Tomasz Bednarczyk: Painting Sky Together

Tomasz Bednarczyk is identified as a sound artist but sound painter is more like it—that his sophomore full-length effort is titled Painting Sky Together seems hardly accidental, and the strong “visual” dimension of his music is further suggested by song titles such as “A Bus-Ride with a Red-Haired Girl,” “Agata's Film,” and “Movie.” The Wroclaw-based producer's palette includes piano (acoustic and electric) and guitar, which appear to form the nucleus of many tracks, but they're merely two elements within a dense fabric Bednarczyk weaves using glitch-ridden electronic textures and field recordings. The nine settings don't develop in a conventional “narrative” manner but rather present themselves as micro-detailed sound “pictures” of varying temporal extent, as if a sonic portrait has been stretched across time. His intensely detailed and intimate pieces offset musical elements (instrument- and electronically-generated) with a rich array of field recordings: “Tokyo,” for instance, is largely an evocative collage of field recordings (seaside sounds, shuffling and clattering noises) within which treated instrument fragments are threaded, while the whirrs and clicks that emerge alongside looping electronic patterns in “Agata's Film” sound very much like film being threaded through a projection device (in this case, the field sounds come from Agata Badowska herself). Echoes of others' work sometimes surfaces in Bednarczyk's material: while a stream of micro-sound fuzz lends “Freckled Cheeks” a glitchy character, the meandering ambient keyboard tonalities could as easily have appeared on Eno's Music For Films; and the stuttering flow of guitar fragments in “So Fragile” can't help but call to mind artists such as Christopher Willits and Fennesz. Nevertheless, with its shimmering drones of oscillating waves and particles and glistening meander of electric pianos, Painting Sky Together more than rewards one's forty-six-minute investment.

April 2009