Moment ago.

Also exactly twenty years ago (minus eight days), I attended the Warsaw Autumn festival for the first time in my life. I was about to start my studies in Katowice, and I wanted to listen to the works composed by Aleksander Lasoń, whose class I was to be in, and in general, I wanted to experience the legend, so to speak. AUKSO, which was newly formed then, was playing. During the concert’s intermission, Andrzej Chłopecki jumped onto a chair and announced to the enthusiastic audience – that here they have a new star: Agata Zubel (whose piece was also a part of the programme). After the concert I wandered around Warsaw for a long time, unable to get the other item on the programme, Tomasz Sikorski’s ‘For Strings’, out of my head.

I recall a film, horror or sci-fi thriller, the title of which slipped my mind (I could probably find it easily, but relying on your own imperfect memory rather than Google has a certain retro charm), telling a story of a group of characters who, for some reason (I also can’t remember what that was), fell out of the present moment and remained in the moment ago, with no way to catch up with the world. The entire scenery is quite desolate, tarnished and quiet, nothing happens for a while, and finally an ominous, at first distant but obviously steadily approaching noise can be heard, which turns out to be the sound of the destruction of the world from a moment ago by a kind of giant, all-devouring pokémon. The film must’ve been low budget and not great overall, but the concept itself impressed me. The notion of stopping, “logging off” and giving yourself a respite loses its appeal from this point of view.

Today, Agata Zubel is going to sing “The Mask” at the Warsaw Autumn festival.

(transl. Magdalena Małek-Andrzejowska)