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Eugeniusz Rudnik, 1987, photo: Piotr Cieśla/Forum

The story of how Warsaw was the fourth European city in history to have its own studio dedicated to experimental electro-acoustic music, despite being ruled by a communist regime that was hostile to free thinking and avant-garde art.

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Krzysztof Penderecki and Eugeniusz Rudnik at the Expermental Studio of the Polish Radio, April 1972, photograph from Ludwik Erhardt's book "Spotkania z Krzysztofem Pendereckim" (Meetings with Penderecki)

The temporary liberalisation of life in Poland in October 1956 brought with it the establishment of the Polish Radio Experimental Studio. Ahead of Stockholm and many other music centres who would establish electronic music studios workshops in the 60s, Poland became an outpost for electroacoustic music.

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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.

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Polish Radio Experimental Studio – International Conference, photo: press materials

This year the Studio celebrates its 60th anniversary. On 13th and 14th October 2017 the Adam Mickiewicz Institute and the Art Museum in Łódź organise a conference to commemorate this event.

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Tadeusz Sudnik, 2001, photo: Maciej Zienkiewicz/Agencja Gazeta

Composer, improviser, performer and sound director. For many years he collaborated with the Polish Radio Experimental Studio, then founded the Studio of Impossible Sounds. With Freelectronic and Amusos he performed in the whole Europe, he regularly performs with the group Kawalerzy Błotni.

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Krzysztof Penderecki and Eugeniusz Rudnik, photo: Andrzej Zborski

Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (hcmf//) is one of the most important and innovative music festivals in the United Kingdom. Since 2015, Polish music has been an important part of the festival’s programme.

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Eugeniusz Rudnik, still from the film 15 Corners of the World, photo: Ula Klimek / UNSOUND'12 / www.15corners.com

“I had never expected that the ‘robotic music’ is supposed to reflect the human soul. Until I met Eugeniusz Rudnik.” - says Zuzanna Solakiewicz, director of the film 15 Corners of the World, awarded at festivals in Wrocław and Locarno. The film was co-produced by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.

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While Poland was obviously not in the front row of powers competing in the space race, it did engage successfully in an altogether different race. Its stake was representing what space and alien civilizations may actually sound like.

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Eksperymentalne Studio Polskiego Radia, fot. Muzeum Sztuki w Łodzi

The following guide is a very dense yet rough overview of Polish electronic music. It was not written as an article to be read in one sitting, but more as a general time-line of Polish electronic music, with way-points to show the reader where to start and how to take ones' first steps before diving deep into a specific period or genre.

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Eugeniusz Rudnik revolutionized the idea of music itself with just a pair of scissors and a magnetic tape. 15 Corners of the World is an attempt to hear the vision of his music.

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Bohdan Mazurek, photo: the Association of Polish Filmmakers

Composer, sound director, and an educator associated with the Polish Radio Experimental Studio.

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Bohdan Mazurek, photo: Polish Filmmakers Association

After a long time battling an illness, sound engineer, composer and teacher Bohdan Mazurek, a legend of the Polish Radio Experimental Studio, passes away.

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Eugeniusz Rudnik is turning 82 this year, and he also celebrates the 52nd anniversary of his creative and production work at the Experimental Studio of the Polish Radio. It is thus a perfect moment for the release of his… debut album.

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A four-day festival of Polish music including series of concerts, workshops and lectures – for the general public, as well as students and academicians – will feature the country's illustrious musicians, thinkers and critics to draw unexpected connections between very prominent (starting with Fryderyk Chopin) and very obscure phenomena of Poland's sound culture.

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Józef Patkowski, Warsaw, September 1970, Warsaw Autumn Festival, photo: Slawek Bieganski / FORUM

Józef Patkowski was a musicologist, composer and creator of the Experimental Studio of the Polish Radio. He was born on 15th of November 1929, died on 26th of October 2005 in Warsaw.

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Eugeniusz Rudnik entered the avant-garde music scene in 1955 with characteristic eloquence: ‘I became a pioneer of electronic music because I had just got out of jail and I was looking for a job’.

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Fragmenty oryginalnych taśm non-camerowych Juliana Antonisza, © własność Danuty, Malwiny i Sabiny Antoniszcz / fot. Weronika Łodzińska

Julian Antoniszczak’s film debut, produced in the Kraków branch of the Miniature Film Studio in Warsaw.

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Andrzej Dobrowolski at the festival Warsaw Autumn, 1970, photo: Sławek Biegański/Forum

Composer and pedagogue. Born on 9th September, 1921 in Lviv, died on 8th August, 1990 in Graz.

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Włodzimierz Kotoński, photo: Andrzej Zborski / Fotonova / East News

Władysław Kotoński is a composer and teacher and pioneer of electronic music in Poland. Born in Warsaw on 23rd August 1925.

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Bogusław Schaeffer, photo: Marek Dusza

The composer, musicologist, graphic artist and professor; he has made an interdisciplinary approach to various disciplines of the arts his trademark.

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