420 kilograms of equipment, hundreds of hours of rehearsal and preparation, 3,600 kilometers, and dozens of hours of travel. The first-ever jazz concert was held inside the volcano. Maciej Fortuna’s band performed on the spot with a program inspired by Polish folk songs.
The Thrihnukagigur volcano can only be reached on foot due to the surrounding Bláfjöll National Park. With the help of the audience, the musicians transported almost half a ton of equipment, moving it over a distance of nearly four kilometers.
“We went down to the crater in two groups, first the technical team with drums, double bass, recording equipment, wiring, tripods, and cameras, then the audience. The stay in the volcano, including the installation of the recording equipment, lasted 90 minutes – that was our maximum. Before leaving, we calculated the estimated time of parting and playing, which must be enough for us not to get completely cold.
One of the unique phenomena is the aura of the place where I perform my music, and it is my main inspiration. We played the concert at the bottom of an active volcano, a more than 120 meters deep magma chamber, the only place on Earth where freezing lava created a cave with fabulous acoustic conditions. Our big concern was the vision of operating at a temperature close to zero degrees Celsius. We were preparing for these conditions, but in the end, we were unable to predict how the instruments would behave, let alone the voice”.
The band has performed in Spain, Switzerland, Georgia, Russia, and Iceland.
The film, directed by Przemysław Wawrzyniak, documenting an expedition into the interior of the Earth, won several awards and distinctions at festivals worldwide. It is available on the VOD platform.
Maria Jurczyszyn – white voice, Roman Chraniuk – double bass, Jakub Miarczyński – drums, Maciej Fortuna – trumpet
The project results from a fascinating musical path based on a predatory guitar sound interspersed with soft themes and a calm melody.
The band gave its first concert in the legendary Piwnica pod Baranami club in Cracow, where it presented a series of premiere works by Maciej Fortuna titled “Ragnar.” The audience fell in love with the musicians and their music from the first moments.
After the spectacular success of the Maciej Fortuna Trio with four albums and more than two hundred concerts, the composer, trumpet player, and music producer returns with a musical concept based on a new sound and style resulting from extremely intense artistic experiences.
Maciej Fortuna Electric Quartet are original compositions by four excellent musicians under the direction of the trumpeter and, as Fortuna himself says, “the effect of a long, fascinating road to achieving the sound that I always meant when I thought about using effects and electronics.”
Dawid Kostka – guitar, Wojciech Roszak – bass, Mateusz Brzostowski – drums, electronics, Maciej Fortuna – trumpet, electronics
Fortuna plays Szymborska*
Almost everyone knows the recordings of Wisława Szymborska reading her poems. What will happen when the melody of her voice is taken literally – when the music is strictly dependent on her words, and the components become an interactive poetic evening? This approach focuses on the elements behind the timbre of the voice, its tonality, and the varied tempo and rhythm of the recitation. It is a unique combination of music and poetry, which allows you to sound not only words but also their melodies. Maciej Fortuna plays Wislawa Szymborska for everyone – especially young people, who can discover it entirely anew.
Maciej Fortuna polarizes and merges – sound and word.
Andrzej Konieczny counterpoints – rhythms and timbres.
Paweł Wypych animates – collages, cutouts, drawings.
The project had its Asian premiere in Hong Kong as part of the Hong Kong Arts Festival.
* The project used archival audio, video, and original collages by Wisława Szymborska.
The programmatic core of the concert are arrangements of medieval tracks. So there are works related to the liturgical tradition – Bogurodzica, Christ from the dead rose them, Be Greeted by the Holy Cross, as well as my own compositions, created in accordance with the stylistics of Polish medieval tracks.
Medieval music has fascinated me for years. One of the fruits of this inspiration is released in 2013 – Fortuna/Dys – Tropy. It was recognized as one of the best jazz albums of 2013 and received positive reviews from Poland’s most crucial jazz critics. At the same time, it initiated cooperation with the DUX office (Fortuna/Dys – Maciejewski Variations DUX 1151).
Visualizations were also created based on the musical layer, which is an integral part of the concert and fully synchronized with the music. They consist of images on liturgical themes and are animated. The kinetics of the presented scenes refer to music, and special devices allow the complete fusion of both layers – audio, and video – even in improvised fragments.
Concerts with a program for trumpet and organ took place in many Polish cities, as well as in Paris, Rome, Vienna, and La Valletta. A series of pieces for trumpet, organ, and jazz sextet complement the project. The premiere of this program took place in the Gniezno Arch Cathedral.