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Published on Jun 29, 2016
Polycoro Chamber Choir John Wiens, Artistic Director Soloists: Scott Reimer, Zohreh Gervais, PJ Buchan, Sarah Jo Kirsch
Performed at Crescent Fort Rouge in Winnipeg Manitoba on May 18, 2016.
Four Songs About Not Being There is set to texts by four tragic twentieth-century Polish poets: Władysław Broniewski (imprisoned and repressed by the NKVD), Andrzej Bursa (a rebel writer who died at age 25), Miron Białoszewski (survivor of the Warsaw Uprising of 1944, later ostracized for his homosexuality), and Tadeusz Borowski (prisoner of several Nazi labor camps including Auschwitz). Palej selected poems that address the ideas of loss or lack. Broniewski’s “Cisza” (Silence) is a dialogue with the ominous absence of sound, Bursa’s “Śmierć Mamusi” (Mommy’s death) a shocking confrontation with utter aloneness, Białoszewski’s “Ach, gdyby, gdyby nawet piec zabrali...” (Oh, even, even if they took the stove) a darkly humorous contemplation on the gap left behind by the disappearance of something deeply familiar, and Broniewski’s “Wołanie Marii” (Calling for Mary) a scream of longing for a missing beloved person whose fate is unknown.
Translation: Tell me, what is your name? - Silence. - Please repeat because I couldn't hear? - Silence. - Is that you, walking on dry leaves in the spring? is that you the lark sings of when the grasses grow? - I am silence, be quiet proud one. . - I will take you to the casket.
(Dripping noises) .....- mommy give me some bread with cheese .....- mommy is not there nobody will give you bread with cheese
I have a stove Similar to an triumphal arc!
They are taking my stove Similar to a triumphal arc!!
Give me back the stove Similar to a triumphal arc!!!
They took it. All that's left behind is a grey naked cavity grey naked cavity.
And that's all I need: grey naked cavity grey-na-ked-ca-vi-ty greynakedcavity
Mary who is near, Mary who is alive, anywhere you are I send birds, fleeting leaves are songs. Mary, at night I repeat your name, Mary, Mary, I bend over the night as if it is a face, but I can't recall the face. Mary, Mary, Here I am calling you with an ancient song like the sound of a harp, Mary with eyes of an Angel! Mary who is alive! Mary who is dead!