Teoniki Rożynek is a composer of contemporary, theatre and film music. She places particular emphasis on electronic sound design and experiments with defects and audience perception. She performs live – nowadays with a computer, formerly with a violin.
Teoniki Rożynek (born 1991) graduated from the Władysław Żeleński State Secondary Music School in Kraków (violin class under Janusz Miryński) and Composition at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw (Krzysztof Baculewski’s class). She took part in composition courses and workshops at Synthetis in Radziejowice, as well as at the Donauschinger Musiktage, Ferienkurse für Neue Musik Darmastadt, and Warsaw Autumn festivals. As well as the latter festival, her works have also been performed at Musica Electronica Nova in Wrocław, Sacrum Profanum in Kraków, Kravín Rural Arts / Hranice u Malče, and Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music in Australia, as well as at concerts in Cologne, Ostrava, and other cities.
A very important part of Rożynek’s work are film and theatre productions with such artists as Marta Górnicka, Katarzyna Kozyra, Jagoda Szelc, Tomasz Węgorzewski, Arek Biedrzycki and Filip Bojarski. She was a member of the gen~.rate composition collective (with Aleksandra Kaca, Rafał Ryterski and Żaneta Rydzewska), as part of which she organised numerous concerts in Warsaw.
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The music of Teonika Rożynek seems to stem from her youthful experience of playing the violin and old synthesisers: the former allows the shaping of sound freely and changing it over time; the latter offers various, sometimes accidental, deformations and defects. The ‘Hackomposer’ is greatly inspired by similar flawed sounds (Palinopsia) and thinks in terms of sound layers and their flows (Halocline II). Her early electro-acoustic pieces have a distinctly psychedelic or narrative character (T.R.I.P.), and Rożynek remained faithful to the concept of sound design (bol) outlined in them. It is based on carefully processed and edited samples, film-like contrasts and powerful bass on the one hand and the tiniest ASMR sounds on the other (the most satisfying music). The dialogue between real and virtual instruments (bilokacja) and the electronics surrounding them (deep-frozen_2/17) also play an important role. Although the composer declares that she prefers to listen to music on headphones, she has recently performed live more and more frequently, from behind the computer, as was the case at the festival in Sokołowsko, the Warsaw Autumn festival, and the Unsound Festival; as well as with the other members of the gen~.rate collective (even though it disbanded). During these sets, as in her compositions, she does not shy away from beats or grooves (taśmociąg, ‘tapeworm’), which come from techno music or machines like… concrete mixers and refrigerators.
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In an interview for Glissando, Rożynek explains:
Polish Film Composers
Errors are my weird musical obsession. A recording of a flute in which someone makes a mistake or you hear a grunt in the background has much greater value to me than a studio recording in which the flute sounds perfect. A mistake can create an additional layer which is much more interesting. Natural deficiencies, a captured moment – that seems insanely fascinating! From this you can sculpt the macro part, an error can completely change the course of a work. A real error at the micro-level can affect the whole structure.
Teonika Rożynek’s music is perfectly tailored to the viewer’s perception and distances itself from paper structures, which is clearly related to the artist’s familiarity with the stage. It is related not only to her performances since she was a teenager but also to her activity on the stage, which has brought her numerous awards (Opole Theatre Confrontations, Divine Comedy Festival). The most intensive was her participation in the Divine Comedy play for the Women’s Choir directed by Marta Górnicka, where she significantly expanded the vocal techniques of the group. Recently, Rożynek has also been entering the film environment more and more boldly, in which the success of Jagoda Szelc’s Tower: A Bright Day debut certainly helped. Low sounds of unspecified provenance underline the disturbing atmosphere of the films plot. In most of the soundtracks, the composer uses sample-based electronics, only sometimes choosing specific emotional effects, as in the films of her partner Filip Bojarski. For many years, she has also worked with director Tomasz Węgorzewski (author of the screenplay for Spełnia Się or ‘It Becomes Fulfilled which initiated the film career of both artists), whose November: A Hysterical Affair from the Second Half of the 18th Century has been appreciated in the theatre community.
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contemporary polish composers
Juliusz Tyszka, in a text about November, writes:
What is significant is the music background, which rhythmically supports the sluggish action. Bass, deep sounds, which can now be heard, give stage situations a serious edge. Later on there will be some reverberations, whispers added… The music in this spectacle fascinates, it skilfully builds an atmosphere of mystery.
Aleksander Karwowski expressed his thoughts in a similar tone:
Teonika Rożynek’s great music is a whirling anxiety, it is a strigoi that hangs over the performance all the time, drills into the minds of the protagonists, driving them into hysteria, causing visceral pain, it is the compass in the abdomen responsible for conscience and action.
Teoniki Rożynek: Soundcloud
- Bilokacja (bilocation) for an amplified piano, two pianists and a sampler (2015)
- ściana (wall) for amplified violin and cello and electronics (2015)
- T.R.I.P. for tape (2015)
- halocline II for two accordions, a bass accordion and a sampler (2016)
- nox for amplified string orchestra (2016)
- string quartet for prepared and amplified string quartet (2016)
- multiple 1 for amplified double bass clarinet, drums, piano and violin (2017)
- can you hear colors? for amplified bass flute, amplified double bass and electronics in collaboration with Monika Szpyrka (2017)
- the most satisfying music for two drummers and electronics (2017)
- minimal surfaces 1.0 for amplified violin and cello and chamber ensemble (2017)
- bol for flute, accordion, drums, electronics and video (2017)
- deep-frozen_2/17 for accordion, viola and electronics (2017)
- untone for tape (2017)
- taśmociąg (‘tape) for bass clarinet, piano, sampler, violin and cello (2018)
- Palinopsja for electronics (2018)
- satin made of triggers, in collaboration with Kamil Szuszkiewicz and Antonina Nowacka (2018)
- Etude for the handle mechanism and one spring per tape (2019)
- bulb for double bass clarinet, percussion set, piano and amplified violin, audiovisual layer and light installation, created in cooperation with Martyna Chojnacka.
Selected film and theatre music:
- Spełnia się (It Becomes Fulfilled), dir. Gaweł Kownacki (2013)
- Colder Than Here, dir. by Anika Idczak, Ochota Theatre – Centre for Theatre Culture in Warsaw (2015)
- Nigdy Nie Byłem na Słowacji (I’ve Never Been to Slovakia), dir. Filip Bojarski, school etude at PWSFTiTv in Łódź (2015)
- Staje się, dir. by Arek Biedrzycki, diploma film at WRiT UŚ in Katowice (2016)
- Hymn of Love, dir. by Marta Górnicka, Polish Theatre in Poznań (2017)
- November, dir. Tomasz Węgorzewski, Aleksander Fredro Theatre in Gniezno (2017)
- Tower: A Bright Day, dir. Jagoda Szelc (2017)
- Holidays, dir. by Filip Bojarski, school etude at the Film School in Łódź (2018)
- Vampire: Trauerspiel, dir. Tomasz Węgorzewski, Polish Theatre in Bydgoszcz (2018)
- Such a Beautiful City, dir. by Marta Koch, an animated school etude at the National Film, Television and Theatre School in Łódź (2018)
- The Weak, dir. Arek Biedrzycki, television theatre (2018)
- Sole, dir. by Carlo Sironi, Kino Produzioni, Lava Films (2019)
- Love, dir. Michał Ciechomski, school etude for WRiT UŚ in Katowice (2019)
- Wierzaj w me Tumany, dir. Teoniki Rożynek (2019)
Originally written in Polish by Jan Topolski, November 2019, translated into English by P. Grabowski, December 2019
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