Discover the Iron Curtain's unlikeliest music haven and the people who made it happen.
In 1957, the Polish Radio Experimental Studio (PRES) first opened its doors in Warsaw, and would very soon become an important European centre for the creation of exciting and original electro-acoustic music. But how did such a place even come to be built in Poland, just a few years after the death of Stalin and the severe artistic restrictions of Social Realism?
In this episode, you will find out what exactly went on inside the strange electronic depths of the PRES, and how through the efforts of its first director, Józef Patkowski, the studio became a 'window to the world', hosting the best composers from both the Eastern Bloc and the West. You'll also hear the remarkable story of Eugeniusz Rudnik, a technician from a small Polish village, who after spending countless hours helping out others with tape machines and signal generators found unexpected success and recognition.
Click the image below to check out more episodes
- Psalmus by Krzysztof Penderecki, 1961
- Etude aux Chemins de Fer by Pierre Henri Marie Schaeffer, 1948
- Studie 1 by Karlheinz Stockhausen, 1953
- Study for One Cymbal Stroke by Włodzimierz Kotoński, 1959
- Symphony - Electronic Music by Boguslaw Schaeffer, 1966
- Ode to Light (Sculpture) by Arne Nordheim, 1968
- Mobile for Magnetic Tape by Eugeniusz Rudnik, 1965
- Nowadays by Das Complex, 2015
- The Story Behind the Experimental Music Haven that Escaped Communist Censorship / from Culture.pl
- The Musical Milestones of the Polish Radio Experimental Studio / on Culture.pl
- PRES Cheatsheet: Four Giants from Poland's Legendary Music Studio / on Culture.pl
- A Foreigner's Guide to Polish Electronic Music / on Culture.pl
- Eugeniusz Rudnik / biography on Culture.pl
- Full archive of PRES articles on Culture.pl
- A History of Electroacoustic Music in Poland from the Perspective of the Polish Radio Experimental Studio 1957-1990 / on Sound Exchange
- Spatial Music: Design and the Polish Radio Experimental Studio / on post at MoMA
- How Much Rudnik is in Penderecki, and How Much Rudnik is in Nordheim? Interview with Eugeniusz Rudnik / on post at MoMA
- 15 Corners of the World / on Ninateka.pl (Click 'English version' to the right of the player for subtitles)
- Eugeniusz Rudnik Q&A / from the Polish Cultural Institute in London's Youtube channel
- Uncovering the Soul of the Polish Radio Experimental Studio / on Culture.pl's Youtube channel
Antoni Beksiak / for kindly initiating us into the technological and musical history of the studio. Antoni is a music critic, musician and festival curator (Turning Sounds et al.). He leads the bands Niewte and Gęba.
Łukasz Strusiński / for inviting us to the International PRES Conference in Łódź (October 2017) and helping us navigate this topic. Łukasz is a classical music expert and part of the Master Project team at the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.
Agnieszka Pindera / for sharing her knowledge about the studio and those closely involved with it, including Józef Patkowski, Eugeniusz Rudnik and Władysław Sokorski. Agnieszka is a curator at Muzeum Sztuki in Łodź and organiser of the International PRES Conference held at the museum in 2017.
Paweł Nowożycki / for talking to us about the iconic Black Room at PRES and its planned re-construction at the new Museum of Modern Art (MSN) building in Warsaw. Paweł is a curator at MSN and head of the PRES reconstruction project.
David Crowley / for shedding light on the historical and artistic background of the studio as a place of creative openness behind the Iron Curtain and its important links with Western studios and composers. David Crowley is the Head of the School of Visual Culture at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin.
SFTEW Team: Wojciech Oleksiak, Adam Zulawski, John Beauchamp, Nitzan Reisner & Piotr Wołodźko