College of Music. It was there that she formed, together with Ellen Arkbro and Kali Malone, the art-rock and audio-visual project Hästköttskandalen, documented in 2015 by the album Spacegirls. In the following years, all the three artists turned towards minimalism and microtonality. Forsberg most often create here music with concerts or installations in mind, often blurring the line between these two forms. In her work, she combines zither sounds, electronic sine waves and the human voice, which she treats in a very special way. Abstract and distorted vocalisations multiply to create a polyphonic form: loops are formed from scraps of words, syllables and even grunts. Forsberg creates with these means long conceptual suites, encouraging us to follow the barely perceptible changes, attracting with texture and density of sound. The Swedish artists often uses electronics and LED lights in her work, creating a coherent, interconnected performance of light and music. In Kraków we will hear her new piece, composed in April during her residency in Denmark.

Martyna Basta (1996) is a photographer and sound artist who has just graduated from the Faculty of Intermedia at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków. She hosts on the Radio Kapitał the broadcast “mam przeczucie, że” (I have the feeling that) and is part of the Progrefonik collective. Having played with the orchestra a concerto by Giuliani on classical guitar, she sold this instrument and bought a synthesizer. As a composer, she works mainly with home and field recordings, classical instruments (zither, harpsichord), voice and electronic manipulation. Her practice is based on intuitive impulses, creating collage-like constructions composed of vivid textures and vague narratives. In 2020 she released her first EP, I Visited You on Google Maps, which enchanted the critics and the artistic director of Sacrum Profanum. The time of the pandemic was very fruitful for the artist: she published as many as five works, which helped her to “achieve peace and organise well the reality around”. Her latest album, Making Eye Contact with Solitude, released by Warm Winters Ltd. from Slovakia, was appreciated by, among others, the reviewers of the American NPR Music, the British The Quietus and by the Polish critic Bartek Chaciński (Polifonia). Basta is sometimes compared to Claire Rousay, Marta Forsberg or Felicia Atkinson. Similar to them, she creates in her music, full of meditation and delicacy, an intimate picture of everyday life. However, she has a completely unique sensibility. Her aesthetics already seems to be fully formed and distinctively original. She has so quickly gained recognition among the press and among the music, alternative and academic community that she will soon become an inspiration, role model or reference point for other artists. Her calm, dreamy, phantasmagorical narrative for zither, harpsichord, field recordings and the enigmatic sounds of everyday life seems totally revealing and fresh. It is a very distinctive voice by an artist at the beginning of her journey. It is hard to guess what else she is going to enchant us with. Sacrum Profanum festival would be incomplete without such debuts.

Martyna Basta – Slowly Forgetting, Barely Remembering* (2022) 3’ [premiera polska]
Martyna Basta – Podszepnik I i II* (2022) 17’ [premiera polska]
Martyna Basta – Making Eye Contact With Solitude (2021) 18’
- Awakening
- Walking Around in Circles
- Broken Promises

Marta Forsberg – Oscillating Life (2022) 35’ [premiera światowa]
- Bactrocera tryoni – Calling Song I
- Cotesia marginiventris – Calling Song II
- Aedes albopictus – In Flight I
- Aedes taeniorhynchus – Swarm
- Ceratitis capitata – Courtship Song
- Aedes albopictus – In Flight II
- Anastrepha suspensa – Calling Song III
- Plodia interpunctella – Pheromone Stimulation

Performed by:
Martyna Basta – electronics, zither
Marta Forsberg – electronics

*commissioned by the Sacrum Profanum festival