Close Courtesy of Księży
January 12

Księżyc + Marina Herlop
Opening act: Marina Herlop

For the first time ever in Paris, the Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection presents the psychedelic Slavic folk group Księżyc, founded in the early 1990s in Poland and a legend in that country’s underground music scene. As an opening act, Catalan pianist Marina Herlop will perform her sunny and hypnotic compositions blending avant-garde classical music with experimental electronica.  

Księżyc – which means “moon” in Polish – is a quintet of two singers and three instrumentalists. In 1990, three Polish women founded an acapella trio inspired by the folk music of Ukraine, Bulgaria, and Poland. One left the group, and then two instrumentalist joineds, followed by a third instrumentalist. Two of the new instrumen-talists a part of a student theatre troupe in Warsaw. Devotees of the work of Polish theatre director Jerzy Grotowski, they use their voices and their bodies, employing rituals, folklore, and music to create their pieces. They bring a theatrical element to Księżyc that forms a core part of the group’s concerts.

In 1996, they released their eponymous album Księżyc, whose keyboards and hypnotic vocals were imbued a spirit both ancient and modern. The song lyrics resemble magical incantations that open the door to a fantastical world of surrealist visions. They often refer to the moon and its symbolic aspects, such as birth and death, feminine and masculine, transformation and lunation. 

After performing some thirty concerts, the group abruptly disbanded and became the stuff of legend recounted by a small handful of acolytes. In 2013, fifteen years later, the reissue of the album Księżyc proved a huge success. The group came back together in 2015 to record a second album, Rabbit Eclipse, in a Warsaw palace known as Królikarnia, which literally means the “house of rabbits”, as these animals were hunted there in the 18th century, according to the aristocratic customs of the time. Księżyc plays an elegy to the spirits of the departed and tells new stories enveloped in a sense of mystery and melancholy.

True to its theatrical roots, the group loves performing in unusual places, such as a movie hall (to inaugurate the 18th silent film festival in Krakow), in a park at dawn (at the Królikarnia Sculpture Museum in Warsaw), under sycamore trees (at the Siestes Électroniques festival in Toulouse), and in a church (St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in New York), leaving a mystical scent in the air wherever they go.

Members of the group Księżyc in 2021

Agata Harz (voice, objects)

Katarzyna Smoluk-Moczydłowska (voice, objects, keyboards) Lechosław Polak (accordion, keyboards)

Remigiusz Mazur Hanaj (tapes, hurdy-gurdy, violin)

Robert Niziński (clarinet, keyboards, objects)

Centrée, 1/3 largeur
Photo : Anxo Casals
Close Photo : Anxo Casals

Marina Herlop 

Marina Herlop is a Catalan singer and pianist born in 1992 in Piera, Spain. She lives and works in Barcelona. Nanook, her first album, was released in 2015, revealing the fusion of her immaculate voice with the sound of the piano. On her 2018 release, Babasha, she discovered that voice and electronica could be one. In 2021, Marina Herlop joins PAN with her latest single, titled Miu. The artist invites the listener to step into her otherworldly dreamscape Miu and in turn go down a sonic rabbithole into the artist’s garden of forking paths. Resisting attempts to interpret her work, Marina Herlop prefers to create worlds which nourish and stimulate the imagination. Experimenting for the first time with konnokol syllables and Karnatic rhythms harnessing the processed human voice and electronics, Miu can be treated as a black box or Cenobitic toy which we the listener can project our desires and dreams onto.   

She performs live with other musicians. Her album Miu will be released by PAN in March 2022.  

Photo : Anxo Casals

Curated by Cyrus Goberville and Philippe Hallais.