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Kwadrofonik (Emilia Sitarz, Bartłomiej Wąsik, Magdalena Kordylasińska i Miłosz Pękala), photo by Dariusz Senkowski
The group puts together an unusual combination of piano and percussion duets, a one-of-a-kind quartet in Poland and one of only a few in the world
Kwadrofonik's members are: Emilia Sitarz and Bartłomiej Wąsik of the Lutosławski Piano Duo along with Magdalena Kordylasińska and Miłosz Pękala of the Hob-beats Duo.
The band was founded in 2006 following a brilliant performance at the ninth annual Polish Radio Folk Festival where the quartet received the Grand Prix, the Burza Braw audience award and an award of distinction from the President of Warsaw. Music critics describe Kwadrofonik as groundbreaking and visionary, representing a new form of folk music.
Kwadrofonik's style provides an atypical form of music in which the relationship between instruments and their musical function undergoes a gradual change. A prominent and distinctive feature of their music is characterised by the different roles attributed to their instruments, whereas, the pianos transform into instruments of percussion whilst the percussion assumes the function of providing melody. A main attribute of Kwadrofonik's musical repertoire is the spontaneity and precision of their technique. The musicians devote much of their efforts to improvisation and experimentation in order to further explore and maximize the musical potential of the piano and percussion ensemble.
The band creates original compositions merging their unconventional musical style with pieces by Béla Bartók, George Crumb and Rolf Wallin, while composing music for bands such as Wojciech Ziemowit Zych's Różnia which premiered at the Warszawska Jesień Festival in 2010. Kwadrofonik also uses its instrumental interpretations to recreate works such as "Święta wiosny" / "Spring Holiday" - a symphony by Igor Strawiński which premiered in the dual piano and percussion form in 2008. Other interpretations include Karol Szymanowski's Mazurki and Harnasie , which premiered in 2007.
That same year, Kwadrofonik was honoured with the prestigious Special Award at the third Svetozar Stracina European Broadcasting Union Competition in Bratislava. The award was granted for innovation and avant-gardism infused with tradition. It was the first of its kind in the history of the competition. In the same year, Kwadrofonik could be heard on BBC3's radio program Late Junction.
By 2008 the band released their debut album Folklove, distributed by Polish Radio, for which the musicians received the Folkowy Fonogram Roku award given to the best folk album of the year.
The group has toured in Poland and abroad. In 2010 they performed in Ireland, Denmark, Canada, as well as playing Carnegie Hall in the United States. They will debut in Germany at the Berlin Philharmonic in May 2011.
Translated by Marcin Tworkowski, April 2011.