Editor’s Note: This post is part of series previewing the 2014 New Music Festival at the University of Louisville School of Music.
Polish composer Paweł Hendrich visits Louisville this November for two performances of his works at the University of Louisville’s 2014 New Music Festival. Hendrich has received commissions from such internationally acclaimed ensembles as Ensemble Intercontemporain and Ensemble Musikfabrik and his works have been performed internationally at major festivals. In 2007 Hendrich was one of thirteen composers accepted into a four-year composition program run by the European Krysztof Penderecki Music Center. Hendrich first studied composition with Grazyna Pstrokonska-Nawratil at the Lipiński Academy of Music in Wrocław, Poland. He later studied with University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award-winning composer and acclaimed professor of composition York Höller at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne, Germany. Since 2008 he has been on the faculty of the K. Lipiński Academy of Music in Wrocław, Poland.
Paweł Hendrich’s music creates a rich, internally coherent and expressive sound universe. Often inspired by scientific discoveries, his musical language creates its own rules, which the composer has elaborately systemized and expanded, captivating the listener with its involving narration and visceral quality. Hendrich’s music often includes unique timbres, as modifications in the quality of the sound shape the structure of his music and create a sense of drive and momentum in his work. This exploration of timbre includes traditional means of playing instruments as well as an array of non-traditional techniques. Varying uses of electronics are also employed in his music to both highlight and expand the sonic possibilities of acoustic instruments.
The first performance of Hendrich’s music in Louisville will be on Thursday, November 6th, 8:00pm, at Uof L’s Rauch Planetarium. The program will showcase electronic and improvised music. Hendrich will perform with fellow composer Cezary Duchnowski as part of the duo Phonos ek Mechanes. Phonos ek Mechanes—whose name comes from Greek, meaning “sound from the machine”—creates music with computers that are controlled by typical instruments, such as piano, guitar and violin, in a type of electronic music performance they call “human electronics”. This type of performance allows the gestures of performing an acoustic instrument to control the electronic sounds being produced by the computer, opening up a wide array of sonic possibilities in the duo’s work.
Paweł Hendrich’s music will also be featured in the 2014 New Music Festival postlude concert, on November 14th at 8:00pm in UofL’s Comstock Hall. This special event will feature the Illinois Modern Ensemble, performing Emergon Alfa for large ensemble and electronics, alongside the works of fellow Polish composers Agata Zubel, Cezary Duchnowski, Ewa Trebacz and New Music festival director Krzysztof Wołek.
For more on Paweł Hendrich, please visit www.hendrich.pl. For more information about the University of Louisville’s 2014 New Music festival and event listings, please visit http://louisville.edu/music/newmusic
Justin Giarrusso, Andrew Maxbauer and Ian Schroeder contributed to this article. They are students of Dr. Rebecca Jemian, a member of the music theory faculty at the University of Louisville.