Kuba Krzewiński is a composer and violinist interested in the themes of carnality and touch. He is a co-founder of the Musica Privata festival, and a creator of performative chamber music and ameublement de musique sound objects.
Kuba Krzewiński was born in 1988. He graduated summa cum laude from the Henryk Wieniawski School of Music in Łódź in the violin class, then studied composition with Zygmunt Krauze at the Academy of Music in Łódź, at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague under Yannis Kyriakides and Mayke Nas, and at the Hochschüle für Musik in Dresden in the class of Mark Andre and Manos Tsangaris. His works have been performed and/or commissioned by Kompopolex, Dalbergia Duo, NEMØ Ensemble, Ensemble Royaal, Kwiatkowska / Pałosz duo, Gośka Isphording, Ewa Liebchen, and others. In 2017 he was the finalist of the Composer Collider (IAM / MusikFabrik) and a year later he was awarded the Saxon Förderpreis für Junge Komponisten. Between 2016 and 2018 he took part in artistic residencies: Binaural Nodar SOCCOS Residency in Vouzeli, Portugal, LABO in Antwerp, PostX with NEMØ Ensemble in PostX in Ghent. His works and installations have been presented at festivals, among others: Musica Moderna, Musica Privata and the Lódź Philharmonic’s, Musica Electronica/Polonia Nova in Wrocław, Poznań Musical Spring, Instalakcje in Warsaw, Kammermuziek Festival in Antwerp, Spring Festival in The Hague, Sauna Festival and Mehl Licht in Berlin, and the International Chamber Music Festival of the CCOM in Beijing.
Music from Poland in 2018: Young Composers Finally Come into Bloom
Kuba Krzewiński is one of the most distinct representatives of the performative turn in Polish contemporary music which has been going on for several years now. Most of his works go beyond the purely sonic form, whether through the participation of a dancer (Mille-feuille) or video (Incorporate). Krzewiński’s main theme is the physicality and carnality of sound, which he achieves in various ways: from fans hidden in the darkness blowing on the audience (Another Air) to the examination of instruments and sounds by a pair of performers in a very sensual way (Contre no. 1 and 2). Equally important are the sound objects which Krzewiński calls – after Satie – ameublement de musique, which have so far been presented in the form of installations or concerts in Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany. These are moving structures made of foil or other materials, producing amplified ambient sounds that enrich the stage action, as in the song Inside for several reconstructed Harry Partch instruments, commissioned by Musikfabrik.
Electric Knights, Classics & Abstractionists: A Brief Guide to Polish Contemporary Music
ep – (Polish sign language) 1. strange, uncool; 2. (to feel) uncomfortable
‘ep’ is a sign created by the deaf community (from Warsaw) which has no equivalent in spoken language.
When I was invited to write a piece for Adam Stoyanov and I watched his sign language poetry for the first time, I realised how wonderfully strange it was for me to watch art that I culturally don’t have access to. Further surprises appeared as my knowledge of the culture of the deaf grew deeper and deeper. When I came across the sign ‘ep’ during one of the rehearsals, I realised that the piece should be about ‘oddity’ and also about the mechanisms that make us consider something as strange or ‘ep’. Elements characteristic for the culture of the deaf were woven into the work, e.g. the sign language poetry (in this case the poetry of ABC) or a sign that symbolises this community: ‘butterfly’. One part of Ep is also the ‘song’ – Adam Stoyanov’s authorial form, which is his idea of music. […]
Compositional note to the piece ‘Ep’
In his youth, Kuba Krzewiński was particularly active on the theatre scene in Łódź, cooperating with the V6 Theatre and the Chorea Theatre as well as Zorka Wollny and Krytyka Polityczna. He then joined Paweł Sokołowski and Michał Rupniewski in organising and performing at the Musica Privata festival, one of the largest grassroots events devoted to experimental music which expanded beyond genre boundaries. Krzewiński has used the form of an interactive sound installation several times (message, direct). He also often cooperates on live performances (on violin and electronics) with visual artist Aleksandra Chciuk (Szpilen and Black of Granule, among other works). Each time, these activities are closely related to the space in which they take place, and also broaden the way of thinking about the body, which the composer also understands as an archive of learned gestures and works (Incorporate). In his chamber pieces, Krzewiński devotes a special place to the process of communication and synchronisation across divisions, as in the piece for a duo consisting of a double bass player and a deaf poet (Ep).
The Rise & Fall of Polish Song
The concert featuring musicians playing in the engine room, streamed live for the audience gathered in the NFM and online, was definitely dominated by Kuba Krzewiński’s Contre. A similar trend of performativity in new music has been successfully cultivated in Poland for years by Wojtek Blecharz. Krzewiński is not inferior to Blecharz – he created a very expressive and moving piece. It combines sounds and gestures, bodies of both musicians and instruments, releases energy and tension. The work brings to mind the game between two which commences during tango or erotic intercourse. Tension and lyricism, uncertainty and emotion – it is a very subtle play of emotions.
Ewa Szczecińska, 'Entangled in #Net', Ruch Muzyczny, 2018, nr 6
contemporary polish composers
Selected solo works:
- Mille-feuille for dancer and electronics (2015)
- I | 0 for vocal sextet, viola and cello (2015)
- Etiudy Rewolucyjne na 13 ludzi, as part of the 110th anniversary of the 1905 Revolution in Łódź (2015)
- Glass Wood Plastic for marimba and violin (2015)
- Ameublement de musique no. 1 for sound object, Factory Museum in Łódź (2016)
- Edging for flute, clarinet, trombone, drums, violin, cello and double bass (2016)
- Contre for violin and cello (2016)
- message, 5-channel sound installation, Haagse Kunstkring Gallery (2017)
- direct, installation, Studio Slagwerk Haag (2017)
- Another Air for flute, accordion, drums, electronics and 20 windmills (2017)
- Ep for double bass and deaf poet (2018)
- Incorporate for violin, electronics and video (2018)
- Entre for bass clarinet, drums, midi piano, violin, counter-bass and media (2018)
- Inside for a Partchian instrumental ensemble and ameublement de musique (2018)
- Contre 2 for drums and piano (2019)
- AdM Room an installation for two marimba and ameublement de musique (2019)
- Modern Romance for a band (2019)
Selected group work and theatre music
- Master and Margarita, V6 Theatre in Łódź (2010)
- Zatrudnię Milionera (I’ll Hire a Millionaire), V6 Theatre in Łódź (2010)
- MUZG, Chorea Theatre in Łódź (2013)
- Wszędodomni, Chorea Theatre in Łódź (2013)
- Vidomi, Chorea Theatre in Łódź (2014)
- Zorka Wollny, Concert for 12 Actors and the Space of the Lido Factory, as part of the exhibition All Men Become Sisters, Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź (2015)
- Lorde Selys, performative show Dusty Talks, as part of the Dust exhibition, Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw (2015)
- Music for Giovanni Pier Angeli’s film etude Resonance (2017)
- Black of Granule, audio performance and installation, in collaboration with Aleksandra Chciuk (2017)
- Intersounds, an audio performance for a synagogue, in collaboration with Aleksandra Chciuk (2018)
- Performance at body-electronics as part of Aleksandra Chciuk’s Szpilen, Punkt Odbioru Sztuki Gallery in Łódź (2018)
- Performance at body-electronics as part of Aleksandra Chciuk’s Uni-partytury, Signum Gallery in Łódź (2019)
Originally written in Polish by Jan Topolski, October 2019, translated into English by P. Grabowski, December 2019