Penderecki Reloaded 

National Audiovisual Institute

”This music of mine performed today is a journey to the sources of time.”
Krzysztof Penderecki

To see Krzysztof Penderecki, Aphex Twin, and Jonny Greenwood performing on one stage is an unprecedented event. 

Artists more commonly associated with electronic music remixed Polymorphia and Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima, pieces composed by Penderecki fifty years ago. 

The results of this collaboration premiered in September 2011 at the European Culture Congress. 

The concert in Wrocław drew tens of thousands of fans from all across the world...

Aphex twin is the first techno artist to have his work transcribed for performance by an orchestra.
Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood is the composer-in-residence of the BBC concert orchestra.

“I’m a complete control freak. What’s nice about the Penderecki pieces is that he gives people a chance to do their own thing. They’ve got their own interpretation – they can go fast or slow, and I really like that.”  

- Aphex Twin

“Listening to Penderecki’s music out of two little speakers is like watching a film on a tiny screen. You need to be in a room where you’re hearing these textures and colors emerging, filling the air, for it to become beautiful and complex.” 

- Jonny Greenwood

Score composed by Aphex Twin
Score composed by Jonny Greenwood
"The first time I had ever heard an orchestra was when we started off doing rehearsals to ‘Polymorphia’ and ‘Hiroshima’."  - Aphex Twin
"The last chord of ‘Threnody’ is a block of white noise. I tried to picture it as an actual, three-dimensional white block."  - Jonny Greenwood
Rehearsal of the piece by Aphex Twin
Rehearsal of the piece by Jonny Greenwood

“When Aphex Twin said that he would like to perform 'Polymorphia' backwards, Penderecki admitted that was haw he had started writing the piece in the first place. Only when he was halfway through, something told him to change it around. So Aphex Twin intuitively retraced Penderecki’s creative process from years back! What’s more, he figured out how to amplify the emotional resonance – he introduced the human voices that imitated the sonoristic sounds, squeals, creaks and glissandos produced by the string instruments.”

- Marek Moś interviewed by Ewa Szczecińska. “Everything begins and ends with a flash.” “Culture without borders. European Culture Congress.” Warsaw 2013.

“Aphex Twin’s response to the 'Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima' was staggering. I actually asked two of the instrumentalists, who were pregnant, to step off the stage for that piece. I was afraid that in their condition the experience could be hazardous. The frequencies used by Aphex Twin were so low that chairs kept moving around during rehearsal. The sound bordered insufferable. But these low vibrations had an incredible impact, and the apocalyptic vision of an atomic explosion connected with the audience perfectly.” 

- Marek Moś

“It is important how the concert runs, how much energy I give from me to the audience that come to the concert. If the energy doesn’t come out of me, there is no chance it will reach anybody, but if it comes out, it has great power to change people.”

- Marek Moś, conductor and director of AUKSO Orchestra

Jacek Hawryluk, music critic

Practically every premiere of a composition by Penderecki in the late 50s and early 60s came as a shock to the audience. Concerts would end in scandal, with orchestras refusing to perform the pieces, and audiences booing and stamping their feet.

Bartek Chaciński, music journalist
“I was proud of the fact that others rebelled, that they didn’t want to play my music, that they believed these were just meaningless sounds and fancy ways of playing instruments.”  - Krzysztof Penderecki
Excerpt of ‘Polymorphia for 48 stringed instruments’, by Krzysztof Penderecki.

“The boundaries of the experiment? 

There are none. The boundary is only the imagination of the composer. Isn’t it that we all need to mature to this thing that is being born somewhere as the vanguard?”

- Marek Moś

Concert performances by Penderecki & Greenwood and Penderecki & Aphex Twin were held September 9 and 10, 2011, as part of the European Culture Congress in Wrocław, the main event of the National Cultural Program of the Polish Presidency in the European Union.

Programme of the September 9 concert

Krzysztof Penderecki “Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima” (1960–61) 

Jonny Greenwood “Popcorn Superhet Receiver” (2005, Polish premiere) 

Krzysztof Penderecki „Canon for Strings” (1962) 

Jonny Greenwood “Future Markets” from the „There Will Be Blood” soundtrack (2007, Polish premiere) 

Krzysztof Penderecki „Polymorphia” (1961) 

Jonny Greenwood “48 Responses to Polymorphia” (2011, world premiere)

Krzysztof Penderecki – conductor 

Marek Moś – conductor 

AUKSO Tychy Chamber Orchestra

Programme of the September 10 concert

Krzysztof Penderecki “Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima” (1960–61) 

Aphex Twin „Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima remix” (2011, world premiere) 

Krzysztof Penderecki „Canon for Strings” (1962) 

Aphex Twin „AFX set” Krzysztof Penderecki „Polymorphia” (1961) 

Aphex Twin „Polymorphia Reloaded” (2011, world premiere)

Aphex Twin 

Krzysztof Penderecki – conductor 

Marek Moś – conductor 

OCT AVA ensemble+ 

AUKSO Tychy Chamber Orchestra

Krzysztof Penderecki's music collection on-line:


Penderecki & Greenwood concert:




Miłosz Poloch

Marcin Oliva Soto

Bolesław Lutosławski

Credits: Story

Scenariusz i redakcja / Written and edited by — Agnieszka Berlińska
Multimedia / Media editor   — Zuzanna Ciesielska

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