Why do you do what you do?
Currently, I do it to remind people that sound is a very dynamic material, that we experience sound through our entire bodies, I just premiered my recent work Body-Opera at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, where a dancer – Karol Tymiński plays a crucial role. Body-Opera creates different situations for the viewers, who can sit, lay down, move around or even dance. I am quite against a regular concert situation, when I am forced to sit down silently, do not move and be fed with sounds like a goose in a perfect acoustic environment. Listening is a dynamic process, sound is a dynamic material and perception is embodied, we experience sound with our bodies, not just ears and brains.
How do you work? (What are your source of inspiration and how do you work on them? You have daily practices?)
I like to be precise, so let me give you some concrete examples: My first opera-installation “Transcryptum” for Grand Theater National Opera in Warsaw was exploring the non-linear structure of psychological trauma, the viewer was supposed to follow designated trails around the off stage spaces of the opera house and arrange chunks and elements of confusing narrative into repressed dramatic memory. My second operatic work “Park-Opera” discusses how sensitive, aware and responsive we are to the surrounding soundscape, how we hear things, how we tune our ears to the environment and listen to each other. The opera was composed for natural acoustic environment of one of the parks in Warsaw. My recent installation Axis for rhythm generators, analog synthesizers and cello for Polish Institute in Berlin was allowing the viewer to immerse in sound and to experience the layers of music by moving in a vertical space (a staircase) and “composing” the piece by changing the position of your own body in relation to the source of sound.
For you, what role does the artist have in society today?
I would like to create spaces were we contemplate and embody sound, not just concentrate on it and listen to it.
Wojtek Blecharz (Voytek Blehash)
Born in Gdynia (Poland) in 1981, in 2006 he graduated from Frederic Chopin Music Academy in Warsaw, in 2015 received a Ph. D. in music composition at University of California San Diego. Since 2012 Blecharz has been curating the Instalakcje Music Festival at Warsaw’s Nowy Theater, Blecharz has directed his opera-installations: Transcryptum (2013) commissioned by Grand Theater National Opera in Warsaw, Park-Opera (2016) commissioned by Theater Powrzechny in Warsaw and Body-Opera (2016) commissioned by Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. In 2012, he received a scholarship prize “for perfection in music composition” at the International Summer Courses for New Music in Darmstadt, and in 2013 he was selected as one of winners of the IMPLUS International Composition Competition in Graz. In 2015 a theater/choir piece with Blecharz’s music “Mutter Courage und ihre Hunden” directed by Marta Górnicka, commissioned by Staadtstheater Bruswick was acclaimed as one of the best 60 performances in Germany.
(All photos: Krzysztof Bieliński for TR Warszawa)