Oktawia Pączkowska – composer, born in 1996 in Kraków. Laureate competitions such as: Call for Scores 2017 organized by the Diaphonia publishing house Edizioni, finalist of the 2nd category in the PRIX CIME 2019 competition, 2nd prize at the 61st Competition Young Composers Tadeusz Baird, 3rd prize at the Over the Rainbow competition. Compositions for Human Rights (2021). Her pieces have been performed in Poland, Germany, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Iran and the United States, incl. at Setkávání Nové festivals Hudby Plus in Brno (2017), Tehran Contemporary Music Festival (2018), New Music Days at Lucerne (2018). She collaborated with groups such as XelmYa +, Figmentum Ensemble or Spółdzielnia Muzyczna contemporary ensemble. She took an active part in the workshops live music programming under the direction of Renick Bell, the culmination of which was performance during the club night as part of the Unsound Festival (2018). She graduated composition in the class of prof. Anna Zawadzka-Gołosz at the Academy of Music in Krakow. IN as part of the Swiss-European Mobility Program, she studied with Bettina Skrzypczak in Hochschule Luzern (2018). She perfected her workshop at master classes under under the direction of composers such as Helmut Lachenmann, Wen Deqing and Ivo Medek.
do you need any experimental music (2021) is an audiovisual piece, in which two layers are juxtaposed – the sound one, referring to the genre of noise and experimental music, and the visual one, containing images of the most important world events of 2020, interlaced with abstract graphics. I was inspired to create this piece by a meme showing a burning site and a photo of actor and comedian Will Ferrell screaming: do you need experimental music? In this way, I try to ask questions about the current place of experimental music in its broadest sense, its role and meaning in the new reality, and I wonder about its future. The piece was conceived as audiovisual from the beginning. Music and video are hierarchically equivalent, neither could exist separately. The two layers are closely integrated – changes in the music are reflected in the visuals. To create the animation I used, among other things, music graphic scores by composers such as B. Schaffer or C. Cardew. The opening sequence is based on an algorithmic animation created from the evolutionary spread of a virus. References to a global pandemic appear throughout the piece, from diagrams showing its progression to shots from the video game Plague Inc. that allow the player to create and evolve a pathogen in an effort to annihilate the human population. The aforementioned title meme appears along with other images mocking experimental music,such as J. Kreidler’s “Create Your Own Graphic Scores”. Towards the end, John Cage himself – the father of experimental music – makes a guest appearance in the performance “Water Walk” aired in 1960 on a TV show. The music in my piece alternates between subdued, blurry sounds and harsh, violent overdrives. Distortions, noises and glitches play an important role here. On the one hand they represent what for many is experimental music, on the other they are a “disturbance”, invading our lives. J. Cage also appears here – an ethereal quotation from the piano piece “In a Landscape” is juxtaposed with noisy, clattering sounds. Increasing beats, like an accelerating heartbeat, build up the tension. At the end a distorted voice is heard saying “music won’t save you”. Could this be true? Maybe there is no place for experimental music in the face of an ongoing global crisis? In a way, in this piece I am looking for the answer to the title question, but I leave the reflections on this subject to the listeners. What experimental music is and will be for us, we must ask ourselves.