… they were wonderful in the interpretation of „Openings of the Eye” written in 1951, maintained in an advanced, though a bit dry modernist style, in which they managed to give life until the last note.
Adam Suprynowicz (Ruch Muzyczny, Sacrum Profanum 2019)
Although each of the mentioned pieces is freely available on the Internet, a virtual listening experience is evidently inferior to a live concert by Hashtag Ensemble. There was truly a mastery to their performance. Given that they’re a considerably young ensemble, one should hope that they won’t rest on their laurels and that composers will thus have someone to write for.
Filip Lech (culture.pl, POLIN Music Festival, 2018)
Contemporary music is a sort of a utopia, a kind of longing for “more” – it demonstrates a certain set of values. That notion is shown in Louis Andriessen’s “Workers Union” (performed ravishingly, almost perfectly by the band – and without a conductor!).
Adam Suprynowicz (Polskie Radio, Sacrum Profanum 2018)
What can surely be written without worrying about any spoilers is that Hashtag Ensemble has, once again, proven itself to be not only a collective of remarkable performers, but also a band with a certain concept of itself; a band who wants to experiment far beyond conventional concerts.
Krzysztof Stefański (Glissando, KODY 2019)
#ENSEMBLE, or rather a part of it, made up from young musicians, enthusiastic and capable, presented two improvisations on “Hommage à Chopin” by Andrzej Panufnik. They were, similarly to the original, vocalisations, but accompanied by a slightly bigger band – with Marta Grzywacz, reaching for expanded vocal techniques and operating her voice with a masterful precision, the flutist Anna Ćwiek-Karpowicz, whose range of means equaled that of the vocalist, the pianist Krzysztof Kozłowski and the accordionist Paweł Janas. The artists showed a consistency in building a uniform ambience in each of the improvisations, as well as a good sense of form.
Ewa Cichoń (Ruch Muzyczny, #PanufnikRevised 2014)
But the #ENSEMBLE collective has a hidden agenda, so to sepak. These young musicians want to change the musical reality of Poland. They want modern music to be present in our everyday lives. The concert at Skwer – a place where you can hear jazz, hip hop, soul and other musical genres – is a negative answer to the question, whether modern music has to be so hermetic. Well, it doesn’t have to. It can be pleasant, as my own ears have concluded.
Luiza Borowiec (Presto Magazine, DUX Brzmi w Trzcinie, 2014)
First, we heard Crumb’s “Night of the Four Moons” and it was an excellent performance of Crumb, and all those academic-like circumstances (the Art – Nouveau lecture hall, the scent of dust and the squeaking floorboards) only added to the charm of it. The young band played with fervour, the dimmed lights made it seem as though one were watching Sufijan Stevens’s, who had dropped by the academy to perform a classic from his homeland.
Rafał Wawrzyńczyk (dwutygodnik.com, Poznańska Wiosna Muzyczna 2016)
(…) the “Visegras Songs” album has been put out by Hashtag Ensemble – a group of musician friends, creatively merging classical, folk and electronic inspirations. As they say about themselves: they’re looking for their own “twangs”. Jerzy Kornowicz, a long-time coordinator of Polish Composers’ Union, calls their work “poetrying”. One could add that the band is also working to strengthen the Weimar Triangle. (…) The musicians enact an instrumental and vocal deconstruction of the pieces, each time using a different key, in a different lineup, in a different acoustic aura; with a sense of humour. Each time they enter an empty space and somehow fill it with consecutive sonoristic elements, looping rhythms, fragments of melodies, phrases and anti-semantic syllables. The creative decomposition thus concerns the verbal layer as well, which in the case of well-known songs of Karlowicz gives an electrifying effect. The album comes with an original graphic design and the technical realisation of the recording is truly impressive.
Hanna and Andrzej Milewscy („HiFi” magazine, “Visegrad Songs” 2015)
The Hashtag Ensemble’s musicians deserve huge amounts of appreciation for their courage, their openness and inventiveness shown on the album. It is certainly an attention-worthy proposition, I return to it constantly and with each listen I discover something completely new. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for the Opus Series to keep developing in such an intriguing direction.
Rafał Zbrzeski (Lizard magazine, “Visegrad Songs” 2015)
Hashtag Ensemble is a formula as old as time: talented, ambitious young people of different musical disciplines – performers, composers, conductors, including educators and social activists – have gathered to realise their artistic calling together. (…) At the same time, what Hashtag Ensemble does is not only ambitious – it is also beautiful. They’re not interested in over-intellectualised, modern pieces. They want to try themselves, to show off their technique, to challenge themselves, and at the same time – to connect with the audience, give them what they came to the concert for: joy, relief, a sense of communing with a creation of beauty.
Hashtag Ensemble’s instrumentalists are some of the best musicians I know. The skills and the expressiveness of the flutist Ania Karpowicz, the drummer Leszek Lorent or the pianist Aleksander Dębicz, to name only three of them – it’s truly breathtaking. Every time I hear them I feel as though they could play absolutely anything, that they know even the techniques that have not been invented yet.
Maciek [Nerkowski] – how the youth would put it – is destroying the system. He takes over the stage, whatever’s happening next to him – it’s only a background for him. To call him a baritone is to say nothing. He’s a complete artist. He has mastered all the techniques of both modern and classical singing, but he’s also a fantastic actor. He has absolutely no inhibitions, and however it may sound, it has nothing but positive connotations in an artistic sense.
Kinga A. Wojciechowska (prestoomuzyce.pl, Chopin Music University 2015)