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Performed Lecture

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Is it possible to shift lectures to concert halls – or concerts to lecture halls? Kraków’s universities show that anything is possible! The event combines music and the spoken word, intertwining elements of a lecture and a live music concert. The cycle Lectures by Matthew Shlomowitz, one of the masters of the genre, reveals that commentary during classical music concerts doesn’t have to centre around silly stories or amusing anecdotes – an unspoken contract between musicians and audiences, and sadly common in Kraków’s concert halls. Despite these stereotypes, it’s perfectly possible to talk about and describe music, and Sacrum Profanum has been popularising new music through channels including communication and discussion for many years. There is a lot to be said about our experiences of music, what happens as we listen to it, how we make our judgements about it, how it makes us feel, where our beliefs come from. Shlomowitz’s work includes two brand-new pieces composed especially for the festival and its format. The first, by Jacek Sotomski, leading Polish composer of and commentator on contemporary music, describes his WALKTHROUGH: “A contemporary music ensemble learns from a mystery visitor that the world in which they live is a simulation generated in their brains by unknown forces. After taking a fistful of sweet pills, they decide to create a walkthrough which allows them to break the simulation.” The second was written by Monika Dalach whose works intertwine elements of performance and video and which tackle important current topics. This time she explores conservation and excessive consumerism: “Textile manufacture is a major source of environmental pollution, responsible for around 10% of all carbon dioxide emissions; it dries up springs and contaminates rivers and springs. It is widely believed that the clothing industry is second only to the oil industry in terms of its environmental impact. We buy more and more clothes, and we throw most of them away. The ‘disposable fashion’ model is highly wasteful, and high-speed mass manufacture only feeds the culture of only wearing items once. Instead of mending clothes, we throw them away and replace them. We have forgotten how to look after our things. As much as 85% of all textiles reach landfill sites or are incinerated every year, and just 15% is reused or recycled. What price will we have to pay for our impulsiveness and greed?”

Matthew Shlomowitz – Weird Audio Guide^ (2011-2020) 12'
Monika Dalach – CARBON IS THE NEW BLACK* [world premiere] 10’
Jacek Sotomski – WALKTHROUGH*’ [world premiere] 15’

Aleksandra Gołaj – drums, sampler, voice
Rafał Łuc – accordion, voice
Jacek Sotomski – Polyend Medusa, recordings, voice

Special guests’:
Jaśmina Polak – voice
Marta Nawrot – video
Magda Szpecht – assistant director

Venue: Collegium Novum

^commissioned especially for the Sacrum Profanum festival
*commissioned especially for the Sacrum Profanum festival