Piotr Kurek’s A Sacrifice Shall Be Made / All The Wicked Scenes is comprised of pieces composed specifically to accompany theatre performances directed by Tian Gebing (500m and The Decalogue) and Grzegorz Jarzyna (Two Swords). Kurek attended performance rehearsals in Beijing and Shanghai, with additional preparations and recording sessions taking place back in Warsaw.
While most of Kurek’s past work is unaccompanied by other musicians or outside help, A Sacrifice Shall Be Made / All The Wicked Scenes features various Polish and Chinese musicians both from classical and experimental scene (Barbara Kinga Majewska, Grzegorz Hardej, Łukasz Rychlicki and Hubert Zemler) as well as by actors of Paper Tiger Theatre Studio from Beijing. This approach of Kurek exploring new players and places is further juxtaposed as Kurek recycled samples from his own past, including various recordings with musicians he did throughout years, found sounds from the Internet, or cannibalised old solo work.
Recorded over the course of several years, this aural report of a monumental multi-disciplinary venture is in the end an enthralled and enthralling survey of a contemporary composer who is unencumbered by geographic or cultural boundaries. Concurrently, ditching any resemblance to local musical traditions and rearranging the compositions for all three performances, Kurek has formed an architecture that allows the phases of rituals to unfold while projecting social structure assumed in myth making. The regrouping of different moments in these stories is a curious way of narrating another myth — a synthetic, polyvalent story set in a city that strangely reassembles Beijing, Giza, and Prague at the same time.