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Various Artists
Would It Sound Just as Bad If You Played It Backwards, Vol. 2
Other People
Catalogue Number
Release Date
May 20, 2022

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Press Release

A Collection of Sounds from the Studio Eksperymentalne Polskiego Radia (1959-2001) . Art by Zofia Kulik.

“Would it sound just as bad if you played it backwards?” assembles a collection of audio experiments created at the Polish Radio Experimental Studio (PRES) from 1959 to the beginning of the millennium. These exceptional works are presented alongside images from the Polish artist Zofia Kulik, whose career reached its apogee between the late 1960s and early 70s.

While PRES and Kulik remain important artifacts in the recent history of the Polish avant-garde, presenting them together in one release may not seem like an obvious choice. There are, of course, some historical intersections—the most notable being a shared interest in Polish artist and architectOskar Hansen’s Open Form theory.

Polish Radio Experimental Studio - PRES (Polish: Studio Eksperymentalne Polskiego Radia) was an experimental music studio in Warsaw, where electronic and utility pieces were recorded. The establishment of the Polish Radio Experimental Studio was conceived by Włodzimierz Sokorski, head of the Radio and Television Committee. Between 1952 and 1956 he was a Minister of Culture, and as a strong supporter of socialist realism he fought against any manifestations of modernity in music. The Polish Radio Experimental Studio was founded on the 15th of November 1957,[1] but only in the second half of the following year was it adapted for sound production.[2][3] It operated until 2004.[4]

Until 1985, for 28 years the studio was headed by its founder - Józef Patkowski – musicologist, acoustician, and the chairman of the Polish Composers’ Union. The second most important person in the Studio was Krzysztof Szlifirski, an electro-acoustics engineer. Before founding the studio Józef Patkowski visited similar hubs in Cologne, Paris, Gravesono and Milan.[5] Though the studio was a place where autonomous electronic pieces were recorded, this wasn't its main purpose. It was launched as a space for the creation of independent compositions, sounds illustrations for radio dramas, and soundtracks for theatre, film and dance.

Digital Track List

  1. 1 Study for One Cymbal Stroke (1951) Włodzimierz Kotoński 2:46 Buy

    Study for One Cymbal Stroke (1951)

  2. 2 Symphony. Electronic Music for Tape, Pt. I (1966) Bohdan Mazurek 5:15 Buy

    Symphony. Electronic Music for Tape, Pt. I (1966)

  3. 3 Letters to M. (1980) Elżbieta Sikora 14:13 Buy

    Letters to M. (1980)

  4. 4 Libera Me (1991) Bernadetta Matuszczak 16:08 Buy

    Libera Me (1991)

  5. 5 View from the Window (1978) Elżbieta Sikora 8:21 Buy

    View from the Window (1978)

  6. 6 Mictlan I (1987) Magdalena Długosz 11:26 Buy

    Mictlan I (1987)

  7. 7 Greya, Pt. V (1991) Barbara Zawadzka 2:21 Buy

    Greya, Pt. V (1991)

  8. 8 Poko (1986) Krzysztof Knittel 16:51 Buy

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