week 29: Dariusz Klimczak

The Music

“Toe the Line” (3:59 mins) by Helen Davey
 (for 3 voices  – with effects – and two prepared pianos)



The Art

“Journey 2” by Dariusz Klimczak

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Dariusz Klimczak's "Journey 2", photomontage.

Dariusz Klimczak’s “Journey 2”, photomontage.


Artist’s notes

Dariusz Klimczak

(English translation below)

Inspiracją był występ awangardowego Teatru Snów, który oglądałem na festiwalu na Pomorzu w Polsce.

Pomyślałem: co by się stało, gdybym wyrwał szczudlarzy z kontekstu i osadził ich w zupełnie nowych realiach? Tak powstał cykl “Frimagination”.

The inspiration for me was the avant-garde Polish group performances Theater of Dreams, which I saw during the festival in Pomerania, Poland.

I thought: what would happen if a man on stilts break out of context and embed it in a different reality. That’s how the whole cycle “Frimagination”.


My Music

I love the kooky vibe of Dariusz’s artwork and this one got me thinking about the silent and spoken relationships between the characters. For example, I like that there’s an observer in this artwork who may have been mumbling under his breath as the white lady and top hat man do their thing. His thoughts? Well…  the only Polish expression I know is “nie  moj cyrk nie moje malpe” which literally means  “not my circus, not my monkey” – I like to think he may have thought that.

Musically I was aiming for teetering and a stilted (pardon the punn) precariousness to evoke the surreal quality of Dariusz’s work. I discovered some suitably wacky effects for the vocals and one of the piano tracks too. Hope you enjoy the ride.

I really welcome your feedback and please share this around to anyone interested in art, music & cross-arts thing-a-me-jigs (via those little icons below).
Thanks and wishing you a balanced journey

9 comments to week 29: Dariusz Klimczak

  • Kiedy Helen zaproponowała, że zilustuje muzycznie jeden z moich fotomontaży, byłem zaintrygowany i dumny. Słyszałem jej wcześniejsze, oniryczne utwory i spodziewałem się, że będzie to coś delikatnego i poetyckiego w rodzaju Laurie Anderson. Tymczasem otrzymałem melanż przypominający połącznie Toma Waitsa i The Residents 🙂 Waitsa uwielbiam, byłem na jego koncercie w Warszawie, a fanem Rezydentów jestem od wielu lat, więc powiedzieć, że nie jestem zawiedziony, to zdecydowanie za mało 😛
    Dzięki Helen!

    • Helen

      Hey Dariusz, According to online translations, I read that you like the piece alot – I’m so glad about that and am completely honoured that my music reminds you of of Tom Waits, the Residents and Laurie Anderson. WOW. Humbled is probably a better word!

    • Here’s is the English translation for Dariusz’s comment (with kind thanks to Agatha Czekaj for her Polish expertise) :

      I was intrigued and proud, when Helen offered to arrange a musical illustration to one of my photomontage. I heard her oniric music before, so I have expected to get something soft and poetic. Something like Laurie Anderson – whereas I received music which to me, is a mix of Tom Waits and The Residents. I really like Tom Waits, I event went to his concert in Warsaw. I am also a huge fan of The Residents, so saying “i am not disappointed” is a grave understatement.

  • Silvia

    You did a great job with this piece of music, congrats! You managed outstandingly well to evoke the surreal quality of the picture, wow! Listening to it really puts me into the atmosphere of a Hitchcock or Stanley Kubrick movie, uhhhh, a bit scary – but fascinating!

    • Helen

      Silvia, it’s gratifying to know my music did the surreal thing for you – although I didn’t mean it to be scary; I was aiming more toward precariousness and uncertainty; maybe even a sense of potential threat, which is I suppose, a little menacing… I’m flattered that you experienced a movie-like atmosphere.

  • Kristin

    Your creative range and diversity continues to amaze. I was challenged by this piece. While naturally comfortable with visual surrealism I discovered I had to enter the sound piece gradually. It took a few listens before I felt comfortable with the whole piece and now I hear it with increasing depth of appreciation. Delighted with every creation!

  • Helen

    Kristin, I so appreciate your comment. I too found it a challenging one as I was working with that uneasy sensation of trying to keep ones’ balance under difficult circumstances… The white lady and top hatted gentlemen seemed to me to be in conversation – hence the musical vocal exchanges – and despite listening to them for hours (as I was creating their voicings and during the mixing), I still don’t know for sure what they are talking about!

  • Well, balance is crucial here, but the music gives a wonderful sense of circus music in a dreamed, unbalanced world… eerie and surreal, as the piece is. Very creative. I think Uneasy is the perfect word, here. And I totally agree that the observer is what makes this artwork most interesting. The trio is classic, compositionally and of course holds all sorts of symbolism, but also, it is just that famous zen koan if no one is there to see. Monkeys or no monkeys 😉

  • Helen

    Bronle I’m smiling now – I actually had a vocal line in the intro (which I later deleted) of a ringmaster calling in the audience for the show…but favoured the instrumental circus themes instead.
    I wondered if the observer might have a monkey under his hat?

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