Thursday, April 5, 2018

Moonrise Press Poets in the News - California Quarterly, Pushcart Nominations, and More

There are lots of news about our very active poets published by Moonrise Press: Beverly M. Collins (author of Mud in Magic), Marlene Hitt (author of Clocks and Water Drops), Margaret Saine (author of Lit Angels), as well as Susan Rogers, Lois P. Jones, Maja Trochimczyk, and Dorothy Skiles (published in Meditations on Divine Names and in  Chopin with Cherries  anthologies). Lets review them in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent news.  

Photo by Maja Trochimczyk


The California Quarterly vol. 44 by 1 was edited by Maja Trochimczyk. This volume features almost 60 poets, including Marlene Hitt, Kathabela Wilson, Lois P. Jones, Susan Rogers, and Margaret Saine - all published by Moonrise Press in the past, as well as Deborah P. Kolodji, Madeleine S. Butcher, and William Scott Galasso.  Cover by Abby Diamond - a portrait of a local yucca in a bud, ready to blossom, using her technique of "torn paper mosaic." (Her work can be found on Etsy: AbbyDiamondArt).

Copies of the CQ may be obtained by ordering online at , or by mailing a request for a specific​ issue together with a check for $10.00 per copy. Do not forget to name the specific issue you are requesting (this one is 44/1) and submit your order to:  CSPS VP/Membership 2560 Calabria Ct, Dublin, CA 94568. Every poet is invited to join the CSP Society, online or by mail. First fill out the form on the website, then print it and send with payments by mail to: 
CSPS Vice President - Membership, 
2560 Calabria Court, Dublin, California  94568

The editor comments: "When editing this volume first I thought I should have a theme of spring, new life, renewal, then i realized that poets submitted mostly about the fall (what was currently written), so I had to revise my theme into the "cycle of life" - in its physical natural beauty and spiritual depth.  I'm thrilled to have encountered so many new wonderful poets, and to be able to publish the work of talented friends. I used some haiku, including two of mine, as comments on shorter poems, and wrote a new poem to close the issue."

You can find the table of contents of the California Quarterly, Volume 44, Number 1 on Poetry Laurels Blog:

Photo of maples in Warsaw by Maja Trochimczyk


                      ~ for my children

No fear, no hate, not even a mild dislike*—
we leave our heavy burdens, shards of memories
broken, all too broken, at the bottom of crystal stairs
beneath clouds of white camellias, petals swirling
through air like the snow of forgetfulness

Perfect symmetry of blossoms
points the way — up, up, always up
rainbow crystal stairs, revealed
one by one as we ascend — inwards,
outwards — dancing spirals of our DNA

We get to know this place — these depths,
these heights — for once, for all lifetimes

With each step, pure notes resonate
and expand into clear, spacious chords —
the music of the spheres rings out, wave by wave
expanding from our open hearts

Each chord — harmonious, different —
each melody in this vast symphony
sweetly twines around another, and another
until all are One Song, One Wisdom —
of stem and flower, of leaf and root
in this Cosmic Tree of humanity

Arbor Cosmica —

We have been here
all along without knowing

(c) 2018 by Maja Trochimczyk

Photo of a maple in Warsaw by Maja Trochimczyk


The editors of the 2017 issue of the Altadena Poetry Review nominated Dorothy Skiles and Susan Rogers for the highly regarded Pushcart Poetry Prize. The full list of nominees included:  Thelma T. Reyna, Cathi Sandstrom, Dorothy Skiles, David Slavin and Alicia Elkort. Nominations for this prize are submitted by editors of poetry books and journals who can present up to six names/six poems for recognition from the year of publications. On April 16 at 7 pm you can listen to their poems at the Altadena Public Library.  

Meanwhile, the same and other local poets will have their work published in the Altadena Poetry Review 2018, the cover is above and the reading will be on April 29, 2018.


Ami Kaye of Glass Lyre Press edited another wonderful anthology, entitled Collateral Damage. In her words: "the mission of the Collateral Damage project is to raise funds and greater awareness about children with basic survival needs, for programs that protect and educate children and foster child advocacy. This book will highlight children traumatized by school shootings and gun violence, children who are abused and exploited, and those caught in the crossfire of wars and political strife. .. As current custodians of this world we need to protect the future: our children. If we work together we can harness the strength to speak up for those not allowed a voice; turning away is not an option anymore."  The cover is by Tracy McQueen and the poets include: Ambika Talwar, Kathabela Wilson, Martin Willitts, Jr., and Maja Trochimczyk. Their work appeared in Chopin with Cherries Anthology in 2010. 


Photo by Arturas Morozovas from Delfi magazine, Lithuania.

Earlier in the spring, Maja Trochimczyk had the pleasure of talking about her immigrant experience, family war-time traumas, and life in general to two journalists from Europe. Polish-Lithuanian journalist Witold Janczys wrote a story based on her interview for a Lithuanian publication, Delfi, the largest portal in Baltic countries. Polish music journalist and broadcaster Ewa Szczecinska from the Polish Radio recorded an interview to be broadcast in installments - the series has just began - in Polish  Here are the links, and a photo from the Lithuanian publication - translated from Polish into Russian!


Beverly M. Collins and Maja Trochimczyk at Phoenix House Venice with their books.

On Saturday, February 24, 2018, eminent poet Beverly M. Collins visited Phoenix House Venice residential treatment program for adult men to celebrate Black History Month with poetry.  An accomplished, prize-winning author of two books and hundreds of poems published in a variety of journals, Beverly read her poems and discussed their inspirations. Some of her witty and wise verse has been collected in two books Mud in Magic (Moonrise Press, 2015) and Quiet Observations (2006).

Beverly M. Collins with her 2015 book Mud in Magic

Beverly was joined in the reading by Maja Trochimczyk (poet and Senior Director of Planning at Phoenix House who organized the event) and two patients from the treatment program who read excerpts of their excellent work in progress. The audience of nearly 50 men was very attentive and interested. The afternoon ended with the listeners using one word to describe what they love the most in life: family, sports, art, sunsets, etc... At the end of a poetic afternoon, Beverly and Maja donated books of poetry to Phoenix House.

Meanwhile, Maja Trochimczyk wrote and posted for everyone spring holiday wishes, for all ways of celebrating the spring, from Easter to Spring Equinox: 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

"Gorecki in Context" at PAHA 75th Annual Meeting in Washington D.C. (January 2018)

Maja Trochimczyk presents Gorecki in Context. Photo by Marcin Szerle

The edited volume "Gorecki in Context: Essays on Music" (by Maja Trochimczyk, published in December 2017) had its public debut at the 75th Annual Meeting of the Polish American Historical Association in Washington, D.C.  The book was placed on display with other book by PAHA members, and was discussed during the paper by Dr. Maja Trochimczyk, entitled: "The Myth of the Third Symphony: Gorecki in California"

Photo by Marcin Szerle

The presentation focused on the performance history of the Third Symphony Symphony of Sorrowful Songs (composed in 1976, world-famous since the Nonesuch recording of 1992, and conducted by Gorecki himself in Los Angeles).  The author organized his visit and ensured that the composer, who was not thrilled about metropolitan performances, but rather interested in small-town ambience of "ordinary people" was comfortable and able to express his unique musical vision. 

Since the projector malfunctioned, the presentation became more traditional - with copies of the handout distributed among the audience. Among other aspects of the Third Symphony, its use of the lullaby as an expressive and melodic model was pointed out and illustrated by singing the Polish lullabies. Luckily, the audience did not go to sleep. 

The lullabies are characterized with limited melodic outlines, reduced to three or two notes, slow repeated motion, that may be associated with rocking a baby to sleep. The step-wise semitonal motion in Bzi-bzi-bzibziana is cited in the strings in the opening of the Third Movement of the Third Symphony.

Photo by Marcin Szerle

The audience was fascinated with Gorecki's views on the extremely slow and tranquil music in the Third Symphony - and quite difficult to perform in sustained way, without losing focus or intonation.  Dr. Trochimczyk cited Gorecki's words to USC Thornton School of Music students who played his work with dedication and attention to every detail. As a result, the composer was very pleased with their interpretation. The symphony clocked at 65 minutes, compared to typical 55-56 minutes length in other interpretations. The main difference stemmed from the much slower tempi in the monumental, arch=like first movement, consisting of two canons framing an entry of the solo soprano. 

The composer discussed in detail the general expressive character of the symphony as follows:

Movement No. 1, Lento sostenuto tranquillo ma cantabile (34’53’’): 

Górecki: "Some general remarks: Please sustain the half notes, without diminuendo, in a contemplative mood. It should all be sostenuto and very tranquil, very cantabile. That is all […] Did you practice this section slower or faster?" 

Students: "Faster!"   

Górecki: "Nonetheless, I would like to play it slower. This is the whole problem. […] Here, in this music, we have to surrender ourselves to this other dimension of time. We have to slow down. Only then the sonority will be fantastic: the higher the music will go, the more distinctly it will sound. I dream of writing such tranquil music. I do not want to compose anything that echoes the modern "rush" - the cell phones, the telephones and faxes. It has to be calm. Life is too beautiful to be wasted in this way, by rushing things so much. How should I explain it to you? Perhaps you should think about an elevator: you leave behind the basement of everyday life, filled with noises, distractions and anxieties, and you take the elevator up to the tenth floor, or even into the sky of timelessness. When you are in this music, time slows down, it is as if you were in heaven, it is like eternity. "

Movement No. 3, Lento cantabile – semplice (21’16’’)

Gorecki: "Let us now take a small "breathing space" so that you can understand my intentions. This is a mother's song. This song has to be expressed both by the orchestra and the soloist. It has to be contemplative in mood, but still maintain the tempo. It approximates the speed of slow walking, when one walks alone, lost in thought. We have to enter into this mood. It is as if we were walking, or even slowly dancing. You have to think about walking here."
"For me it is a very difficult movement because I do not usually engage in conducting and I do not know how to enchant you with my hand movements, but music carries me away and I may at some spots (and please forgive me if I do) make a wrong movement at a certain time, but you know the score and could play on. So then do not look at me, at what I am doing, but listen to each other, listen to what happens around you."

Gorecki in Context among Polish American books at PAHA's 75th Annual Meeting.

paperback, 420 pages, $40.00, published in December 2017.

The paperback, due to its large size, is divided into four e-books in E-Pub format

More information about the book is available on this blog, with the table of contents: 

and on Moonrise Press websites: 

Friday, December 22, 2017

Best Wishes for a Happy and Creative 2018 from Moonrise Press!

We wish all our readers, authors, and book lovers the most peaceful and happy holidays, with lots of time for reading and resting, and the most creative and successful New Year 2018!

May your literary, poetic, and artistic interests come to fruition!
May you write, create, and publish what you always dreamed about!
May your readers enjoy the fruit of your efforts and share their delight!

With best wishes,
Moonrise Press

At Moonrise Press, we publish poetry, especially spiritual, and also by women. We also publish non-fiction books about Polish history and culture. Another project is bringing out reprints of classic wisdom texts, such as Ethics by Spinoza that appeared in 2017.

In 2017 the following titles were issued by Moonrise Press, in reverse chronological order.





3rd Illustrated Edition, 2017

Earlier, we have also published the following books of poetry: 





Thursday, September 21, 2017

Our First Fiction Book in Polish - Hanna Kulenty's "Odwrocony Dom" ["The Inverted House"]

Moonrise Press is proud to present its first novel in Polish, written by composer Hanna Kulenty-Majoor and available in the U.S. in paperback format since October 2017. 

Cover of Odwrocony Dom/ Inverted House by Kaja Majoor

ISBN  978-1-945938-12-2  (paperback)

ISBN 9978-1-945938-13-9 (e-book, E-Pub format, in preparation)

You may purchase the paperback here (
Additional booksellers will have this book for you in about two months.


"Time and its dimensions, time squared, time cubed" ... is not only my motto in music, but also in literature. In music I do not try to stop time, but only to "slow down" the flow of time and to give the listener a sense of its other dimensions. Similarly, in the literature I try to do the same.

My first book "Inverted House" consists of two parts: the first part covers the years 2005 - 2008 and the second part is set in the period of a few months of my life in 2015. I started writing this novel around 2012. Initially, it was an attempt to quickly register a collection of my weird dreams and visions. Here, I will add that the dream and the awakened state are inseparable in the novel, and influence its form. It all depends on how we look at it... That is why the title is "Inverted House" - "Odwrocony Dom"  It is "inverted" or reflected in the mirror - as in the Magritte image.

What I have done so far only in music, I began to transpose into the language of literature. Transposition - this is a good term because I actually wrote this book a bit like a music work. "I show" different scenes in it (let's call it conventionally, "scenes") that recur many times. Every time I get the camera closer  to the image (so to speak), showing more and more details. In my music, I use obsessive leitmotives, which evolve into each other in their exterior and interior outlines. I do the same in a book. 

I am animating and extending "frozen movie images" which are a clear record of my dreams and visions; then I provide them with longer narratives. I take these scenes under the "magnifying glass"  not only in my imagination, but as if under the microscope, so you are an eyewitness! In music, I write down what I hear, see, and feel and I have had some practice in doing it. In literature, I write down what I hear, see, and feel with a little less (true) practice. It is, what it is... You have to start somewhere, from something. I write down how time flies, literally, with all the commas and ellipses, without editing, as soon as possible, so as not to forget something, or miss an important detail.


Hanna Kulenty-Majoor, a Polish-Dutch composer, has been working as a freelance writer since 1985, pursuing numerous commissions from major soloists, ensembles and orchestras. An author of more than a hundred compositions - from solo works, through chamber music, symphony, opera, to theater and film - she has created a series of distinctive musical styles, starting from a "polyphony of arcs" technique (developed in the Masters' thesis), then the technique of "trance in European music" (most notably used in the opera "Mother of Black-Winged Dreams" and the technique of "polyphony of space-time" (developed in the doctoral dissertation and used in major symphonic works and operas). 

Her music is recognizable almost from the first note, and sustains listeners interest through its tension, unexpected twists and turns of superimposed layers of music and emotion to last note. Her music now is referred to as "surrealist music" (or "musique surrealistique" - everything sounds better in French!). Her works have been performed on all continents by such ensembles as the Kronos and Arditti String Quartets, ereprijs of the Netherlands, National Philharmonic Orchestra in Warsaw, Poland, and National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice.  Hanna Kulenty-Majoor has taught at major music institutions in the USA, Canada, Great Britain, Denmark, Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Lithuania, Poland. She also participated in many juries of music competitions. Currently, she serves as professor of composition at the Music Academy in Bydgoszcz, Poland. 

She studied composition under the direction of W. Kotoński at the Music Academy in Warsaw and Louis Andriessen at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. In 1990 she was a guest composer of the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (daad) in Berlin. Kulenty-Majoor is a recipient of a number of important awards, of which the most valuable is winning the 50th International Tribune of Composers and receiving the Mozart Medal of the UNESCO International Music Council for the First Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra (2003). She also recently received a lifetime achievement award from the Polish Composers' Union.

Maja Trochimczyk and Hanna Kulenty with "Odwrocony Dom" in South Pasadena, September 30, 2017.
Photo by Lucyna Przasnyski.


Recently I call my music not only "polyphony of space-time", but also "musique surrealistique." Why? Because I am a composer who consciously connects and interlaces particular musical elements in such a way as to change them ... - in time, in multiple layers of time, or "times." I try, for example, to stretch the melody so that the apparent lack of contact with this melody impacts our subconscious. At other times, I try to accelerate that melody so that there is no room for any reflection, and only our super-consciousness guesses the possible prosody or outline of that melody. I change the times (durations and velocity, acceleration and deceleration) of musical elements. I change their states of being, as it were. I'm a music surrealist and not a sur-culturalist, because I do not bury and abandon the convention.

I am a surrealist musician precisely because I convey to the listener the states and emotional gestures that may accompany the musical conventions (but do not have to do so). I am more interested in the imitation and transformation of nature directly than in the imitation of someone's imitation - that is, of musical convention. I am most interested in creating or evoking emotional gestures in my music that should move, touch, inspire my listeners; such gestures have been known from the very beginning of the music. I am  also interested in making these gestures more realistic; to this, the conventions, such as the "human" melody, are secondary. I do not play with the baroque style, but I play with emotional state, or energy which can accompany the baroque style... I am not afraid of emotions, not only because music is made of emotions, but also because music is above all emotions! Is not it?

NOTE: Since the book is in Polish, the information about it is also in Polish. 

"Czas i jego wymiary, czas do kwadratu, czas do sześcianu"… – to nie tylko moje motta w muzyce, ale również i w literaturze. Tak jak w muzyce nie próbuję zatrzymywać czasu, a jedynie ten czas "spowolnić" i dać słuchaczowi odczuć jego inne wymiary, tak w literaturze staram się robić to samo.

Moja pierwsza książka „Odwrócony Dom" składa się z dwóch części. Pierwsza część obejmuje lata 2005 – 2008. Druga część okres kilku miesięcy z mojego życia w 2015 roku.  Zaczęłam pisać tę powieść ok 2002 roku. Początkowo była to próba szybkiego zarejestrowania zbioru moich dziwnych snów – wizji, a tutaj dodam, że sen i jawa są w powieści nierozerwalne, a potem nadawanie temu formy. Dodałam sporo faktów z mojego życia, przemyślenia filozoficzne i sporo fantazji. Taka trochę "literatura faktów". Surrealizm czy realizm?… Zależy z której strony na to spojrzymy… Dlatego "Odwrócony Dom". Odwrócony albo odbity w tafli lustrzanej – jak w obrazie Magritte.

To, co do tej pory robiłam tylko w muzyce zaczęłam więc transponować na język literatury. Transpozycja – to dobre określenie, bo tak naprawdę pisałam tę książkę trochę jak utwór muzyczny. "Wyświetlam" w niej różne sceny (nazwijmy to umownie) wielokrotnie, ale za każdym razem przybliżam (że tak powiem) kamerę, ukazując coraz więcej szczegółów. W utworze muzycznym stosuję obsesyjne leitmotivy, które za każdym razem ewoluują w swoim zewnętrzu i wnętrzu. W książce robię podobnie. Ożywiam i wydłużam "zamrożone klatki filmowe", które są czystą rejestracją moich snów – wizji i nadaję im coraz dłuższe narracje. Biorę pod "lupę" te sceny nie tylko (jak widać) w mojej wyobraźni, ale (w pewnym sensie) przybliżam mikroskop jako naoczny świadek!.W muzyce zapisuję to co słyszę, widzę i czuję i mam w tym niemałą wprawę. W literaturze zapisuję to co słyszę, widzę i czuję z trochę mniejszą (co prawda) wprawą, ale co tam… Od czegoś trzeba zacząć. Zapisuję jak leci, dosłownie, ze wszystkimi przecinkami i wielokropkami, bez edycji, jak najszybciej, żeby czegoś nie zapomnieć albo czegoś nie przeoczyć.


Hanna Kulenty, kompozytor polsko-holenderski, od 1985 r. pracuje jako wolny twórca, realizując liczne zamówienia. Autorka ponad stu kompozycji – od utworów solowych, poprzez kameralistykę, symfonikę, opery, a kończąc na muzyce teatralnej i filmowej. Charakterystyczny styl muzyczny, z jej techniką „polifonii łuków” (opracowaną w pracy magisterskiej), następnie techniką „transu w muzyce europejskiej” i w końcu techniką „polifonii czasoprzestrzeni” (opracowaną w pracy doktorskiej), jest rozpoznawalny niemalże od pierwszej nuty, a trzymający w napięciu do ostatniej. Swoją muzykę obecnie nazywa „turbulencjami harmonicznymi” lub „muzyką surrealistyczną”. Jej utwory są wykonywane na wszystkich kontynentach. Hanna Kulenty wykłada w iu instytucjach muzycznych (USA, Kanada, Wielka Brytania, Dania, Holandia, Niemcy, Hiszpania, Litwa, Polska). Uczestniczyła również w pracach jury konkursów muzycznych.

Studiowała kompozycję pod kierunkiem W. Kotońskiego w Akademii Muzycznej w Warszawie i Louisa Andriessena w Królewskim Konserwatorium w Hadze. W 1990 roku była przez rok guest composer Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (daad) w Berlinie. Jest laureatką szeregu nagród, z których najbardziej ceni pierwszą lokatę na 50. Międzynarodowej Trybunie Kompozytorów UNESCO oraz Medal Mozartowski Międzynarodowej Rady Muzycznej UNESCO za I Koncert na trąbkę i orkiestrę (2003).


Ostatnio nazywam swoją muzykę nie tylko "polifonią czasoprzestrzeni", ale też: "musique surrealistique". Dlaczego? Dlatego, że jestem kompozytorem, który świadomie łączy i łączyć będzie poszczególne elementy muzyczne w taki sposób, aby zmienić im... (właśnie) – czasy. Próbuję np. rozciągnąć melodię tak, aby pozorny brak kontaktu z tą melodią uderzał w naszą podświadomość, albo próbuję przyspieszyć ową melodię tak, aby nie było miejsca na żadną refleksję, a tylko nasza nadświadomość odgadywała ewentualną prozodię tej melodii. Zmieniam czasy elementom muzycznym. Zmieniam ich stany. Jestem surrealistką muzyczną, a nie surkonwencjonalistką, bo ja nie grzebię w konwencji – tak dla zasady czy techniki kompozytorskiej, ale jedynie się o konwencję ocieram – jeżeli mam oczywiście taką potrzebę.

Jestem surrealistką muzyczną właśnie dlatego, że przekazuję słuchaczowi stany i gesty emocjonalne, które mogą konwencji towarzyszyć, ale nie muszą. Bardziej interesuje mnie naśladowanie i przekształcanie bezpośrednio natury, niż naśladowanie czyjegoś naśladowania – czyli konwencji. Gesty emocjonalne, które powinny poruszać, wzruszać, itd, które znane są od początku istnienia muzyki najbardziej mnie interesują. Interesuje mnie to, żeby te właśnie gesty odrealnić po mojemu, a że są przy okazji elementy konwencji, takie jak np. "ludzka" melodia, to sprawa wtórna. Ja nie bawię się np. barokiem, ale bawię się stanem emocjonalnym, energią, która może barokowi towarzyszyć... Nie boję się emocji, bo muzyka to również, czy przede wszystkim emocje! Czyż nie?…

Wiecej informacji na stronie:


Hanna Kulenty-Majoor appeared in a series of lectures and one concert during her tournee in Southern California in the fall of 2017. The program included the following events:

  • Wednesday, September 20 at 3 p.m.
  • LECTURE for Composition Forum, introduced by Dr. Maja Trochimczyk, Cal State Long Beach 3:15-4:30 in room C-402 in the University Music Center. With Prof. Alan Shockley 

  • Friday September 22 at 11 am
  • LECTURE USC Composers’ Forum. Introduced by Dr. Maja Trochimczyk
  • Ramo Recital Hall, Thornton School of Music. FREE 

  • Saturday September 23 at 6:30 pm
  • GUEST at Krzysztof Zimowski – Violin & Jarosław Gołębiowski – Piano ADORATIONS FOR VIOLIN AND PIANO  concert at the Residence of Poland, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

  • Sunday September 24 at 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm 
  • GUEST at Village Poets Poetry Reading at Bolton Hall Museum with Cece Peri and Ambika Talwar. FREE

  • Monday September 25 at 6:30 pm
  • GUEST The Zookeeper's Wife: Screening and Q&A with Producers and Screenwriter Laemmle Music Hall - 9036 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90211

  • Wednesday September 27 at 10 am
  • LECTURER 10am to 10:50am Composers Lecture. Introduced by Maja Trochimczyk.
  • Music Building at Cal State LA, room 120 (on the first floor). With Prof. Sara Graeff.

  • Wednesday  September 27 at 3 p.m.
  • REHEARSAL AND CONCERT from 3pm to 4:30pm researsal from 5 p.m. concert
  • Ramo Recital  Hall Music @ Rush Hour Concert. USC Polish Music Center. FREE.

  • Friday, September 29, at 7 p.m.
  • LECTURE  -  INTERVIEW with Dr. Janusz Supernak
  • Polish Club of San Diego, Dir. Jerzy Barankiewicz, FREE

  • Saturday September 30 at 5 p.m.
  • LECTURE - INTERVIEW with Dr. Maja Trochimczyk
  • Modjeska Club Lecture,  South Pasadena Public Library, 
  • 1115 El Centro Street, South Pasadena, CA 91030. FREE

Maja Trochimczyk and Hanna Kulenty-Majoor, Long Beach, September 2017

Maja Trochimczyk and Hanna Kulenty at the Getty Center.

Maja Trochimczyk and Hanna Kulenty with "ODwrocony Dom" at Modjeska Club Meeting, 
South Pasadena. Photo by Lucyna Przasnyski.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Announcing "Gorecki in Context: Essays on Music" Edited by Maja Trochimczyk

The volume of interviews and studies of the music by Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki (1933-2010) is finally  seeing the light of day. The project was initiated in 2011, after the composer's death, as a tribute to him, and a way to present a more diverse image of the composer and his work as seen by Polish scholars, whose research is not well known in the English-speaking world.

The collection of interviews grew to seven texts, from 1962 to 2008, the studies include translations of Polish research and three essays of the editor, Maja Trochimczyk - an overview of his life and music, a study of his concept of "motherhood" and a description of his visit to Los Angeles in 1997. All these aspects were previously either unknown, not available in English, or neglected in Gorecki scholarship. So far, so good. We are waiting for the music publishers to respond with the copyright permissions, at which time the page numbers will be finalized and the book published.

Gorecki "sekunduje" (plays the second fiddle) in goralska kapela for the 50th anniversary
of the Tatra Eagle in New Jersey, September 1997. L to R: Prof. Thaddeus Gromada, Andrzej Bachleda, 
H. M. Gorecki, Jane Kedron. Used by Permission of Thaddeus Gromada

Below, you will find a reprint of the preface by the editor, and the table of contents listing the articles that "made the cut" and will highlight the diverse aspects of Gorecki's music in its Polish context.
Here are more links and pictures:  Trochimczyk's poem in his memory was published on the same Chopin with Cherries blog, in 2010: Excerpts with his interview about Chopin are also posted there.



This volume gathers interviews and studies of the music of the Polish composer,  Henryk Mikołaj Górecki (1933-2010). Contributors include the composer himself – in a series of interviews spanning his entire career, from 1962 to 2008 – as well as leading Górecki scholars from Poland, the U.K., the U.S., and Australia. The collection includes a list of works, music examples, portraits, photographs, and a bibliography. The value of gathering five interviews in one place cannot be overestimated, as these encounters portray the mind of the composer and capture the changing interests that preoccupied him at various stages in his career.

The project brings together different views at the composer’s oeuvre, highlighting three of the four symphonies, each honored by a separate chapter: the Second Symphony Copernican (Kinga Kiwała), the Third Symphony  The Symphony of Sorrowful Songs (Maja Trochimczyk) and the Fourth Symphony Tansman Episodes (Andrzej Wendland). Two studies were contributed by an eminent Polish scholar and Górecki’s long-time personal friend, Prof. Teresa Malecka of Kraków, including an extensive review of the composer’s links to Polish musical traditions, and an overview of his piano music.  The studies are rounded up by an introductory overview of Górecki’s life and career and a case study of his visit to Los Angeles in 1997, when he conducted his Third Symphony for the first time outside of Poland, and made a huge impact on the musical life of California.

As one of the organizers of the 1997 Górecki Autumn Residency at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and the composer’s personal translator and guide, I had an unusually close contact with the reclusive composer and was able to present his views in two interviews and several articles, with a focus on the Third Symphony.

I hope that this volume will serve to stimulate further research into the life and music of Henryk Mikołaj Górecki whose oeuvre goes well beyond the world-famous maverick of a piece, his Third Symphony, beloved and misinterpreted in equal measure.

Maja Trochimczyk

Jane Kedron, Andrzej Bachleda and Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki, October 1997, Los Angeles

⦾   ⦾   ⦾


⦾ Maja Trochimczyk – Introduction

⦾ Luke B. Howard – Why Love Górecki?

⦾ Maja Trochimczyk – Mountains of Grief (Poem)

⦾  ⦾  ⦾

⦾ PART I ⦾


⦾ Chapter 1 ⦾ — Page 3

Conversation with Henryk Górecki: Leon Markiewicz, July 1962  — Translated by Anna Maslowiec

⦾ Chapter 2 ⦾ — Page 12

“I Am Always Myself” – Says Henryk Mikołaj Górecki in Conversation with Mieczysław Kominek (December 1993)  —  translated by Maja Trochimczyk

⦾ Chapter 3 ⦾ — Page 22

 About Life and Music: A Conversation with Henryk Mikołaj Górecki (Zakopane, 16 July 1997) — Maja Trochimczyk

⦾ Chapter 4 ⦾ — Page 45

“Composing is a Terribly Personal Matter:” A Conversation with Henryk Mikołaj Górecki (April 1998) —Maja Trochimczyk

⦾ Chapter 5 ⦾ — Page 66

“There’s More to Life than the Arranging of Sounds” – Henryk Mikołaj Górecki in Conversation with Małgorzata and Marcin Gmys

 ⦾ Chapter 6 ⦾ — Page 80

“Music? A Visitor from Another World,” (15 October 2008), Henryk Mikołaj Górecki in Conversation with Małgorzata and Marcin Gmys

⦾ Chapter 7 ⦾ — Page 87

“Music is a Conversation.” Henryk Mikołaj Górecki Talks to Anna Wieczorek and Krzysztof Cyran (29 April 2008) —edited by Małgorzata Janicka-Słysz



⦾ Chapter 8 ⦾ — Page 101

Górecki’s Life and Music: A Bird’s Eye View — Maja Trochimczyk

⦾ Chapter 9 ⦾

Henryk Mikołaj Górecki’s Symphony No. 2 Copernican:  Word and Sound and the Sublime — Kinga Kiwała  — Translated by Maja Trochimczyk

⦾ Chapter 10 ⦾

Mothers and Motherhood in Górecki's Third Symphony and Other Works  — Maja Trochimczyk

⦾ Chapter 11 ⦾

Górecki and the Polish Musical Tradition. Wacław of Szamotuły, Chopin, Szymanowski, Polish Folk and Church Music — Teresa Malecka

⦾ Chapter 12 ⦾
Górecki at the Keyboard: The Piano in his Compositional Output — Teresa Malecka

⦾ Chapter 13 ⦾

Górecki in Los Angeles, 1997 — Maja Trochimczyk

⦾ Chapter 14  ⦾

The  Phenomenon and Mystery of Górecki’s Fourth Symphony – Tansman. Epizody” —Andrzej Wendland (translated by Maja Trochimczyk)

⦾  ⦾  ⦾

⦾ Henryk Mikołaj Górecki - List of Works

⦾ Bibliography

⦾ Notes about Contributors

⦾ Index

⦾  ⦾  ⦾

Maja Trochimczyk with Gorecki in Context and other Moonrise Press books, 
at Modjeska Club Meeting, South Pasadena. Photo by Lucyna Przasnyski.

And here's the classic video with Gorecki listening to his Third Symphony with his favorite soprano, Zofia Kijanowicz as the soloist. From TVP Kultura.