“Solitude of Sounds: in memoriam Tomasz Sikorski” is a collection of works created in Polish Radio Experimental Studio by Polish pioneer of minimalism, Tomasz Sikorski and by his friends and followers
Száblocs Esztényi – Created Music No 3: in memoriam Tomasz Sikorski (1989) 10:40
Tomasz Sikorski – Echoes II (1963) 16:26
Tomasz Sikorski – Antiphones (1963) 6:49
Tomasz Sikorski – Diario 87 (1987) 7:36
Kasia Głowicka – Presence (2007) 17:18
Száblocs Esztényi – Concerto (1971) 28:24
Tomasz Sikorski – Solitude of Sounds (1975) 22:20
The American flavour of minimalism has an “urban” soundscape that emerges from frenetic human interaction. It is the environment that informs a lifestyle and thus, informs the composer. On the other hand, the Dutch style of minimalism is what I’d call “Hippie minimalism”. It is informed by culture of activism, as seen in Louis Andriessen’s Workers Union and by the pragmatism within the Dutch ethic. This brings me to what the Polish style of minimalism is mostly known for as well as personal experiences and environment of its creators. It’s been called “mystic minimalism” and at its core there is an inherent interest to express emotions in a grandiose way.
Sikorski’s minimalism was unique to any of these native and foreign influences. He was a philosopher-minimalist concerned with the meditative properties of his compositions. He was impressed by the existential crisis in Kierkegaard’s philosophical work, The Sickness Unto Death. Sikorski’s attraction to despair may have had roots in personal tragedy, where intoxication, abandonment and ridicule plagued his existence.
His philosophy could be as well paraphrased by Queen’s existential Bohemian Rhapsody: “nothing really matters, anyone can see, nothing really matters…” On the other hand, literally every note matters in his distinct minimalist style. It is here that I’ve identified most strongly with Sikorski’s longing for brutal beauty. In this space, one can go so far as to be intentionally painful.