With Jan Lewan, the so-called Polka King, capturing people’s attention recently, Culture.pl examines the origins of polka music. How much influence from Poland does the classic sound of Polish America really contain? What did polkas originally sound like in the 19th century? And what is the future for this music style? Read more »about: Polka Kings: Does Polka Music Really Come from Poland?
From a real-life, 19th-century bagpiper to a literary dulcimer virtuoso and a fiddler on the... riverside. This selection of ten exceptional works shows the various incarnations of Polish folk musicians in paintings, which tell the stories of their lives, their instruments and the joy they brought their audiences. Read more »about: Polish Folk Musicians in 10 Paintings
In 2018, Poland commemorates one hundred years of independence. In 2016, to mark the occasion, the Adam Mickiewicz Institute came up with an idea to present icons of Polish independence to the world. And thus, a question arose: Can Ignacy Jan Paderewski be the hero of a musical? Read more »about: Can Paderewski be the Hero of a Musical?
Pioneering composer Elżbieta Sikora, long-standing art director of the Musica Electronica Nova festival in Wrocław, talks about electronic music, its history and the way it is today. ‘Digital sound has reached a certain limit, and once again we are searching for something more lively, dirty and imperfect,’ she feels. Read more »about: Taming the Machine: An Interview with Elżbieta Sikora
The rebellion of lads from working-class families was an angry protest against the tough, empty life of the Wrocław proletariat. The punk community gave them strength, allowing them to imagine a different fate that wasn’t blighted by boredom, routine and exploitation. Wrocław punks formed a bond based not on musical artistry or ideals, but on shared experience. Read more »about: A Pitched Battle for Peace: Wrocław’s Alternative Scene
In search of classic Polish dance music, we take a sentimental journey to Valentine's Days of the past. From thumping power dance, through street sing-a-longs, all the way to reinterpreted italo disco in the spirit of Depeche Mode. What music were Poles listening to during the transformation? What made their hearts beat and their feet move? Read more »about: Culture.pl Mixtape: Be My Disco Polo Valentine!
Singing a love song is among the most romantic ways of expressing your feelings for your significant other. That’s why in this Valentine Day’s special Culture.pl brings you ten quotes from a selection of classic Polish love songs that are about the Greatest Feeling on Earth. Read more »about: 10 Quotes from Classic Polish Love Songs
Weddings in Kielce, communist-era film chronicles, avant-garde Hungarians, improvised punk, post-club music, echoes of the Holocaust and Georg Philipp Telemann. Culture.pl's Filip Lech brings you his subjective, and most eclectic, playlist celebrating Poland's diverse music scene in 2017. Read more »about: Music from Poland in 2017: A Subjective Mixtape
What is the use of applying the scientific concept of experiment to the art of music? Inhabiting a space between studios that were dedicated solely to the production of autonomous works, the Polish Radio Experimental Studio (PRES) occupied an interesting position that enabled it to adopt a slightly unusual modus operandi. Read more »about: The Future Sound of Warsaw: An Introduction to PRES
While The Beatles and Stones were beginning to experiment in the West, two ageing Polish gents were entertaining millions on the other side of the Iron Curtain. But why did they split up so suddenly? And why does everyone in Poland still know their songs, over 50 years after they retired? Marek Kazmierski presents some of their best-loved songs and investigates. Read more »about: Kabaret Starszych Panów: Poland’s Old-School Answer to The Beatles?
Polish-born Józef Hofmann was not only a highly acclaimed pianist, respected by the likes of Rachmaninov, but also a keen inventor that registered over 70 patents, including a proto-GPS and a solution decreasing the resistive drag of piano keys, still used today in Steinway pianos. His interests in music and technology ended up fuelling each other. Read more »about: Twice The Genius: The Music & Inventions of Józef Hofmann
While the Warsaw Village Band works on their new album, we spoke to two of its members, Maciej Szajkowski and Sylwia Światkowska, about their twenty years on the stage, their reactions to Iggy Pop playing their songs on the radio and why it’s better to shoot yourself in the head than to work on music with any limitations. Read more »about: Wild & Untamed: An Interview with the Warsaw Village Band
Polish-born Ganna Walska was an operatic singer so unsuccessful that her failure as a vocalist is near-legendary: it inspired a theme of Orson Welles' Citizen Kane and has been described in numerous books. But, after giving up on her short-lived career as a singer, she created Lotusland, a public garden considered one of the world’s most unique. Read more »about: Ganna Walska: The Soprano from the Garden Estate
One of the most prominent British violinists in the world is known for her weakness for Polish music. Along with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Edward Gardner, Tasmin Little recorded Karol Szymanowski and Mieczysław Karłowicz’s violin concertos. Her new album will be released in September 2017. Read more »about: Tasmin Little plays Szymanowski and Karłowicz
From 25th to 29th October 2017, Katowice will host one of the most prestigious musical events in Europe – the WOMEX World Music Expo. Four Polish groups will perform at the opening concert: Aukso, Vołosi, Kapela Maliszów and Lautari. Read more »about: Polish Bands to Inaugurate WOMEX 2017
The word ‘folk’ can often box in musicians and force them to craft their sound to fit the traditional vibe of Polish folk music. The modern Polish folk scene tosses this limit on creativity out the window without forgetting their roots. These six bands continue to innovate and blend genres seamlessly. Folk your life up and enjoy! Read more »about: 6 Polish Folk Bands That Throw Tradition Out of the Box
Exhibitions, concerts, performances, publications, lectures, conferences… These and other events organised by dozens of museums, theatres, galleries, and other cultural and educations institutions will mark the centenary of the avant-garde movement in Poland. Read more »about: 2017: The Centenary of Polish Avant-garde
The art of sampling draws on the ability to manipulate and combine small snippets from other songs to create a completely new product. In rap, it’s often hard to figure out where a sample comes from. Thankfully, Culture.pl is here to help: we’ve compiled a mixtape of famous American rap tracks with samples from incredibly influential Polish musicians. Vibe away! Read more »about: Polish Music in American Hip-Hop: 9 Unexpected Samples
Are you ready for more Finnegans Wake? On 4th May 2017, the international artistic cooperation known as Waywords and Meansigns will release the third installment of its ongoing project of setting James Joyce’s masterpiece to music. More than 100 artists from 15 different countries have contributed their talents to the upcoming release, including a handful of Poles. Read more »about: Polish Musicians Look for Meaning in Finnegans Wake