Paweł Hendrich is a composer, born in 1979 in Wrocław. He is a graduate of the Wrocław Academy of Music.
Paweł Hendrich’s way to a career as a composer was not a typical one. He had no sort of classical music education until he was 18, but he had already been playing bass in a metal band for some time. At that time, he decided to start learning how to play the horn, which allowed him to jump straight to a high school level. As he says, his decision to take up studies in classical music was born out of his desire to deepen his understanding of music in general.
Soon after he started learning, he made his first attempts at composition, which initially were very intuitive but soon became more and more structured. At the very beginning, when Hendrich was still at high school, he started receiving advice on composing from Prof. Jerzy Filc. The composer had already started systematising his technique at the time. At the age of 22, he began creating his first mature compositions, such as Gnothi Seauton for chamber orchestra (2001).
The composer admits that his musical expression was influenced by his family’s academic traditions. Some of his relatives worked in the field of natural science at universities. The future composer began to study economics whilst still attending the music high school.
He puts a lot of stress on the theoretical backdrop of composition. He sees his method as akin to the Medieval way of thinking, according to which an author was expected to be theoretician before being a practitioner. In Hendrich’s case, this means a lot of investment in the pre-composition stage, which he estimates to constitute around 85% of his creative process.
He further developed his interests in musical systems while writing subsequent theoretical works and compositions at the Karol Lipiński Academy of Music in Wrocław. He received his BA from there in 2006. He took his MA studies at the same academy in Grażyna Pstrokońska-Nawratil’s composition class, from which he graduated in 2008 (with distinction). He then moved on to the PhD programme, which he completed in 2011.
He spent the 2005/2006 academic year at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne, where he studied under York Höller. Between 2004-2008, he was a recipient of a scholarship from the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, while in 2007 he became one of thirteen composers to be included in the 4-year promotion programme of the European Krzysztof Penderecki Centre for Music.
In the same year, he teamed up with two other composers, Cezary Duchnowski and Sławomir Kopczak, to launch the group Phonos ek Mechanes, which combines elements of composed music, improvisation and live electronics. Hendrich plays electric guitar in the band.
In 2012, Bôłt Records released the band's monographic album, titled C+-. Two years earlier, DUX released Paweł Hendrich’s monographic record. It contained such pieces as Divertsicorium (2005) for chamber ensemble, Multivalentis (2006) for clarinet, trombone, cello and piano, and Liolit (2009-2010) for chamber orchestra.
The compositions from Hendrich’s solo album, as well as ones he wrote after 2002, reveal the composer’s increasing interest in the multilayered character of a work of art and in heterochrony, i.e., the simultaneous progression of melodic lines with different tempos. He also developed his own concept of periodic organization of the frequency of sound material. Its assumption is an abandonment of the model of using octaves as the basic frequency unit. The composer effectively works on new models of dividing the octave, unlike the classical one with twelve halftones, and, furthermore, departs from scales based on octaves. For Hendrich, working on each new composition is an opportunity to develop his own system of sound organization – as early as in the pre-composition stage.
Most of Hendrich’s compositions have titles based on Latin or Ancient Greek words, often neologisms. Their role is to hint at the technical and compositional issues appearing in a piece. The composer avoids extra-musical references, and his oeuvre represents the idea of absolute music, as well as scientific precision. Music acts here as a natural science, within which the technique appears as the scientific theory indicating the possibilities arising from the natural laws of acoustics.
Paweł Hendrich’s compositions have been performed at such festivals as Warsaw Autumn, Musica Polonica Nova, Musica Electronica Nova, and Audio Art. They have also been presented internationally – in Germany, Denmark, the United States, Turkey, Spain, Sweden, Czech Republic, Hungary, and Malta,amongst others.
Composer's website: www.hendrich.pl
- Alopopulo for chamber orchestra, strings and computers (2014)
- Accant for accordion and computer (2014)
- Ertytre for one or eight cellos (2013-14)
- Drovorb for clarinet, horn, piano, strings, viola and cello (2013)
- Kioloik for one or two flutes (2012)
- Sedimetron for chamber ensemble (2012)
- Metasolidus II / Crypto skrypty for symphonic orchestra and computer (2011-12)
- Emergon αβ for chamber ensemble and computer (2011)
- Liolit for chamber orchestra (2009-2010)
- Diaphanoid for chamber ensemble (2010)
- Hyloflex αβ for string orchestra and computer (2007-09)
- Cyclostratus for strings, bass flute, marimba, piano and beatbox (2008)
- Metasolidus I for symphonic orchestra (2005-07)
- Phonarium II – sound installation (2006)
- Multivalentis for clarinet, trombone, cello and piano (2006)
- Anepigraph for small orchestra (2005)
- Diversicorium for chamber ensemble (2005)
- Heterochronia for symphonic orchestra (2002-04)
- Gnothi seauton for chamber orchestra (2001)
Author: Paweł Krzaczkowski, transl. AM, January 2015