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Future: ON
[sounds inspired by Lem]

RELEASED JUNE 24, 2022 
The audio-drama album inspired by Stanisław Lem's literature. This Polish-Chinese project was created as a collab with Mao Rui - the author of the Chinese translation of "The Cyberiad". The album consists of two longform pieces that combine electronic music, ambient, spoken word and guitar soundscapes. 

Future: ON is available on all streaming services.
Only on Bandcamp you can purchase the special extended digital edition incl. 2 bonus tracks, my creative process notes and smartphone wallpaper.
TRACKLIST

Future: ON Part 1
Future: ON Part 2
CONCEPT AND MUSIC
Michał Milczarek
MIX AND MASTER
Marcin Cichy
PRODUCTION
Jakub Krzeszowski and Michał Milczarek
TRANSLATION AND VOICE
Mao Rui
VOICE RECORDINGS
Mikołaj Poncyljusz / Wermik Studio
COVER ART
Kamil Tynecki

The „Future: ON” album is produced by the Jazz Po Polsku Foundation and financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. It is partnered by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute. 

The patrons of the project are: Stanislaw Lem Institute, Polish Institute in Beijing, Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Guangzhou, The Polish Space Agency POLSA. 
Media patronate: Jazz Po Polsku Radio, Guomai Culture & Media, JazzSoul.pl,  Chiny24.com, Radio Nowy Świat.
NOTES AND MEMORIES

The first motivation to create this project was the idea of ​​Kuba Krzeszowski to set up a mini-label, Jazz Po Polsku. For something like that to happen - a premiere album was needed. We have worked with Kuba in previous years during MM3 tours, so anyway we were in constant contact with each other. For some time I have been interested in long forms combining ambient and narrative elements. I felt the need to record such experimental material as an album. Our paths quickly joined together.

 

During the first brainstorming session, Kuba mentioned that the Year of Lem is now being celebrated. On this occasion, a new translation of The Cyberiad by Mao Rui was published in China. All the dots have come together! Kuba's great experience on the Chinese market and its consistency in contacts with Polish cultural institutions meant that at the end of the year I was able to start my creative work. The project received funding from the Adam Mickiewicz Institute and media support from Guo Mai, a huge Chinese publishing house. It has been a long and very difficult road, especially in terms of bureaucracy, logistics and general organization. But Kuba made it! And the details would be best told by himself...
 

I started my process with a "deep reading" of The Cyberiad. I read the fantastic stories about Trurl and Klapaucius with great attention and… with a pencil in my hand. I marked all the interesting phrases that resonated within me, that seemed interesting. From the very beginning, I planned to treat Lem's literature as a starting point for creating a spoken word and music collage. I didn't want to record an audiobook. I also didn't want to focus on too long narrative fragments. The form I wanted to make was to be an audio drama. Inspired by Lem, but also a self-sufficient and very surreal piece.

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The great news for me was that Mao Rui, the author of the Chinese translation of The Cyberiad, agreed to participate in the project! We both selected several excerpts from Lem's book, which Mao read in Mikołaj Poncyljusz's Wermik Studio. The session was great and we became friends. At the end of the day I stayed with many recordings of Lem read in Chinese. It was very abstract at this point. Fortunately, I had my own notes. Each fragment was marked with a different symbol - so that I would know the meaning of the words during musical work.

 

The next few months were quite an arduous but also exciting creative process. The entire album was created in my home mini-studio during many hours of sessions. I combined a lot of inspiration and ideas, and the initial concept of ambient recording was quickly expanded. That is why Future: ON consists of guitar soundscapes, drones, but also IDM rhythms, organic electronica beats and noise imitating Stockhausen's experiments. And many more actually...

And on this background - Lem's The Cyberiad. And Mao's voice, which served much more as another instrument. I sampled it, cut it, added reverbs, echoes and weird filters. I ended up with 50 minutes of composed music. The audio drama finally consists of two long forms of 20 minutes each.

 

Its premiere took place in China in April 2022. A few months later, Kuba (as Jazz Po Polsku Foundation) realized global distribution of the album.

VIDEO

The premiere of the album was accompanied by a crazy videoclip. Its originator and director is my wonderful friend Maciek Głowiński. We have been wondering for a long time: what video will best reflect the nature of the strange music I have created? Should it be a movie? Or maybe animation? And most importantly - how many Lem should be in all this?

 

Maciek came up with a brilliant idea - hyperlapse. Fast, dynamic action - scenes and backgrounds changing like in a kaleidoscope. And me as the main character of this story... Interestingly, the script itself was written spontaneously during our shooting days. Each of us came with new, completely surreal ideas and gadgets. We didn't know what that would lead to or what would happen next time. This clip is an absolute improvisation and a brilliant concept work by Maciek.

 

I hope no one will ever ask me officially: "What is this video exactly about?"