curators: Wojciech Błażejczyk, Ania Karpowicz, Lilianna Krych

Artur ZAGAJEWSKI – „LA MER /watch?v=y1RpVZNSw6k”
Nina FUKUOKA – „5 Secrets to Making New Music”

premiere: KODY Festival, Lublin 2019

#EchoChamber effect occurs as a result of Internet algorithms operating to gradually put the user inside a closed system of selective opinions, world views, and values, as well as information and results of scientific research, sieved through a filter bubble. There is no point in looking for Polish equivalents of the #EchoChamber — „fake news” „whitewash” or “#meetoo” have also been spread at the speed of light owing to their global identification. #Echo Chamber tightens along with subsequent content choices made by the user who irretrievably loses his or her chances to access other sources of information and clashing opinions. The #EchoChamber phenomenon is well described by huge web-based communities professing the oddest theories, such as for example the Flat Earth believers. For the past 2 years, #Echo Chambers has helped politicians win elections, and in the future, they may turn into a user-friendly tool used to provoke wars in the real world. For many years, Hashtag Ensemble performances have been inspired by the network, if only by referring to it in its name. The group has willingly dealt with social media, e.g. in „#NetworkMusic” composed by Wojciech Blażejczyk and performed at Musica Polonica Nova festival from a remote location; ultimately, it was released as an album (#NetworkMusic, Requiem Records 2018). Hashtag Ensemble #EchoChamber projects is a musical interpretation of the phenomenon having a music-related name. 

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)


curators: Krzysztof Pietraszewski, Ania Karpowicz

Peter Maxwell Davies (GB) – Eight Songs for a Mad King (1969)
Zygmunt Krauze (PL) – Tableau Vivant (1982)
Louis Andriessen (NL) – Workers Union (1975)
Zygmunt Krauze (PL) – Deklaracja (2018)
Agnieszka Stulgińska (PL) – Trzy kobiety (2017)

#REGIMES is a kind of ‘live concept-album’. Through a meticulously selected repertoire and ordered composition, the concert is a musical review of political systems: monarchy to begin with, through totalitarianism and socialism, to democracy, with an emphasis at last on matriarchy’s influence. The program also includes a commissioned piece Deklaracja for two solo voices and ensemble. Zygmunt Krauze has composed the piece in collaboration with the Hashtag Ensemble, referring to his early composition Tableau Vivant (1982) – once a reaction to the imposition of martial law in Poland. #REGIMES is also a journey through various musical languages and a kind of shortcut of the history of contemporary music. (Krzysztof Pietraszewski, curator of the Sacrum Profanum Festival)

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)

Fiddler OFF the Roof

curators: Kajetan Prochyra, Ania Karpowicz

Matthew Shlomowitz (GB) – Fast Medium Swing
Yair Klartag (IL) – A Villa in the Jungle
Aviya Kopelman (IL) – A Phantom of a Fugue
Judd Greenstein (USA) – The Jewish Pope

premiere: POLIN Music Festival, Warsaw 2018

The search for a current Jewish identity in music led us to 21st century chamber music.

“Art can be entertaining, but entertainment is not art,” says Aviya Kopelman, her piece “Phantom of the Fugue” will open the concert program. “Post-fugue” – speaking fashionably – does not avoid consonants and classical approach, but it is enough to familiarize yourself with the wide spectrum of composer’s interests to properly read honest lyricism and appreciate the functional use of klezmer scales.

“I wanted to write pieces that can be entertainment and people can understand them without too much trouble” declares Matthew Shlomowitz in an interview with Monika Pasiecznik. His “Fast Medium Swing” using primitive samples (dog barking, meowing cat) combines virtuosity with a large dose of distance to the concert situation.

“A Villa in the Jungle” is a game between what used to be considered a norm (Villa) and musical and social non-normality (Jungle). The tonality of the composition is disturbed by extended performance techniques: multiphones, microtones, noise, glissandi, and piano preparations. The composer worked on the piece in Tel Aviv: When I was sitting in a cozy cafe in the fashionable Florentin district, above our heads, rockets were intercepted in the sky. The question of “normality” sounded even more clearly in my head – and the problem: what is a norm and what is not – seemed more complicated than ever before.

‘The Jewish Pope’ is inspired by the legend of a boy, brought out of the ghetto and raised in a church. The educational process turned out to be so effective that over time the Jewish child is elevated to the rank of papal. The hero of the story, however, rejects the honors and returns to his people. The composition was commissioned by Malashock Dance from San Diego. The stage premiere of the song (June 2017) was accompanied by the choreography of John Malashock. “The Jewish Pope” is an attempt to combine Judd Greenstein’s own compositional language with the so-called “Jewish scale” – the dominant Phrygian scale. Greenstein breaks the presentation of folklore themes with the color of an electric guitar, and then, with the help of impressive motivic work, constructs a brilliant, virtuoso piece with variable textures, original melody, and an engaging form. (Kajetan Prochyra, POLIN music curator)

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)


curator: Ania Karpowicz

Artur Zagajewski – KRACH 44
Wojciech Blecharz – Small Talks
Jagoda Szmytka – Per-O
Wojciech Błażejczyk – String Music
Agnieszka Stulgińska – Dance with my breath
Agata Zubel – What is the Word

premiere: Tallin Afekt Festival 2018

#IndependentMusic is a program that shows the search for own, individual musical language by young Polish composers. Each of the carefully selected works touches a different aspect of constituting musical “independence”: from direct references to freedom manifestos and protest songs (“Krach44”), through the exploration of the Polish idiom in mazurkas and obereks (“Dance With my Breath”), independence and competitiveness, virtuoso parts of chamber musicians (“Small Talk”), inspirations from the excellent Polish violin school (“String Music”), to the exposure of an individual, unique body-instrument relationship (“Per-O”) so important in the performance of new music.

Program realized thank to Adam Mickiewicz Institute.