PRES: the Conference



ms2, Ogrodowa 19


13.10.2017 - 14.10.2017

On 13th and 14th of October 2017 Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź and Adam Mickiewicz Institute will organise a conference devoted to the Polish Radio Experimental Studio (PRES) to mark the 60th anniversary of its founding.
PRES was founded in 1957 in Warsaw. Throughout its history PRES played an important role as  a platform for the expression of creative freedom in the Eastern Block, over time taking on iconic status. It was established just a few years after its peer institutions, such as: the Club d’Essai de la Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française (1948) or the Studio of Electronic Music of the West German Radio (WDR) in Cologne (1951). PRES, just as its Western counterparts, was run by a public broadcaster and under the direction of  the musicologist Józef Patkowski it became one of the most innovative projects of its time.

The conference will discuss the activities of the Experimental Studio of the Polish Radio in the context of centrally planned socialist economy where the state controlled the technological progress. Relationships between arts and PRES, including Oskar Hansen’s design of the working environment of the studio and Instrument – Percussion Laboratory [Instrument perkusyjny] by Krzysztof Wodiczko, will be the centrepiece of the conference.
Further, we will also examine international relations established by the Studio through, inter alia, commissions of music from Fulbright Foundation grantees or cooperation with artists, such as the American musician Michael Ranta and the Italian group Nuove Proposte Sonore.
During the discussion with the second generation of PRES sound engineers, the participants will examine how the sound engineers and composers worked together by using three versions of Bogusław Schaeffer’s Symphony as an example. The programme will also include a lecture on the attention initially received by electro-acoustic music drawn from the example of the works of Krzysztof Penderecki, and a presentation about the relationship between PRES and pop music.
The conference will take place as part of the interdisciplinary “PRES” project.  PRES was the first centre in Central-Eastern Europe to create avant-garde electroacoustic music. The legacy of the avant-garde and its contemporary interpretations are important elements of the POLSKA 100 Programme being implemented by Adam Mickiewicz Institute as part of Poland’s centenary of regaining independence. It is therefore of no surprise that the PRES project stands as one of the pillars of the POLSKA 100 Programme.
Guests invited to Łódź will focus on the phenomenon of the Experimental Studio presented against a wider background. We will pose questions, such as: what made the Italian studios of the second generation open to international cooperation? Why has the UK never initiated its own experimental studio? What specifically is the collective aspect of creating electro-acoustic music? Why was experimental music promoted by art galleries rather than by musical institutions? We will also examine how the production of experimental music supported development strategies of modern museums.

The list of conference participants includes: Antoni Beksiak / Bolesław Błaszczyk / Dariusz Brzostek / Cindy Bylander / David Crowley / David Grubbs / Ewa Guziołek-Tubelewicz / Lukáš Jiřička / Aleksandra Kędziorek / Sanne Krogh Groth / Michał Libera / Michał Mendyk / Florivaldo Menezes / Antoni Michnik / Lars Mørch Finborud / Frances Morgan / Daniel Muzyczuk / Ola Nordal / Barbara Okoń-Makowska / Agnieszka Pindera / Holly Rogers / Tadeusz Sudnik / Krzysztof Szlifirski / Jan Topolski / Joanna Walewska / Laura Zattra / Marek Zwyrzykowski 


13 October 2017

11:30 Official opening
11:45 Honorary guest: Krzysztof Szlifirski 
12:15 Bolesław Błaszczyk: Between creative freedom and institutional dependence. Creation and functioning of the Polish Radio Experimental Studio as the center of the musical avant-garde in an appropriated country
12:45 Dariusz Brzostek & Joanna Walewska: The Polish Radio Experimental Studio as a laboratory


14:00 The Geography of the European Experiment. Panel discussion with: Sanne Krogh Groth, Frances Morgan, Agnieszka Pindera and Laura Zattra 
Sanne Krogh Groth: The status and function of individualisation in the past and present. The case of EMS Stockholm
Frances Morgan: EMS and electronic music in the UK
Agnieszka Pindera: The Polish Radio Experimental Studio and the rest of the world
Laura Zattra: Italian Electronic Music studios of the first and  second-generation (from the 1950s to the 1970s). A History of Collaboration & Innovation
15:30 Antoni Michnik: Michael Ranta in the Polish Radio Experimental Studio
16:00 Sound in the Gallery. Panel discussion with: Lars Mørch Finborud, Daniel Muzyczuk and Holly Rogers
Lars Mørch Finborud: A Forum Of The Arts
Daniel Muzyczuk: The poetics of Intermedial Institutes
Holly Rogers: Sound in the Gallery: The Alternative Spaces for Experimental Music and Audio-Visual Art in the 1960s


19:00 Films with the music by the Polish Radio Experimental Studio
(curators: Jakub Mikurda, Jan Topolski
PWSFTviT Cinema
address: Targowa 61/63

14 October 2017

9:00 Director – editor – performer. The role of a producer in the Polish Radio Experimental Studio. Discussion with: Barbara Okoń-Makowska, Ewa Guziołek-Tubelewicz and Tadeusz Sudnik (host: Michał Mendyk)
9:40 Ola Nordal: “A point of intersection in which Suffering, Vision and Poetry converge”. Arne Nordheim, Warsaw and the significance of the Polish Radio Experimental Studio
10:15 The Polish Radio Experimental Studio as a beyond-musical experiment. Panel discussion with: Antoni Beksiak, David Crowley and Aleksandra Kędziorek
Antoni Beksiak: Between the liberation from instruments and the dependence of material
David Crowley: The Acousto-politics of the Closed Form: Krzysztof Wodiczko’s early experiments with sound
Aleksandra Kędziorek: An Instrument-studio. A design of the Polish Radio Experimental Studio by Oskar Hansen
11:15 Michał Libera: Transfering music from tape to paper. The scores of PRES
11:40 Cindy Bylander: Penderecki’s Psalmus, Brigade of Death and the Reception of Polish Electroacoustic Music


13:00 Lukáš Jiřička: PRES – a space for Hörspiel?
14:00 Flo Menezes: Conceiving “live-electronics in differed time”? Some remarks on Bogusław Schäffer’s electronic piece Symphony
15:15 David Grubbs: Black Room
16:15 Second life of the Polish Radio Experimental Studio. Panel discussion with: Marek Zwyrzykowski (Polish Radio), Michał Libera and Michał Mendyk (Bôłt Records)


18:00 Concert: Thomas Lehn / Wolfram / Tadeusz Sudnik
6. Dzielnica
address: Piotrkowska 102

Free admission


Download the agenda


The conference is a part of the international cultural program of the Centenary of Independence Restoration.

Financed with the means of MKiDN in conjunction with the Centenary of Independence Restoration Program 2017-2021



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