23 October 2022, Lodz
University of Music in Lodz
UNSEEN for voice and orchestra
Magdalena Deptuła - voice
New Music Ensemble
cond. Marciej Koczur

The composer invites public to wear blindfolds during the performance.

UNSEEN (2018)

Letnie przesilenie to szczególny czas, z którym od wieków wiąże się wiele mitów i wierzeń. W całej niemal Europie obchodzono wtedy święto natury, ognia, wody, równowagi żywiołów i miłości. Kulminacją obrzędów związanych z równonocą był rytuał  poszukiwania magicznego kwiatu, w Polsce zwanego Kwiatem paproci. Zerwanie go, miało zapewnić znalazcy szczęście, bogactwo i powodzenie, a w razie niebezpieczeństwa także niewidzialność. 

Summer solstice is a peculiar time. Since many centuries ago there have been a lot of myths and beliefs revolving midsummer. During that time (night) in most places in Europe people would celebrate the nature, fire, water, balance of the elements and love. The culmination of the midsummer rites was a ritual of searching for a magical flower, in Poland known as the Fern Flower. Collecting it would bring the finder happiness, wealth, luck and – if endangered – invisibility.

Unseen develops the composer's concept of acousmatic instrumental music, the assumption of which is to focus on the sound itself, depriving other senses, and the inability to recognize the origin of specific sounds. The piece goes beyond the electronic understanding of the term, and the composer assures that acoustic music can also be listened to acousmatically.
The text used in Unseen comprises a folk song and a poem by Jerzy Żuławski, sung and recited by many voices: those of the soloist, as well as instrumentalists. Like an incomprehensible magic charm, it is also declaimed in the tape recording by the pianist’s three-year-old son, which endows this fragment with the aura of a mysterious incantation. Sounds surround the listener from all directions, from afar and nearby. At times they resound literally millimetres from their ears, evoking the impression of a bonfire. The music rarefies into simple figures at some places, in which echoes of spectralism and impressionism can be heard. Instruments such as the hurdy-gurdy contribute to the aura, which has played a significant role in composer’s works for a long time.
The composition Unseen has been commissioned by the E-MEX Ensemble, with financial support from the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

© 2010 Marcin Stańczyk
Project: Renata Leszczyńska, Translation: Marcin Stańczyk