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Sacrum Profanum 2023



Feminine Forms

In Polish, grammatical gender—masculine or feminine, among others—is an attribute of such parts of speech as a noun, an adjective, and specific pro-forms as well as participles. The gender of a word may change in translation between languages: ‘life’, for instance, is masculine in Czech but feminine in Russian, while ‘air’ is feminine in Italian but masculine in French. One particular rule governs the names of professions: these, in Polish, have both feminine and masculine variants, so that ‘female conductor’ and ‘female theorist’ exist alongside ‘male conductor’ and ‘male theorist’. Generally speaking, there are no and there will never be any rational grounds for evading certain designations or forms on the basis of their gender alone. Also significant is the way Polish verbs inflect for the category of gender. In the past tense, one differentiates between masculine personal and non-masculine; consequently, the form of ‘to have been’ used when speaking of the once-discriminated-against female composers or instrumentalists is different from that applicable to the once-privileged composing or instrument-playing males. In the present tense, there is in turn no room for such a distinction; accordingly, a single expression of a verb like ‘to compose’ or ‘to perform’ pertains to female and male musicians equally. In the original version of this text, as far as grammatical gender is concerned, 54 masculine (or masculine personal) forms occur along only 43 feminine (or non-masculine) ones. Six female composers— composresses—and five female performers—performresses—are engaged in this project, and it is only these figures that restore the balance.

Monika SzpyrkaZoom in/dolly out (2020) 10'

Żaneta Rydzewskadon't look (2020) 10'

Anna Sowamessage for the year of metal rat II (2020) 10’
Martyna KoseckaIsorropía. In search of balance (2020) 10'

Teoniki Rożynekbulb 2.0* (2020) 10’ [premiera światowa]

Nina FukuokaSugar, Spice & All Things Nice(2020) 10’


  • Paulina Woś – violin/viola
  • Oriana Masternak - violin
  • Barbara Papierz - viola
  • Aleksandra Gołaj – percussion
  • Alena Budziñáková-Palus – accordion
  • Martyna Zakrzewska – piano, synthesizer

*commissioned especially for the Sacrum Profanum festival

Concert co-financed from the fund supporting artists from the Polish Society of Authors and Composers.