The guitarist Michał Milczarek has just begun working on a new album „Future: ON” – inspired by the work of Stanisław Lem. The album is to be released in a form of sound art in collaboration with Mao Rui, author of the Chinese translation of „The Cyberiad”. The release is to be out in Spring next year, courtesy of Jazz Po Polsku Records. The project’s partner is the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.
The „Future: ON” album will take a form of a futuristic sound art that presents in an abstract way the unique style of Stanisław Lem’s writings. It combines the world of experimental and ambient music with the narration of one of the most famous works written by the Polish master. The music is to be composed and arranged by Michał Milczarek, composer and guitarist, the MM3 leader, with whom he toured around China in the years 2017 and 2019, visiting the largest metropolises. The lyrical aspect is to be handled by Mao Rui, author of the Chinese language version of „The Cyberiad”, released in the Middle Kingdom in March this year. The release will be published in digital form only and will be available on over a dozen Chinese streaming platforms, including the most popular – QQ Music, NetEasy Cloud Music and Kugou Music.
The aesthetics of electronic and ambient music and the very form of sound art are, in my opinion, the ideal environment for Lem’s futurism and timeless message that his works convey. „Future: ON” is my own original filter, my idea to present Lem to the Chinese listener. I offer the opportunity to get acquainted with the works of one of sci-fi literature’s greats through sounds that reflect their unique vibe. They may, at the same time, be both, a captivating track, or a soundtrack to the process of reading his books. The narrative fragments from “The Cyberiad” will be accompanied by ambient sounds, analogue and synthetic tones, as well as samples. There will also be some place for the guitar… I have no doubt that Lem saw the future in a much higher resolution than other people. Through his literature he pressed the „Future: ON” button much earlier than it might have been considered possible. The album is to pay an artistic homage – as Michał Milczarek describes the project.
The main goal of the project is to familiarize Chinese people with Stanisław Lem’s person and works in a completely new form. The project fits just right in with the writer’s 100th birthday anniversary, since he was born on September 12, 1921 in Lviv. He is the most widely translated Polish author, whose books have been published in 50 languages in millions of copies.
Due to the cancellation of many concert tours in Asia and constantly unclear pandemic situation in the World that does not favor travelling, I have decided to broaden the field of Foundation’s work on the Chinese market through publishing actions. The album that we worked on with Michał will open a new chapter in the history of Jazz Po Polsku, and create new conditions and modern tools for promotion on the local music market. It is worth to underline the scale we are talking about in China, as far as streaming platforms are concerned, as there is 600 million users here, compared to Poland’s mere 3 million – says Jakub Krzeszowski, founder of Jazz Po Polsku, a project promoting Polish artists abroad, especially in China, which has seen several hundred events so far.
„The Cyberiad”, by Stanisław Lem, is a collection of stories set in a world of robots. The main protagonists are Trurl and Klapaucius, who compete with each other and create robots, civilizations, as well as whole worlds. Their space reflects the human reality, full of tyrants, power-hungry tricksters, superstitious individuals and social meliorists. The author combines myths and philosophical stories with science-fiction. All this with a refined, almost absurd, humor.
Stanisław Lem’s works are widely acclaimed in China. The first one translated into Chinese was „Solaris” (2005, 2014, pub. The Commercial Press), then there were „His Master’s Voice”, „The Invincible”, „The Futurological Congress”, „Fiasco” and „Eden” (2021, pub. Yilin). It is worth noting that only „Solari” and „The Cyberiad” (2021, pub. Zhejiang Literature and Art Publishing House/Guomai) has been translated directly from Polish, as the other works have been translated from English. This year’s end will see yet another book by Lem published in China. “Summa Technologiae” will be the first book published in a form of philosophical essays.
The „Future: ON” album is produced by the Jazz Po Polsku Foundation and financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. It is partnered by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute. The honorary patronage is taken by Stanisław Lem’s Future of Poland Institute. Media patrons include: Culture.pl, Guomai (China), Jazz Forum, JazzSoul.pl, Radio Jazz Po Polsku.
“Future: ON” artistic concept and radio play author: Michał Milczarek.
Project producers: Jakub Krzeszowski and Michał Milczarek.
Chosen fragments from “The Cyberiad” read by: Mao Rui.
Recorded by: Mikołaj Poncyliusz at WerMik Studio.
Michał Milczarek – Polish multimedia artist, composer and guitarist. His works revolve around ambient, minimalistic and jazz styles. His style is characterized by creating guitar soundscape tones and frequent outdoor recordings. So far he has recorded several solo albums, as well as band projects like MM3 and NUDA. After a few years of intensive touring (including China), he is now focused on multimedia and visual art projects. https://www.michalmilczarek.com
Mao Rui (毛蕊) – Chinese language lector in Poland and promoter of Chinese culture, who graduated from the Polish department of the Beijing Foreign Language University, had her Ph.D. at the Faculty of Polish Studies at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków. She is currently the Head of Polish Studies at the Shanghai University of International Studies. Translator, author of the Chinese translation of “The Cyberiad” and co-author of “Summa Technologiae”, both by Stanisław Lem. Author of the translation of the Anthology of Polish Dramas (to be published in 2022).
Jakub Krzeszowski – manager and culture promoter, founder of the Jazz Po Polsku project and Foundation, which involved several hundred Polish concerts around the World, mostly in China. Arranges and carries out culture marketing campaigns, and specializes in artistic event communication. Collaborates both, with cultural institutions and independent artists. Graduated from Law Studies and Public Relations. Granted scholarship by the Minister of Culture. The Jazz Po Polsku Foundation, whose founder he is, presents a wide spectrum of opportunities for young Polish jazz musicians on the international arena. He helps in establishing cultural collaboration and integrates artistic circles from various countries. Strives to refresh and strengthen the image of Polish jazz music in the consciousness of foreign listeners.
The Adam Mickiewicz Institute is a national culture institution whose goal is to build a stable interest in the Polish culture around the World. The Institute collaborates with foreign partners and initiates international cultural exchange in dialogue with recipients, in tune with the guidelines of Poland’s foreign policy. The Institute has carried out cultural projects in 70 countries on 6 continents, e.g. Great Britain, France, Russia, Israel, Germany, Turkey, USA, Canada, Australia, Morocco, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, as well as China, Japan and Korea. Within its scope it has so far carried out 38 strategic programs attended by 60 million spectators. The Adam Mickiewicz Institute is organized by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. https://iam.pl/pl