Research in Sound. Research in Myself.   


The starting point for executing "Timbral Microperspectives" research lies in investigating innovative solutions in various tuning systems' interrelations within a musical composition. Driven by the initial idea for new timbral concepts, creative, often non-musical impulses, or fascination by certain sound phenomena, I try to rediscover and establish microtone's functioning in the harmonic landscape of music, as well as its overall significance in the creation of my new musical work. Through the artistic practice in musical composition, I explore possible approaches towards creation, conclude the undertaken actions through self-analysis, and finally reflect on already finished artwork to find its perspective and essence in the art world.

During the one-year work span, I have practiced developing a way to approach my artwork by bringing awareness to the three factors described previously in this article and knowingly interpreting my actions. This measure could be treated as a trial to detach a part of myself in order to analyze the artistic action intended to be undertaken simultaneously through my artistic self. The significant question I try to find the answer for is connected to the procedural thinking chain: "what-why-how-what then"? In my view, this chosen narration encourages a broad perspective on artistic research. It facilitates the implementation of this chain of command to any artistic discipline and artistic behavior for analysis.  

Entering the next level, "Timbral Microperspectives" focuses on various musical viewpoints connected to the sonic approach. It is a personal, subjective catalog of musical actions, choices, and preferences that continue to be redesigned and remodeled with each artistic process step. I investigate which aspects of microtonality, sound phenomena, and tiniest timbral fluctuations bring further artistic implementation perspectives. The huge importance of spectral composition techniques and The Polish School of Sonorism's accomplishments in the 1960s drive me through each newly composed work. Especially sonorism, a musical legacy of the country of my origin, has a considerable impact on my artwork, and probably thanks to its presence, a certain sensibility towards timbral thinking arises in my artworks. The additional exploration of these ideas through the spectral approach broadens the spectrum for possible pathways in working with sound and enables me to get deeper into the essence of sound itself.

Several compositions written during the unfortunate, challenging year of a worldwide pandemic, created for fixed media, solo acoustic instruments, or instruments accompanied by the electroacoustic sound, become the source of broad analysis and material to investigate my actions being an artist. The generous support of The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage in Poland cannot be overlooked in this project realization. Three compositions and the whole documentation to "Timbral Microperspectives" have been created thanks to their patronage. Without their support, creating new works in 2020 and realizing this research could probably not occur, but fortunately, I have been able to fulfill my pursuit. Each newly written work is driven by different musical or non-musical phenomena during my research year and faces different difficulties, along with great challenges. The main intention is to find connections between the means and tools of my artistic research in sound to enable its continuous transformation in the sonic material. I try to discover it by asking myself:


How ultra-microscopic sound transformations expand sound perspectives through the process of music composition creation?


This specific conjunction of sonic phenomena with perspective cognition of a composing process (artistic process) has brought me to coin the expression used in my research title. It does not only underline the importance of sound as my main source of artistic inquiries through the project. However, it concurrently involves the vantage points that determine everything I see as a whole picture of musical creation.

"Timbral Microperspectives" thus intend to comment on one more significant aspect of the composer's profession - the simultaneous transformation with sound. This psychological process of discovering the artistic self through self-cognition might contribute towards capturing the artist in a new light, entangled within the world, the creation, and the inner self. In a way, then, "Timbral Microperspectives" is the research in myself, an artistic diary, concerned with interpreting myself and my choices taken in compositional practice. It builds upon the systematic observations of myself, my artistic actions, and the resonance of here and now through my work. From the psychological point of view, I deliberately turn upside down the rule that to analyze, interpret, and draw a conclusion on the chosen subject, one needs to pass through the interaction with others. I purposefully avoid that and choose to interact exclusively with myself to expand the artistic milieu and musical aptitude. This way, I might be capable of rediscovering my psychological self in art and noticing the unnoticeable triggers that function within my constant urge to compose and create music.

On artistic discovery, lifelong learning, and contribution


The process of artistic discovery states a chance to gain new experience and satisfy the need for musical curiosity, experimentation, and creativity. It represents following the traces of particular focus, emerging through everyday observations, and moving forward in order to reassemble gathered pieces into the sets of artistic information worth using in one's oeuvre. The need to select a certain source for art production or rather the process of making artistic choices and setting personal goals to achieve the imagined figment of one's imagination helps define individual aestheticism and taste. Observation of change and transformation, while self-realized, becomes an interesting study for the artist oneself, quite often an element of experimentation itself. What is the meaning of this process and the purpose of experimenting in music? In my belief, the urge for the unknown, attempt to realize "the inner ear's whispers," and challenge the scientifically established canons through a purely empirical experience of the contributor might be one possible way of answer. Jennie Gottschalk calls it simply "a position – of openness, of inquiry, of uncertainty, of discovery" that might state a compact but adequate summation not only for the issue of experimental music but any dispute on experimentation in arts. 

Time is a specific, severe, and non-changeable axis, containing the possibility to mark your presence in the history of things and a promise of potential positioning of your art in relation to surrounding matters. Time also marks the inevitable end of things for every inquiring person, sometimes abruptly ending prematurely, or being graceful to possess many years in order to search for the answers of special interest in life and art. Regardless of their fate, lifelong learning is a process of acquiring thoughts and growing meanings through constant analysis and questioning, which artists can cherish and develop during their lifetime. 

Lifelong learning – brings reflection, artistic growth, responsiveness to the world, and awareness of the fragility of life. Due to the fragility and elusiveness of human existence, artistic creation becomes so significant and relevant. Working on this text during the Covid-19 pandemic made me realize how important it is to lifelong-learn, especially during the uneasy times, and grow through knowledge and understanding of surrounding things, because that is the core of our artistic expression - absorb and grow - in life, and through art. 

Finally, the aspect of contribution sums the process phase's efforts, ending in the delivery of artistic expression to life. The finalized artwork is a sum of artistic discovery and lifelong learning, their correlation, and influence that eventually pierces into fixed artistic expression. It is a particular legacy of the artistic mind, a specific product that nobody else but only each individual could create. If no efforts were undertaken to transform the thought into reality, no contribution could mark the artist's presence. However, it is not only about marking artistic presence in the world, as personally, I would put this element at the end of the food chain in terms of significance, but mostly about why we create art in the first place. The reasons are countless, and the reasonings are unlimited. One could postulate the eternally present concept of beauty in a dispute on arts and bring it to the core of art creation. One could refer only to the need to express and communicate ideas through the execution of the artistic product. It is also possible to see art as a way of archiving and personalizing times, places, persons, and objects into the kaleidoscopic documentary of a sort, which becomes the artistic record. It would somehow mean that the need to express oneself through art comes from the need to catalog personal experiences and statements against falling into oblivion.

Drawing back from positioning the artist in the middle of the contribution aspect, it is utterly interesting to look at the contribution product itself. The artistic creation, denuded of the artist's presence, becomes an independent entity, IS the contribution embodied. You can perceive it through different layers and discover it from variable perspectives:

  1. As an artistic object stripped from any connotations to its maker and the times it was created in, a pure form, self-defining itself.
  2. You can refer to the contributor of the artwork and judge it through the prism of his/her presence.
  3. You may consider the contribution incorporating the spirit of its maker and approach like a palimpsest, the artist's recreation through the object.

Whichever angle is considered, the manner of interaction with the artwork changes, and the patterns of recognizing the contribution and the contributor gains prominence. All being said, multidimensional positioning of the artistic product defines its functioning and presence for the contemporaries, and somehow also determines the importance of the contribution act itself. Concluding, the three conditions defining artists' creation - artistic discoverylifelong learning, and contribution are the inseparable elements of the artistic process, research in the art, and the purifying research in oneself.      

Towards Transformation


I have chosen to follow the complex process to capture the artist's possible transformations with sound, consisting of several phases that help to deepen the definition of soon-to-be-created artwork. The starting point of my considerations lies in the previously mentioned "what-why-how-what then" chain of command, which helps define a composition's technical aspects. It somehow encapsulates the basic instinct of a creator within a series of arrangements accompanying the artistic process. Consequently, there is a need to define the transformation process in terms of identifying, studying, and documentation of the constantly falling manner of interrelations between artists and their work. Combining the objects and the subjects present in the compositional process, it is possible to focus on the "perspective" of connecting things, the titled "Timbral Microperspectives," and their outcome - the transformation phenomenon. The expansion of artistic sound perspectives through the creation is a paramount objective to reach transformation and a crucial research element of my exploration. 


The initial trigger to create new work usually emerges and comes to light as a clear concept or vast cloud of possible solutions. Without this primary condition, no further pursuit can be commenced. Be it a commission or spontaneously written musical work; the idea needs to be apprehended by a detailed follow-up plan with possible development phases. My methodology is based on self-observation and following analysis of undertaken actions through the prism of simultaneously created composition. Interestingly, it can be described as creating new artwork and keeping an extremely close eye on the compositional process during the duration of the process itself! The thorough documentation of "ups and downs", concerns, constraints, and finally strokes of insight, creation epiphanies, and eureka moments express the procedural matters. What is more, the difficulties and struggles that artists and the whole of humanity endure by an unprecedented crisis of the pandemic have a serious impact on the artistic process as well. The inability to actualize certain previously set goals through 2020 has undermined many artistic decisions or plans and, however, pushed the creation of new ideas, solutions, and innovative responses in the necessity to preserve cultural development. I try to consider these factors and capture how this uneasy time has affected my music and me by finding consequences in sound, microscopic elements of sound and timbre that can be correlated and driven out due to decline.       

Each composition written by me during 2020 represents the independent, autonomous standpoint and relies on conscientiously selected material - various sonic phenomena or non-musical topics that trigger my mind in the process of creation. As a result, perceiving ourselves in the artistic process as two complementary entities of the artist and his/her artwork, who metamorphose, modify each other and establish new interplays, creates a psychological bond of dependencies and reliances. Each new artwork becomes a network of synapses and signals that steamroll the "want" for the next artistic project in a certain concealed mode. "Timbral Microperspectives" stand documentation of my attempt to achieve a broader perspective in art and transform with the sound that I create.

II Timbral Microperspectives. 

Transformations with sound. Prelude


Primary thoughts


The self-discovery of an artist lies in a necessity of pursuing thoughts and sharing oneself through the art-medium, which at some point may leave a significant trace in the cultural and artistic condition of things, be it in a local, national context, or an international outreach, which at the very end states the artist's personal approach. The resulting element of this action and the potential outcome is not a part of this analysis, rather the action itself, with all the accompanying factors to trigger its execution. This necessity of creation results from inner pressure burst for any expression one searches to release through individual artistic practice and finds it beneficial or challenging to society at any point of dialogue or discourse art-related. By commencing this pursuit, at the very beginning of artistic decisions and declarations to oneself, we do not feel able to predict the outcome of our exploration; rather let the events happen and re-shape us with the creation of each new work. The unexpected or unpredicted element lies in the creative process base (even if containing a self-imposed set of rules), an act of expression, skill, and imagination bound together through the artist's actions. I find it personally a ritual of purification in my artistic map of dimensions, where significant factors, characterized by the growing experience and progressive obsolescence, shape my road toward the artistic choice in my design. This process enables constant transformation and ripening of art through the experiences gathered by its creator, helping one evolve with their artistic work, which is at the core of my code of conduct. Positioning myself in this phenomenon, I let my artistic imagination being led by the incomprehensible and complex network of stimuli and focus on drawing the musical maps of my mind into the pure sound in music composition. These thoughts on transforming myself with my art directed me towards reflecting on how an artist can approach life as a time-limited process of living traces of oneself for humanity. It has brought me to realize that three factors alternately pressure the reasoning in a creative operation, some subconsciously, some deliberately: artistic discoverylifelong learning, and contribution. My further explanation of these factors will refer to an artist's experience expressing one's thoughts through the interconnection of various art disciplines with music, remaining as a primary source of my personal interest.