the silence of the sirens /
milczenie syren

concert / movie / performance

Magdalena Cielecka
 – the voice
Michał Pepol – cellos, the piano

Screenplay and program: Michał Pepol
Sound and visual production: Robert Migas
Lights: Patryk Adamski
Costumes: Monika Kaleta

„Singing is sirens’ strength, and lots of musicians have had the perverse dream of working with a sound under the influence of sirens’ songs. I, for one, would like to have a siren’s power and always be able to seduce the audience. However, for that purpose I would have to open myself unconditionally to the dark side of my subconsciousness. Therefore, a meeting with a siren is a meeting with oneself, with the most tender and delicate part within us, the self-censored and hidden part of ourselves.
Let that concert, then, free us from the burdens of convention, species, habits, or expectations. Let’s make it a hybrid concert, just like a siren is a hybrid creature herself. Let’s look a siren in the eyes and listen to her. And as we are listening, let’s also listen to ourselves. Let’s allow ourselves to be seduced by the polyphony of human voices, the sound of cellos, and the song of the inhabitants of our oceans. Let Saariaho drag us into a whirlpool and cast a spell on us, let Kafka make sirens silent, let Sikorski reconstruct their melancholic song, let Hendrix deceive us and suck us under the surface, let Schubert change a mermaid’s sex, let Glass force us to drift, and finally, let Buckley prove the impossibility of protecting oneself against mermaids”.

Michał Pepol

Kaija Saariaho – Spins and Spells (1997)
Franz Kafka – Milczenie syren
Tomasz Sikorski – Milczenie syren (1986/87)
Jimi Hendrix (arr. M. Pepol) – 1983… (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)
Franz Schubert/Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (arr. M. Pepol) – Erlkönig
Philip Glass – Orbit (2013)
Tim Buckley/Larry Beckett (arr. M. Pepol) – Song to the Siren 

The project was inspired by an exhibition “The Beguiling Siren is Thy Crest” organized by The Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw. The premiere of the concert was on 8 June 2017 in the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw.

Trailer: YouTube

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