MUSICA ELECTRONICA

The Polish Radio Experimental Studio (PRES) in Warsaw was established in 1957 on the initiative of musicologist and acoustician Józef Patkowski. He visited electroacoustic music centers in Milan, Gravesano, Paris and Cologne to gain experience in already existing electronic and concrete music studios.

The intention of the studio was to give composers the opportunity to work both with concrete (French fashion) and electronic (German fashion) material. It was to serve both artistic experiments and the needs of Polish Radio, providing the sound content for radio broadcasts, radio plays, reportages and other radio forms. One of the characteristic features of the Experimental Studio was its interdisciplinary artistic approach. From the very beginning, the creators of theater, film, visual arts and literature collaborated with the studio. The PRES has become an important laboratory, especially for short art films: composers associated with the studio contributed to the creation of the "Polish school of animation", whose most outstanding directors were Jan Lenica and Walerian Borowczyk. In 1969 Krzysztof Wodiczko's "Personal Instrument" - an interactive sound apparatus in the form of a pair of headphones and sound sensors placed on the hands was also created in the studio.

 

Initially, the studio equipment included the following devices: a sine wave generator, a square wave generator, an oscillograph, filters: high and low pass (RFT), two Sander-Jansen SJ100K tape recorders and a simple mixer.

An electronical engineer Krzysztof Szlifirski became the technical manager and co-developer of the Experimental Studio. At the same time, an electronic technician, and later an engineer and composer of music for tape, Eugeniusz Rudnik, started working in the studio.

 

During this period, the first works in the Experimental Studio were composed by: Włodzimierz Kotoński Study for One Cymbal Stroke (1959) and Microstructures (1963); Krzysztof Penderecki Psalmus (1961); Zbigniew Wiszniewski dB, Hz, s (1962); Andrzej Dobrowolski Music for Magnetic Tape No. 1 (1962); Bogusław Schaeffer Symphony for Tape (1966), created in cooperation with the sound engineer Bohdan Mazurek, who started to work at the Experimental Studio in 1962 and during the work on the Symphony, he already had experience of working on many electronic productions of the studio.

The film music was being created in the studio by Andrzej Markowski, a conductor and promoter of new music in Poland and around the world.

 

The sound engineers Bohdan Mazurek and Eugeniusz Rudnik also started to create their own compositions. Knowing perfectly the possibilities of the studio, managing fluently various tools and sound generators, they created their own, original aesthetics of electro-acoustic music.

 

In 1963 the Polish Radio Experimental Studio was expanded and equipped with new instruments. It moved to a larger room, this time designed especially for the needs of the studio by an architect Oskar Hansen. The decoration of the interior - called the "black room" - made of red and black walls consisting of rotating panels with smooth (sound-reflecting) and perforated (sound-absorbing) surfaces. The furnishings also included modern spot lighting and a system of light metal racks rising at an angle, facilitating access to the heavy studio equipment.

 

The studio received a modern EMT stereo mixing console, 3 Telefunken stereo tape recorders and a number of other electronic devices. Many original devices were also constructed by the manager of the technical workshop, Wojciech Makowski together with Krzysztof Szlifirski.

 

Until 1970, a series of subsequent pieces for solo tape and for instruments and tape had been written in the Warsaw studio. Among them: Music for Magnetic Tape and Solo Oboe (1965) and Music for Strings, Two Groups of Wind Instruments and Two Loudspeakers (1966) by Andrzej Dobrowolski; 3 Electronic Postludes (1962) and Burlesque (1963) by Zbigniew Wiszniewski; Echoes II for 1, 2, 3 or 4 pianos, percussion and tape (the first instrumental-electronic piece produced at the Experimental Studio, 1963) and Antiphons for soprano, piano, French horn, chimes, 4 gongs and tape (1963) by Tomasz Sikorski;  Lesson II (1965), Collage (1965) and Dixi (1967) by Eugeniusz Rudnik; Assemblage (1965), Monodrama (radio opera, 1968), Concerto for Tape (1968), ES Jazz (1969) and Heraklitiana for solo and tape for 12 alternative performers (1970) by Bogusław Schaeffer; AELA (1970) by Włodzimierz Kotoński.

Bohdan Mazurek created a series of his own electronic compositions for tape: Esperienza (1967), Epitaph (1969), Sinfonia Rustica (1970) and another 12 pieces in the years of 1971–1982.

 

In 1969, the Norwegian composer Arne Nordheim worked in the studio. His Solitaire is one of the most outstanding positions made in the Experimental Studio at the time. Nordheim visited the Warsaw studio several times, creating here, in cooperation with Eugeniusz Rudnik, his important works for tape and for instruments.

The following composers also worked in the Experimental Studio: Herbert Brün (USA), Lejaren A. Hiller (USA), Heinz-Paul Dietrich (East Germany), Wilhelm Zobl (Austria), Dennis Eberhard (USA), Tamas Ungvary (Sweden), Bengt Emil Janson (Sweden), Nigel Osborne (UK), Roman Berger (Czechoslovakia), Vittorio Gelmetti (Italy).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 1970, the Experimental Studio began to switch to voltage control. In 1970, a Moog synthesizer, and in 1973, a portable Synthi AKS synthesizer were purchased. In 1980, the studio got a 16-track tape recorder 3M (USA) and the Polish Fonia SM 131 mixing console.

In 1983 the studio moved to more spacious rooms, and in 1986 it received new digital equipment: Yamaha, MacIntosh and IBM computers and a Yamaha DX7 synthesizer. A separate computer studio was launched.

 

In the seventies and early eighties, the next generation of composers appeared at the Experimental Studio. Among them: Elżbieta Sikora, who previously completed a two-year internship under the supervision of Pierre Schaeffer and François Bayle, when she worked in the GRM studio in Paris; in the PRES Sikora creates The view from the window (1971), Journey II (1975) and Letters to M. (1980); Paweł Szymański La folia (1979) and ...under the plane tree (1980); Krzysztof Baculewski Quartier Latin (1981); Ryszard Szeremeta Omaggio all' Anonimo together with E. Rudnik (1979), Points I and Points II (1981); Anna Zawadzka Girare for percussion and tape (1986); Jarosław Kapuściński Chagalliana I for violin, synthesizer and tape (1990).

 

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