Part I Julia Wolfe – Reeling Florent Ghys – An Open Cage Christian Marclay – Fade to Slide Todd Reynolds – Seven Sundays Bryce Dessner – new work [commission with Muziekgebouw Eindhoven] Steve Reich – The Cave [commission with Edinburg Festival]
part II Tyondai Braxton/Ben Vida [duo set] Mira Calix – Meeting you seemed easy [feat. Mira Calix] Michael Gordon – Gene takes a drink David Lang – Unused Swan Tyondai Braxton – Casino Trem Anna Clyne – A Wonderful Day Nick Zammuto – Real Beauty Turns
On the third day of the Sacrum Profanum Festival, a star collective Bang on a Can All-Stars will bring their latest project, Field Recordings to Krakow. The title Field Recordings include over a dozen pieces commissioned by the band and written especially for the New York group by the most sought-after contemporary artists – personas from the world of indie pop (Nick Zammuto of The Books), art (Christian Marclay), electronics (Tyondai Braxton, Mira Calix) and experimental classical music (Steve Reich, Michael Gordon, David Lang). Along with the band, the following artists will show up on stage: Tyondai Braxton, Ben Vida, Mira Calix. With what will they surprise the audiences? We will find out as soon as on the 17th of September at 8 p.m. in the Malopolska Garden of Arts.
The central idea of the concert fits into a trend very natural for the age of advanced recording technology: composers let themselves be carried away with inspiration drawn from an extract of voice recording, a tune they have heard somewhere, the surrounding sounds is treated as a starting point for a new musical piece. The notion of field recording has a very wide scope. It refers not only to recordings alone, but also to ideas and meanings. Its Polish translation, nagrania terenowe, does not limit this definition at all. Because we traditionally describe a whole branch of phonography this way – recording original music performed in various places around the world, archiving of songs, genres and sounds of regional instruments which are going extinct – but also recording the sound of nature or human civilization outdoors. Within the scope of the first meaning of the term, the masters of field recording included John Lomax, a sound chronicler of American countryside and ethnomusicologist working for Ocora and Nonesuch labels. Within the latter meaning, they include Francisco López and Chris Watson.
Field recordings are a sound postcard from a journey, an illustration of a place, impressions or culture. They document a sound landscape and constitute a more profound method of listening to the surrounding – according to the idea of Raymond Murray Schafer. It is only a step away from ambient music. Indeed, field recordings are often a part of such pieces or, at least, an inspiration for ambient artists. Brian Eno created music which diminished the border between natural and synthetic sounds (On Land), a Japanese artist, Tetsu Inoue, explored similar areas while a contemporary master of ambient music, Geir Jenssen (Biosphere), is also very successful within field recording.
We would like to recommend a sample of what will be going on at the Malopolska Garden of Arts to everyone who plans to go to the concert and those who have not yet decided: