i went to the BEST concert last night at the galicja jewish museum. it was a night of ukrainian-lemko music — part of their “galicia - musical kaleidoscope” series — and while i went in not knowing what to expect, i could not have left happier. the first ensemble, lemkowska nuta, was a trio (bass, accordion, violin) and played traditional songs that sometimes seemed to veer a bit towards jazz. their singer was great — i particularly loved her scatting…with slavic syllables!
slowiany, the second group, was also wonderful. they were a bigger ensemble and had electric guitars and drums…along with accordion and violin. they were (like lemkowska nuta) super high energy and so much fun to watch and listen to.
a great night. it’s been an excellent summer for music in krakow.
last summer SW lent me a collection of wojciech jerzy has’s films. i didn’t make it though all of them before i returned to the disc to him, though i did watch — and really enjoyed — “the hourglass sanatorium" (based on bruno schulz’s story).
i saw the same dvd collection yesterday and decided it needed to come home with me. now i can rewatch has’s beautiful and bizarre film whenever i want.
1/101 murals for krakow (ul. lwowska, podgorze).
there are four man-made mounds (kopiec) around krakow — krakus, wanda, kosciuszko, and pilsudski. kopiec krakusa is the oldest and said to be the resting place of krakus — the legendary prince and founder of the city (his daughter wanda got her own mound in nowa huta). the mound has a solid wooden core covered in soil and grass. excavations revealed artifacts in the mound dating from between the 8th and 10th centuries….but no krakus.
when it turned out to be unexpectedly sunny today, i decided to head over to the kopiec. it was the perfect place to relax in the sun and take in views of the city.
"futon" was shown on the first night of animation days. i really loved the flow of one shape into another. watching it on the big screen was almost hypnotic.
i spent last tuesday and wednesday nights at animation days. hosted on the maly rynek (just around the corner from my apartment), the screenings were totally free. and totally wonderful. a perfect setting and a really great collection of short films.
screening animated shorts from all over the world, each night’s program was diverse and super entertaining. from pastel futons, to stories of lost fathers, fantasy dances on typewriters, and deer-rabbit friendship, the films were all so different and all so much fun to watch.
what a excellent way to spend a summer evening.
two years ago, TD and i were walking home late one spring evening when we came across a small horse on the planty. it appeared to be unaccompanied and was causally munching on the grass. the strange sighting was clearly the highlight of the evening out.
a few days later a friend spotted the horse grazing around wawel. another saw it being led down the street towards the rynek. i spotted it a few more times on the planty, though its appearances were unpredictable. as we shared our encounters with “the planty pony,” it entered into my narrative of that spring in krakow.
i was disappointed when i returned last summer and the pony seemed to have disappeared. then this past weekend, while walking to the wisla…there it was! with a friend! i’m very happy pony sightings are again something i can look forward to while wandering around this wonderful city.
i don’t know why some images from our childhood stay with us. they are like threads in a web of meanings that crystallize around us while we try to make sense of the world. one such image has always been for me that of a child carried by his father in his father’s arms through the night, conversing with the darkness around them. the father enfolds the child tightly in his arms, protecting him from the element that speaks and speaks, but for the child, these arms are diaphanous. the night penetrates them, and between the father’s calming whispers, the child hears the constant, pervasive moaning of the darkness. tortured and overcome with fatalism, the child responds to them with tragic readiness, fully submerged in elements from which there is no escape. these early images delineate for artists the boundaries of their art.
—bruno schulz, in a letter to witkacy.
i went to a concert today at st. jozef’s in podgorsze. it was part of the summer concerts in podgorze series that runs through august. the concert was titled “dialogue for two harpsichords,” but all week i thought of it as “dueling harpsichords.”
the program was really enjoyable (froberger, bach, krebs, and mozart) and the space was great. i’d never been inside st. jozef’s and a sunday afternoon harpsichord concert was the perfect first visit. such a pleasant way to spend an hour!
i know i say it a lot, but i really do love krakow. of course, i like wandering around and taking in the beautiful city. and eating and drinking all sorts of delicious things (i had the best lemonade at cheder today). on top of everything, this month is filled with exciting festivals and events. i’ve so enjoyed taking in the street theatre festival these past few days and am really looking forward to this coming week’s animation days.
so happy to be here.