The english premiere of Some Drops 

Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival

5:4, 18th November 2016

The highlight of HCMF’s opening night was Musikfabrik’s UK première of Marcin Stańczyk‘s Some Drops. A fascinating exploration of complex lyricism, the piece moves through a sequence of episodes beginning with a forlorn, strained trumpet (Blaauw again) behind the audience, interacting with the ensemble who are seemingly teetering at the cusp of letting loose something warm and familiar, yet always halting. As the trumpet progresses closer to the front of the space, the piece develops into a dense network of counterpoint, impressively combining individuated abandon with an overall sense of unity. Something of the opening atmosphere slowly returns, leading to an extended section of subdued, allusive music, utterly gorgeous and defying one’s ear to untangle the gently knotted components of its texture. Subsequent instances of a drum beat felt like a mis-step, at odds with the effective semi-vagueness permeating hitherto, yet this tiny flaw did nothing to reduce the work’s overall impression, which was rapturously lovely. I was grateful for these smaller-scale triumphs, which only seemed to reinforce how superficial the larger works had seemed.

Simon Cummings

At the opening night we had a piece by Stańczyk, Some drops for Musikfabrik, which I thought was a wonderful, fantastic piece of music. There was a big media response across social media and press to that piece. 

Graham McKenzie, the curator of HCMF

for Polish Radio Programme 2,Polskie-kompozycje-na-festiwalu-w-Huddersfield

Some Drops performed at HCMF broadcasted by BBC Radio 3: [1:20:17]

The world premiere of Blind Walk

La Biennale di Venezia / Biennale Musica / Ensemble Musikfabrik
Il Manifesto
Blind walk, una pioggia di suoni in liberta

"... gli spettatori, tanti, belli, internazionali, nella Sala delle Colonne di Palazzo Ca’ Giustinian, sono invitati a indossare una mascherina. Gli strumentisti dell’Ensemble Musikfabrik, famoso e abilissimo si dispongono in tutti i punti della sala, chi in piedi chi seduto chi semisdraiato, e da subito cominciano a spostarsi, a deambulare senza una meta, senza un ordine stabilito, almeno cosi dovrebbe essere a sentire il compositore, che e il trentottenne polacco Marcin Stanczyk: «Una vera passeggiata non conduce in alcun luogo». Si spostano, passeggiano, ed emettono suoni molto in liberta eppure molto ben prescritti in partitura. Gli archi suonano soffiando suibordi della casse armoniche vicino alle corde, i fiati entrano in successione e sono piu ricchi di note, pur sempre rumoristiche. I numerosi percussionisti privilegiano secchi colpi di legnetti e di triangoli, prima radi poi piu fitti. Ad alcuni strumentisti sono affidati a intervalli irregolari, tali da simulare l’ad libitum, vocalizzi senza parole, anzi puri rumori di bocca saliva gola. I suoni sono brevi o brevissimi, si crea una specie di pioggia avvolgente di suoni dis-melodici e dis-armonici. In tutto il procedere di questa azione musicale c’e una scansione del tempo «implicita» ma ben avvertibile. E a che cosa si pensa dopo un po’, dopo che ci si e chiesti «ma dove l’ho sentito questo ondeggiare scandito con il corredo di fischietti, suoni di strada sardonici o tenui o flessuosi»? Ecco che si fa luce la risposta: l’Art Ensemble of Chicago e il modello. E infatti dall’angolo piu lontano ci sembra di sentire proprio lui, ma si, e Lester Bowie con la sua tromba di quando sapeva essere accattivante e «decostruttivo» nello stesso tempo. Anzi no, non diminuiamo Stanczyk: il possibie modello, l’eco di un innamoramento musicale."
Mario Gamba


read also:

Luci e ombre di un festival

Mario Gamba

El Mundo

El Cultural

Silencio en Venecia

Álvaro Guibert

«Il suono della memoria», Biennale Musica 2015

Gianluigi Mattietti

The american premiere of Mosaique

Mata Festival in NYC

“Mosaique” featured the cellist Jonathan Gotlibovitch, who exhaled, clicked and hissed as he plucked the cello and rubbed and tapped its body. Electronic bleeps and tones ricocheted around the hall; at one point, the beats briefly took on the seductive spirit of an R&B slow jam. The work was a full-body experience: Mr. Gotlibovitch artfully tossed aside each page of the score as he finished it, which felt as much a part of the work as the sound world.

The New York Times, Zachary Woolfe, 19 IV 2013 

Toru Takemitsu Award 2013

An extraordinarily ambitious piece. I know of nothing like it. Maybe a piece I would like to have written or certainly like to hear. What attracts me is the simultaneity of the perspective of the ideas and the music’s invention from moment to moment expressed in a notation that is both free and exact at the same time.  Nevertheless, it is a virtuoso piece of musical awareness.

Sir Harrison Birtwistle about SIGHS - hommage à Fryderyk Chopin,

Toru Takemitsu Award 2013 - winning composition, Tokyo 26 V 2013

Opening season Ircam 2014/2015

Du compositeur polonais Marcin Stańczyk, Aftersounds pour deux percussions et électronique met à l’oeuvre l’interaction sophistiquée entre le geste instrumental et la réponse de l’électronique, entre le son acoustique et sa transformation en temps réel. De dimension théâtrale, sollicitant l’oeil autant que l’oreille, l’oeuvre exige un dispositif instrumental très déployé et inclut le souffle, la voix et le geste-son, celui des deux interprètes/performers dessinant des arabesques dans l’espace de leurs mains munies de capteurs. Ils nous immergeaient dans un univers onirique où la partie électronique « parle » une langue imaginaire.


critique by Michèle Tosi (ResMusica)

Opening season Ircam 2014/2015

Aftersounds pour deux percussionnistes fait référence aux afterimages du peintre polonais Wladyslaw Strzeminski. Il introduit l’idée de « son premier » et de « son rémanent » résultant de la transformation en temps réel. S’Il superpose ces deux types de son, il pratique aussi la dissociation des sources sonores et des gestes instrumentaux. Cette approche virtuelle du son l’amène vers la « performance totale » ainsi grâce aux micros placés aux bouts des doigts des deux musiciens, ceux-ci par un simple frôlement des lames du marimba génèrent d’étrange sonorité. De même le ballet des mains au-dessus des instruments produits des volutes sonores. On perçoit chez ce compositeur une grande habileté à manier des techniques complexes sans perdre l’horizon du concert.

critique by Omer Corlaix

Ircam, the opening concert of season 2014/2015

International Society of Bassists Convention, San Francisco

Three Afterimages for Solo Double Bass by Marcin Stańczyk is a nine-minute, single movement work.  This piece is a fantastic sound study and is very dramatic.  At its core is a slow, deep groove.  It explores a variety of extended techniques such as bowing the tailpiece, body percussion, extensive use of harmonics, hammer-ons, etc.  There are extensive performance instructions that describe these techniques. In addition to a challenging bass part, there is also a substantial singing part for the bassists to execute.  The mood is dark and appealing.  Although idiomatically written for the instrument, this compelling work presents the adventurous bassists with considerable challenges.


Robert Black, ISB Convention, San Francisco, 2012

Bang on a Can Marathon, June 18, 2012, NYC

World Financial Centre, Winter Garden

The first piece delivered by the BOAC All-Stars – Chow, Bathgate and Cossin on vibraphone and percussion this time plus Robert Black on bass, Mark Stewart on guitars and Ziporyn on clarinets – was Nibiru, by Marcin Stanczyk, one of the composers who’s come up through BOAC’s MassMoCa mentoring program. An apprehensive blend of anxious, intense percussion and ominous outer-space motifs, it pondered the existence of the phantom planet from harmonic-laden drones to surfy staccato guitar to where Bathgate finally took it to the rafters, her cello’s high harmonics keening eerily over Ziporyn’s bass clarinet wash.

Bang on a Can Marathon, June 18, 2012, NYC

World Financial Centre, Winter Garden

The Bang on a Can All Stars took to the stage to perform two new works by two young composers – the first of which is entitled Nibiru, composed by Polish composer Marcin Stanczyk. An esoteric soundscape that had each instrument playing completely different ideas, but conducted so that they happened together (...). Having the players vocalize into microphones while inhaling was one of several unique sonic experiments Stanczyk attempted – and to good effect. While the entire work seemed to be in a constant pulse (from the looks of the performers conducting on stage, the composer did a nice job of contrasting “free” sections with groove-based ideas.

Rob Deemer

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