Ephemera is a new multi-arts festival based in Warsaw, presented by Kraków’s Unsound.
Although this inaugural edition has been limited in size due to the pandemic, it nevertheless indicates the bold concept – a festival where music, dance, theatre and visual arts reverberate with one another across the city, presented with Warsaw’s vital cultural activists, organisations and institutions.
12/09/2020, 17.00 and 19.00
Hildur Guðnadóttir presents Chernobyl (feat. Chris Watson & Sam Slater)
Icelander Hildur Guðnadóttir is no stranger to experimental music fans, but has now received wider recognition for her score to the hit TV series Chernobyl, for which she was awarded an Emmy and Grammy, as well as her Oscar and Golden Globe-winning score for Joker.
The live presentation of the music of Chernobyl is much more than “just” the brilliant score. The performance is a unique, layered experience, incorporating recordings from Chernobyl’s sister power plant Ignalina in Lithuania, as well as Hildur’s voice, to create an immersive multichannel work for industrial spaces.
To present the piece, Hildur is joined by Sam Slater and field recordist Chris Watson, artists who helped realise her vision for the TV score. The innovative lighting is by Theresa Baumgartner, and spatialisation by Francesco Donadello, helping craft the sound that comes from all around the room, sometimes so soft it doesn’t feel amplified, sometimes so loud it feels it could push you over.
Due to the pandemic, this is now only one of two Chernobyl live shows taking place internationally this year, with the harrowing music having taken on new layers of meaning. Taking place in a former printworks, the show will be presented according to very strict rules to ensure that it is as safe as possible in respect to COVID-19, rules that will also become a part of the experience itself, an experiment in how live music can be presented in 2020’s harsh reality.
Chernobyl Live is commissioned by Unsound, Dark Mofo, the Barbican London and Rewire.
Hildur Guðnadóttir is a composer and violinist known for her solo albums on Touch as well as various collaborations with artists such as Sunn O))), Pan Sonic and Throbbing Gristle. She is now one of the most sought after artists in the film music world, and will premiere her thrilling score for Chernobyl TV series live at Unsound 2019. The show combines acoustic instrumentation and field recordings from Chernobyl’s sister power plant Ignalina in Lithuania. Chris Watson and Sam Slater, British artists who helped her realise her vision on the record, will also join her live on stage.
ul. Mińska 65, Warsaw
The audience of this performance agree with a series of rules, which allow us to present this work safely, and are also integral to idea of the show itself:
- Keep your mask on at all times covering your mouth and nose
- Before entering, please wash or disinfect your hands
- Once you have entered the room, do not speak. Keep distance from others. Sit in silence
- Once you have taken your chair, do not get up again unless it is absolutely necessary
- Do not move the placement of your chair
- Leave the room in silence, keeping distance from others
- If you break any of the rules, you will be asked to leave
- The concert will take approximately 1 hour
Alex Baczyński-Jenkins: untitled (Holding Horizon)
Artist and choreographer Alex Baczyński-Jenkins will present the long-awaited Polish premiere of Untitled (holding horizon) at Nowy Teatr. Baczyński-Jenkins draws on the box step (a basic movement used in many social dances) and gestures from the club space, which are layered, to create a choreography that reflects on queer desire, disorientation and collectivity. Performers negotiate between the individual and the collective, pursuing desires, making alliances and taking pleasure in synchronization. Interdependence is also present in the relationship between the dancers and the music and light which are mixed live. The sound and movement are in constant negotiation and generate shifting associations, between ritual, rave, mourning and the eerie. In Untitled (Holding Horizon), the box step becomes a container for the relational force that resides in moving with others.
Alex Baczynski-Jenkins is a Polish choreographer and performer, as well as the co-founder of the Kem collective. The work he will show at Ephemera Festival is a story about desire, disorientation and community. Called Untitled (Holding Horizon), it was created for the 2018 Frieze Artist Award, and was also presented at the Venice Biennale in 2019.
Marszałkowska 8, Warsaw
MSN W WARSZAWIE, PAWILON NAD WISŁĄ
Antonina Nowacka: Martwa Natura
Warsaw artist Antonina Nowacka will present a concert version of her new composition Still life together with Michał Czachor and Grzegorz Artman. The piece is inspired by the works of Joseph Beuys, and was created for the theatre performance Still life by Agnieszka Jakimiak and Mateusz Atman, directed by Agnieszka Jakimiak and commissioned by Teatr Powszechny.
Antonina Nowacka is a Polish sound artist, best known for being part of the duo WIDT. She works mainly with the voice, treating it as an instrument and examining its relationship to spirituality and the outside world. Her composition Still Life, which she will perform with Michał Czachor and Grzegorz Artman, refers to the work of Joseph Beuys.
MSN nad Wisłą,
Wybrzeże Kościuszkowskie 22, Warsaw
Lyra Pramuk Live
Closing the weekend is an outdoor a concert of the Berlin-based U.S. artist Lyra Pramuk. She is a classically trained vocalist fusing pop sensibilities, performance practices and contemporary club culture in what may best be described as futurist folk music. Also a vocal activist and member of the queer community, she recently released the acclaimed album Fountain.
Lyra Pramuk is a vocalist, composer and producer working mainly with her own voice. She fuses classical vocalism, pop sensibilities, performance practices and contemporary club culture in what can best be described as futurist folk music. Alongside her solo work, Lyra has also collaborated with Holly Herndon and Colin Self.
Generała George’a Smitha Pattona, Warsaw
Andrzej Nowak. Concert
Sadly, due to the pandemic, Andrzej Nowak’s performance has to be postponed until 2021.
The composer sent us a letter explaining his reasons:
Ladies and gentlemen,
I have never performed live, and I have never really been serious about making music.
I disappeared from the musical environment quite quickly. In fact, I barely had time to appear in it, so I am not surprised that my colleagues had forgotten about me – I also find it difficult to remember their faces and names. However, a few years ago my activity became an object of interest for a small group of listeners, two CDs of my works were released, and it seems some people now listen to my music with curiosity.
In November, thanks to an invitation from the Unsound festival and TR Warszawa, I was supposed to perform in public for the first time. Unfortunately, the pandemic thwarted my return to the stage. Or maybe it would be better to say my debut? I am now on the islands of the Pacific Ocean, and I cannot come to Poland.
Hope to see you next year.
Andrzej Nowak is a Polish composer of early computer music, who never found a proper place in the official contemporary music world.
Marszałkowska 8, Warsaw
Murder of Halit Yozgat – an opera under quarantine. Film
On 6 April 2006, the 21-year-old Halit Yozgat was murdered in an Internet café in Kassel, Germany. Yozgat was the ninth victim of what was later revealed to be a connected series of racially motivated murders carried out by the National Socialist Underground (NSU), a far-right German terrorist group that operated uninter-ruptedly between 2000 and 2011, committing 10 murders – all but one on citizens with non-German backgrounds – two bomb attacks, and numerous robberies all across the country. The case remains a mystery to investigators and the German courts to this day. Five witnesses crossed paths in the café at the time of the crime. One of them was the then undercover investigator Andreas Temme, who claimed in court not to have heard the shots, nor to have noticed the acrid smell of gunpowder, nor to have seen the Halit’s body lying motionless behind the counter when he exited the café.
Research project “Forensic Architecture” as the basis for an Opera
The unsolved questions of perpetration raised in the court gave way to a research project led by the architect Eyal Weizman in London. In November 2016, eleven years after the murder, an alliance of civil organizations known as “Unraveling the NSU Complex” commissioned his office Forensic Architecture to investigate Temme’s testimony. Forensic Architecture created a 3-D video simulation of the occurrence and substantiated serious doubts that what Temme had testified was true. Within the 77 square meters of the Internet café and the 9:26 minutes of the incident different actors crossed paths- members of migrant communities, a federal employee and the murderers – were architecturally disposed in relation to each other. Forensic Architecture’s film footage accompanied by a series of lectures was exhibited as a work of art at the internationally prominent exhibition documenta 14 in Kassel immediately attracting world-wide interest. The work was nominated for Great Britain’s prestigious Turner Prize. Ben Frost intends to compose a music theatre based on the same testimony used to construct the forensic architectural model: different, contradictory versions of the same act. Two pistol shots will become the sonic anchor for the audience in an acoustic maze of changing perspectives of a single narrative. The audience members become eye and ear witnesses provoking the same questions: Who was the perpetrator? What motivated the crime? A fundamental quest for truth, which drove Weizman to his independent and critical research, as well as a current sense of helplessness in such situations in society as a whole, form the underpinning and the motor for Frost’s opera.
The work invites the audience to an independent and critical exploration of the truth and at the same time, becomes wrapped in the typical drama generated by a criminal investigation.
In German and English with Polish and English subtitles
The opera The murder of Halit Yozgat, based on the counter investigation 77sqm_9:26min by Forensic Architecture, is commissioned by Staatsoper Hannover, a production by Staatsoper Hannover in cooperation with Schauspiel Hannover and Holland Festival.
The movie is commissioned by Staatsoper Hannover, a production by Ben Frost, Toby Donnelly and Staatsoper Hannover in cooperation with Holland Festival.
Born in Australia, composer Ben Frost, who lives in Reykjavik, is an artist who cannot be pigeonholed. He is an experimental creator of both electronic and live music, inspired by a variety of musical styles including minimal and post-minimal music, punk rock, black metal, as well as pop. His unwavering curiosity feeds the continual evolution of his sound spectrum. His oeuvre reflects a need to explore a wide variety of interdisciplinary genres: from film scores (a.o. Sleeping Beauty), scores for film series (o.a. Fortitude, Dark), the acclaimed opera “The Wasp Factory” based on the novel by Iain Banks, performances, concerts and installations. Important collaborators include music pioneer Brian Eno and the British choreographer Wayne McGregor. Frost’s work increasingly reflects a discourse on social and political issues, which has triggered the development of new format connecting the visual arts and theatre with his sonic world.
+48 602 455 787