In the Skies of Music – Crossing the Borders.Theatrical Work of Piotr Salaber
Times-Music-Artists in Pomerania and Kujawy, edited by Michał Zieliński, Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz, 20.12.2014r.

Łucja Demby

In the Skies of Music – Crossing the Borders. Theatrical Work of Piotr Salaber

Creativity and artistic career of Piotr Salaber is a clear example of the status, the contemporary music in theater and film has reached. The word "career" I use here for a reason, even though the subject of this article is not, of course, the commercial aspect of the creative activities of the composer. Career of Piotr S. – this is the title of the article, published on the occasion of the premiere of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, directed by Wojciech Adamczyk, which Piotr Salaber wrote the music to.1 The fact that the term has appeared in the title of the article about this specific performance is not the case - you can see the obvious wordplay and a reference to the title of Brecht's drama. But while this is a significant coincidence, allowing understanding the status of music in contemporary theater, since that show has been filled exceptionally rich with the music to both - the stage action, as well as for the use of film fragments, made especially for this performance.
"Salaber had composed for television before, but to illustrate the simultaneous action of film and the stage was for 35-year-old composer first challenge of this kind"2 – as you can read in "Newsweek". Arturo Ui in Gdynia - is in many aspects a significant moment in the Salaber’s work, defining its dual (although focused more on theater) film-theater, creative way, but also indicating his presence in further artistic activities, as a full-fledged co-author of the artistic whole.
Although the source of theater music can be found in Antiquity (Nietzsche speaks directly about the "birth of Tragedy from the Spirit of Music"), its contemporary status and nature was undoubtedly influenced by a significant impact of The Great Theatrical Reform at the beginning of the twentieth century. It wasn’t only Wagner with his concept of "music drama", but also Edward Gordon Craig, Adolphe Appia, and - in Poland - Stanisław Wyspiański, looked for the origin of the "real", unspoiled by literary influences theater in music and ritual dances. Theatre, as well as emerging at the time film, was considered to be the art of synthetic - autonomous, but combining means of many other arts.

1 Kariera Piotra S., „Newsweek Polska” 2001, nr 6, page 108.
2 Ibidem

Further future showed that the "artist of the theater" - a term created by Craig to describe the theater director-producer, you can, at least in some performances, also refer to the other artists, including - the composer. It would be hard not to admit that in contemporary theater the composer is often co-author of the performance, along with the director and stage designer. A creative contribution of the theatrical composer in the form of some artistic performances, both in terms of quantity and quality, implements that thesis fully; and Piotr Salaber’s theatrical work is the best proof of it. Nevertheless, also today, especially in music circles, you can meet up with the belief that theater music is not as valuable as an autonomous music, because of its service to other art and it’s dependant nature. Sometimes similar ideas in relation to the film music are being expressed; Wojciech Kilar case - he gained the international fame and recognition through the film music, but for many years treated cooperation with the film, as a marginal part of his creative work, is a visible proof that such thinking also happens to the composers. That view has successfully argued Erwin Panofsky in 1934, comparing the work on the film with the construction of the medieval cathedral; in either case, the final result is created by a team of talented people, each of whom must demonstrate the ability to think creatively both at the level of its field of art (e.g. the sculpture), as well as the entire complex work (e.g. how it would present in the tympanum of the cathedral, including its proportions and style). This relationship (called the "law of co-expression"), the famous historian and theorist of art considered primarily thinking about the screenplay and dialogues, but it also refers to the music:
"As for the music, it should be remembered that its use in the film is governed by co- expression law in the same way as using the spoken word. There is music, authorizing or even seeking to accompany the visual action [...] and the music, which can be used on the contrary. And again, this is a matter not so much of the level [...] but intentions"3.
Theater music, in shape increasingly demanded by contemporary theater, not solely limited to a simple illustration or leitmotiv course, but which constitutes an integral part of the complex structure of the play, and certainly requires the special skills of

3 Erwin Panofsky, Style and Medium in the Motion Pictures [in:] Estetyka i film, edited by Alicja Helman, Warszawa 1972, page 149.

the composer. It is not enough that he would be a talented creator; must also be able to think and create at least the two-layer structure, in his own, particular style and feeling, but also in the coherent context of the overriding work of art, which is the show:
"Every theater play is determined by the ratio of time and the course of energy and emotional tension. Therefore, the most important thing is not an illustration of what happens on stage, but attempt to follow the climaxes, which run through the presentation and create those, sometimes subcutaneously quivering emotions. Therefore, the musical climaxes must match the culminations of performance’s energy "4.
Theatrical work of Piotr Salaber perfectly confirms these remarks. Observing it’s development and evolution over the decades, one can see the composer's skills aiming the perfect integration with the overall performance, while maintaining, or even developing their own, individual style. It is worth noting, that especially the latter is for theater music a very difficult task. Jan Kanty Pawlu¶kiewicz expressed it very aptly in one of the interviews, basing on his own experience:
"Few people manage to make the theater music an important element of the performance. Dozens of people write this music - serious music composers, pop music composers. However, only few of them manage to achieve such a special condition in which the music complements the show, and at the same time is the essential element. For a long time I did not understand what it is. [...]. Generally speaking - to become aware of - here I would go a little further - the theater, the music in it - this is the thin air [...].
Theater music is in fact only a signal, a musical idea. Extremely careful, but also sophisticated musical vision. It is a kind of musical equivalent and with the richness of its functions is always only a fulfillment. Therefore, it cannot replace or fill the remaining elements of the structure of the show. In the "thin air" of the play there is no room for Mahler's symphonies.5 "

4 Wiesław Kowalski, Muzyka bez formy, „Twoja Muza”, 2006
5 Jan Kanty Pawlu¶kiewicz, Teatr to moja nie zdobyta kochanka, Krzysztof Rekosz "Teatr" 1996, nr 7/8, page. 62-64

Continued cooperation with the theater Piotr Salaber began in the artistic season 1994/1995, assuming the position of music director at the Polish Theatre in Bydgoszcz.
"How revealed later one of the journalists of Newsweek, I was reportedly the youngest head of music in Poland" - he recalled years later6. His first independent work was theater music for the play Desire Caught by the Tail (1995), directed by Wiesław Górski. Performance, based on the surreal art of Pablo Picasso, considered by some critics to have been "an ambitious failure.7" Element of the show, emphasized in reviews as its positive value, however, was - as wrote with a certain emphasis Anita Nowak - "and performed" live "by Piotr Salaber - prepared piano and electronic media - music so great as "La danse macabre " C. Saint-Saëns and "Tosca" by Puccini”8.
A few years before, the young composer had already to his credit music for poetical performances and, in collaboration with Zbigniew Bagiński, for the play Boogie- woogie" (1991, dir. Z. Wróbel, Chamber Scene of Opera Nova in Bydgoszcz). All of these projects, as well as performances created in subsequent years, took place in Bydgoszcz - it allows you to specify the earliest period of Piotr Salaber’s works as a "Bydgoszcz period". This term, somehow conventional, is adopted here for a rather methodological purpose, to introduce any demarcation lines between the successive stages of the composer’s work. In fact, Piotr Salaber, despite working in a number of places in Poland and abroad, continues to be the Bydgoszcz composer, without breaking family ties with the city. He put it himself, in the most beautiful and - at the same time - briefest way, saying, "I have my grand piano in Bydgoszcz. [...]. I always come here, whenever I need to compose something bigger.9 " "The Bydgoszcz period" differs from the subsequent activity of the composer this way, that his work in those years was associated almost exclusively with the city, and that was Bydgoszcz, were plays, to which he wrote the music were staged. Time frames of Bydgoszcz period could be established purely institutionally, for the years when Piotr Salaber held the position of music director of the Polish Theatre (1994-2001). More

6 Wiesław Kowalski, op. cit.
7 Jadwiga Oleradzka, Picasso bez pędzla, „Gazeta Pomorska” 1995, nr 49.
8 Anita Nowak, Poż±danie schwytane (wreszcie) za ogon..., „Ilustrowany Kurier Polski” 1995, nr 40.
9 Piotr Salaber, W Bydgoszczy mam fortepian, „Express Bydgoski” 4 wrze¶nia 2010

appropriate, than such a purely chronological division seems to be highlighting the breakthroughs that have left their distinctive mark on the musical achievements and the further creative way of the artist. The first of them - and undoubtedly one of the most important – was his three times participation in master classes with Karlheinz Stockhausen (1998-2002); already the first trip to Kuerten near Cologne resulted in new creative ideas, realized later in the theater. The experience gained in contact with the creator of "stage music" (where the elements of theater and sound in purely inseparable bond are connected in a kind of philosophy of music) Salaber used in the performance of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1998, Polish Theatre in Bydgoszcz, dir. Wojciech Adamczyk) in which, under the influence of Stockhausen’s octophony, he decided to use the six independent groups of speakers. At the same time, the name of the director - Wojciech Adamczyk - can be considered a preview of a new period in the work of Piotr Salaber, still associated with Bydgoszcz, but also increasingly focused on the work at the theaters in other centers. The next stage, given the earlier observations made here, regarding the status of the present theater composer, I suggest to call the "(co-) author period," and therefore the one, when Piotr Salaber, working with a number of individualists - directors, authors of the theater10, also revealed his author’s face. Among the directors with whom he traveled the creative path were: mentioned before Wojciech Adamczyk, and primarily, Andrzej Bubień, Julia Wernio, Jan Bratkowski and Krystyna Jakóbczyk11. In all cases, these performances wore the clear mark of the author - director, but also a composer. About the cooperation with Wojciech Adamczyk Piotr Salaber said:
"[...] When we finished work on "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" in the Polish Theatre in Bydgoszcz with the director Wojciech Adamczyk, the first time since I completed the math and physics concentrated class in high school, everything in the theater matched, including the numbers, time and various other metrical-rhythmical

10 The term "author" I use here in the sense it is used in film studies, speaking of "auteur cinema"; "Author" - it's sure distinguishable when compared to the works of the artist, group of repetitive attributes that characterize his work. In this way, defined concept of the author does not have to be the same, especially in the case of arts such as theater or film, with only one particular artist.
11 Working with Krystyna Jakóbczyk is also important in the composer's achievments, composing the music for children.

matters. With Adamczyk we understood each other so well in all aspects of staging and music.12 "
On the other hand, the very fact of mutual understanding, but from the point of view of the director, recalled Andrzej Bubień, during the work on the Playing a Victim (2011) at the Ludowy Theatre: "Really, the person I work the most often with is Piotr Salaber, the composer because the music in the theater is extremely important to me, and acts as another actor in the show. A man who communicates with me without words must create it.13 "
Andrzej Bubień - his name determines again to a large extent, the third period of theater music by Piotr Salaber, dominated by foreign projects, in St. Petersburg, due to the cooperation with this particular director, but also in Paris, Vancouver, Debrecen and Budapest. In St. Petersburg, he collaborated with Andrzej Bubień first in the Drama Theatre on Vasilevski, and then in the prestigious BDT (Tovstonogov Bolshoi Drama Theater), it let him to work together with so prominent, well known in the world artists as a stage designer Eduard Kochergin and choreographer Yuri Vasylkov.
Crossing Borders - in the case of extended wide already achievements of the composer14 is not only in the foreign projects mentioned here, so literal, physical movement to other countries. Looking more closely at his creative work, you come to the conclusion that it is one of its constitutive features, on several different, though clearly interrelated, levels. The tendency to cross borders and habits adopted by the audience can be observed already in a relatively early period of Salaber’s artistic work; it intensified clearly after his stay at the Stockhausen courses. In 2000, fascinated by the Helicopter String Quartet, offered the citizens of Bydgoszcz the "concert at a high level": "He played at a height of 40 meters above the Old Market. At this height the fire ladder truck, usually used to evacuate people from burning buildings, elevated the musician.15" Two years later, when asked about the yet unrealized artistic projects, he said: "I like to dive, so I thought that I could play in the

12 Wiesław Kowalski, op. cit.
13 Ibidem
14 So far, Piotr Salaber has written music for 85 performances (and the musical directions and arrangements for 19) and also for 3 feature movies, 2 TV series, 22 TV programmes and 11 radio novels.
15 Koncert na wysokim poziomie, „Interia”, 10-07-2000

water. Even planned that I could do it in the Bydgoszcz aqua park ... "16 Although making this dream come true wasn’t possible, but his musical, close contact with the element of water was in the same year, when he appeared on the beach in Orłowo (Unexpected End of Summer, 2002, dir. W. ¦migasiewicz) on the initiated by Julia Wernio - Summer Stage of the Municipal Theatre in Gdynia. This "theater among the waves17", where the audience gathered at the beach was able to participate in a unique experience, listening - at twilight - actors and musicians (including Salaber, playing the piano) and simultaneous sound of the sea, giving a heightened acoustic, visual and emotional result.
All of these events and artistic ideas may seem apparently only aimed for spectacular effect happenings. In fact, however, they have much deeper dimension and show a characteristic of Piotr Salaber’s creative thinking. On the one hand it is constantly striving to push boundaries, to seek always new forms and means of expression, first (as in the examples described) in their more external aspect, related to the unusual conditions of performing music18, and later in a more internalized one, at the level of the musical performing apparatus. On the other hand (not without inspiration by Karlheinz Stockhausen’s creative activities, to which Salaber willingly admits) - still searching for new musical spatial solutions.
In the Polish Composers 1918-2000 lexicon, Anna Nowak underlines this fact, as a defining characteristic of his style: "Of great importance for the composer is also the problem of spatiality of the sound and taking into account the principles of perception in building and shaping the tensions in the song.19" Going beyond the theatrical ideas

16 W samochodzie, pod wod± i w łóżku, Gazeta Pomorska, 27.09.2002r., interviewed by: Marek K. Jankowiak
17 Newsweek Polska, 14.07.2002r.
18 Talking about his impressions of the concert over the Bydgoszcz Old Town, the composer mentioned that the only thing he feared was a breeze. "<< Then I would have problems hitting the proper keys >> - said before the concert" (Concerto at a High Level, "Interia", 10/07/2000). I had the opportunity to watch the spectacle on the beach in Orlowo, during which playing the piano Piotr Salaber struggled with the strong coastal winds. Both of these examples, as well as a concert at the water park project, what means overcoming the resistance of the elements - wind and water - can be considered as a distinct symbol of the struggle of the artist with the resistance of matter.
19 Kompozytorzy polscy 1918-2000, edited by Marek Podhajski, t. 2, Gdańsk 2005, Akademia Muzyczna in Gdańsk, page 867.

(though closely associated with the theater20) expression of this desire is certainly Missa Mundana, written in honor of John Paul II. Salaber - which occurred here in the dual role of the composer and conductor - planned its world premiere on the first anniversary of the Diocese of Bydgoszcz, 3 April 2005, but fate decreed that the day before, Pope to whom it was dedicated, died. These circumstances added a unique aura to the whole event and concert in the Cathedral of Bydgoszcz, which could at this point seem to be a part of a much larger whole, with its extension not only next door, at the Old Market, where after the death of the Polish Pope hundreds of burning candles appeared, but also in the whole country, overcome by grief. But the Cathedral itself served to Salaber not only as a special place of the sacral, but also as a space that allows certain musical arrangements. "The spatiality of Salaber’s composition made a big impression on the audience gathered in the Cathedral. Opposite to the viewers, nestled in church pews and porches, the composer set the Symphony Orchestra and choirs - the cathedral, chamber one and vocal ensemble "Gallery of the Sounds", while on the opposite side of the choir, the organ played by Michał Wachowiak (organist at the Cathedral of Bydgoszcz). On both sides of the temple the great speakers were set, projecting prepared in four channel electronics.
<< I even thought about octophony, used by Stockhausen - this kind of works we analyzed during the Kuerten courses [said Piotr Salaber – added by Ł.D.]. Ultimately, however, with Michał Czerw, who was the sound projectionist for the electronic part of the music, we decided to use just four channels >> 21".
The space of the same temple composer also used five years later, preparing music for Little Judas (2010, dir. Andrzej Bubień) for Athenaeum Theatre in Warsaw ("because this composition in its motifs refers to the funeral Orthodox liturgy, the surest choice for Bydgoszcz was a Gothic cathedral from the XV age 22"). Recording of the music for this production was made with the participation of the Chamber Choir of Bydgoszcz Academy of Music, prepared by prof. Janusz Stanecki.

20 Some parts of the music, which later included in the Mass, were used in referring to the liturgy scenes in The Devils, in the Athenaeum Theatre.
21 Muzyczny hołd Janowi Pawłowi II, „Twoja Muza” 2005, nr 3, page 57.
22 Piotr Salaber, Dyrygent w studio, czyli mikrofon zamiast publiczno¶ci – w siedmiu pytaniach i odpowiedziach. Specyfika pracy dyrygenta podczas nagrań studyjnych muzyki filmowej i teatralnej, Toruń 2011, page 120

In the Missa Mundana composition, Piotr Salaber used a characteristic for his style musical technique, combining classical and electronic instruments, inspired by the composition courses in Kuerten near Cologne, but also by the wish of offering to listeners in the church emotions associated with the liturgy in a modern form. "Missa Mundana connected a pair of fairly distant worlds: classical music (explicit references to Bach or Beethoven) and modern music, electronic, written in the style of Jean Michel Jarre, Vangelis or even Karlheinz Stockhausen23".
The technique he used earlier in his theatrical performances for the reasons, as he admitted, not only artistic, "the theater could not afford to hire a symphony orchestra. And I also try to avoid the situation, when the whole theater musical layer is recorded only electronically.24" Regardless, the inevitable in this profession, economic constraints, in the creative evolution of Salaber’s music over the last twenty years you can clearly draw certain regularities of a purely artistic motivation. Besides combining the sounds of traditional and electronic instruments, very characteristic feature of his style is also using the ethnic and historical instruments. Composer’s numerous trips around the world (including the so-important for the development of the contemporary theater Indonesian island of Bali25) have established in his memory of musical sound rare in our current culture, exotic, unusual instruments. Also in this aspect, a breakthrough performance, beginning his mature, auteur, original period of work, can be - One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, directed by Wojciech Adamczyk. In addition to inspired by Stockhausen’s octophony, six groups of speakers, Piotr Salaber took also care of the other original musical aspects of the show; one of them was to use an Aboriginal didgeridoo, considered one of the oldest wind instruments in the world. From that time until the present day - performances, co-created by Piotr Salaber, can be characterized by the presence of many rare in the theater world sounds. Viewers of Hungarian version of Obłom-off (2009, Debrecen Csokonai Theatre, dir. A. Bubień) could hear the sound of the duduk, the Armenian oboe; in Little Judas appeared some rhythms, performed with wooden spoons, used in Russian folk music; in The Treatment (2008, Drama Theatre on Vasilevski in St. Petersburg,

23 Muzyczny hołd Janowi Pawłowi II, „Twoja Muza” 2005, nr 3, page 57.
24 Ibidem
25 The development of contemporary theater performance was influenced by dancers from Bali, observed during the World Exhibition in Paris in 1931. Ref. Antonin Artaud, The Theatre of Bali [in] the same author, Teatr i jego sobowtór, trans. Jan Blonski, Warsaw 1978, WAiF.

dir. A. Bubień) vocal part of an ethnic singing, the so-called "natural voice projection". The sounds of ethnic music are often accompanied by historical instruments - glass harp in Little Judas; specially ordered, archaic model of hurdy- gurdy from the fifteenth century in On Foot (2011, Bolshoi Drama Theater in St. Petersburg, dir. A. Bubień). In the group of historical instruments can also be mentioned, although for slightly different, special reasons, unique sound of the only one in Poland - Stradivarius cello from 1717, played by Adam Klocek, used in the performance of the St. Petersburg - The Treatment.
One of the most original achievements of Piotr Salaber was music for the K. Brothers, a performance based on Fyodor Dostoevsky's The Karamazov Brothers, awarded by the "Theatre" magazine in the category "Best Theatre Music " (2006, Municipal Theatre in Gdynia, dir. A. Bubień). The composer used ethnic and historical instruments (didgeridoo, hurdy-gurdy, Persian Ney), but also many Siberian throat singing (so-called Overtone singing), which, as he himself admitted, in combination with Dostoevsky’s text gave electrifying effect26. "This recording [...] - writes the composer himself - was one of the more substantial evidence of the subconscious effects of certain types of sound on our body. Completed piece [...] accompanying the exorcism scene in the play caused a sudden weakening and faint of two female students sitting very close to the speakers during the dress rehearsal.27 "
The original sound of this kind of instruments in various performances on the stage reaches full expression in combination with classical and electronic instruments, but often also in cooperation with the very talented artists; music written for the theater is not only designed for specific performance, but also for a particular artist. An excellent example of this can be The Little Judas, where, in addition to the unusual sounds of the glass harp, percussion and celesta (played by the composer himself), was used, carried out, especially for this performance, recording of the trumpet of the world famous trumpeter, son of Karlheinz Stockhausen - Markus. Markus Stockhausen also participated in the recording of the two years later - Measure for Measure at the famous St. Petersburg theater - BDT (Bolshoi Drama Theater, 2012, dir. Andrzej Bubień); trumpet solo in the final of the play was a kind of culmination

26 Piotr Salaber, Dekompozytor, interviewed by Ewa Sułek, „Gentleman”, March of 2009.
27 Piotr Salaber, Dyrygent w studio..., op. cit., page 135.

of the musical part of the performance. Between cooperating with Piotr Salaber outstanding performers you also need to mention the violinist Katarzyna Duda (solo violin part in The Trap, Tadeusz Różewicz, Theatre in Olsztyn, 2006, dir. Julia Wernio; final piece of On Foot, Slawomir Mrozek BDT in St. Petersburg, 2011, dir. Andrzej Bubień). These examples (e.g. The Trap, where specifying Kafka's Jewish identity violin theme was relatively simple, built on the basis of one of the oldest Jewish modi or "steiger" (in Yiddish - "way") - Ahavah Rabbah, endowed with a huge emotional content through the melodic elements and melismas called krechen (in Yiddish "moan", "lamentation")), elucidate at the same time another feature of the style of the artist: visible over the next few years expansion of instrumental apparatus here goes hand in hand with the tendency to simplify the language of music. This is required largely by the specificity of theater music, which should be noticeable (or at least felt by the viewer), but at the same time, with few exceptions, does not extend more to the fore. In the similar way appear musical themes in the film. In the case of theater music by Piotr Salaber, the perfect example of this can be St. Petersburg - Measure for Measure (2012, dir. A. Bubień). The presentation of the musical theme, named by the composer Justice, had definitely minimalist character, based in its basic form on minor third interval, a major second and two half tone steps, returning with minor third to tonic note. Carried out through succeeding groups of string orchestra, against the background of persistent, inevitable ostinato, contrasting with lyrical undertones of the main melody, became in effect the most emotionally moving (and - in the opinion of this writer's word - the most beautiful at the same time), musical part of the performance.
A special kind of challenge, requiring multiple skills of the composer, was working on mentioned at the beginning - The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui at the Municipal Theatre in Gdynia (2001, dir. W. Adamczyk). Theater music, by its nature placed on the border of arts; here exceeded the boundaries separating different areas of communication (theater, film, and television), and various conventions. In this unusual presentation, the action was happening - alternately or simultaneously - in the space of the theater and on the stage with the folding screen, the Brecht’s distance effect (Verfremdungseffekt) was also multiplied by playing with numerous theater and film conventions to which it was necessary to match the music. From the musical point of view, the whole piece was composed on the basis of two modal scales

(semitone / whole tone / semitone ... and the whole tone / semitone / whole tone...). The task the composer had to deal with was, therefore, a kind of "stability in variability", achieving the effect of coherence of the performance and his own musical style while moving between the conventions and the proliferation of variations of this style.
Although the previously described examples of the formal originality of the music of Piotr Salaber may raise recognition just because of their innovation and perfect mastery of the workshop by the composer, the tendency to broadly defined border crossing revealed in his works also on a different plane and even in much deeper way. As the theater music is the special case of music that is not ashamed of the fact that it means something, and has a certain function and it is not just a pure form, it makes sense, and it makes us ask the fundamental question of what kind of content is expressed in works of Piotr Salaber. Although his compositions can be divided into several streams, describing them would exceed the size of a discussion of this article (music for children, cooperation with film, television and radio); the most interesting seems to be the one which, in the theater or outside it (Missa Mundana), touches the transcendence. "Music - says Krzysztof Lipka - always was intended to serve man as a signpost to find himself, find the way to the universe (cosmos) and establish communication with the universe.28" Analyzing the performances with the music of Piotr Salaber, you can come to the conclusion that, very often, in comparison with other present components, it performs just such a function, thereby realizing the postulate formulated by Lipka - art restoration of its value:
"Yes, it's true, liberated art, music, with its non-artistic entanglements, it became an autonomous, independent, proud," art for art's sake ", yes. But it also became empty, detached from the Absolute, from all transcendence "29.
Music of Piotr Salaber its fullest expression and artistic the most perfect shape achieves when appears in the play as a kind of voice of God: recalls the existence of a better, more perfect world, but also that person on Earth has to yourself, others and the artist - moral responsibilities. Acts as a judgment and exhortation, but also gives

28 Krzysztof Lipka, Muzyka – most ku niewidzialnemu, „Kontrapunkt. Magazyn Kulturalny Tygodnika Powszechnego” 1996, nr 6 (Muzyka: wieczna i ulotna) 29 Ibidem

you the faith, hope and love, leading to catharsis. Nikita Mikhalkov once said that what guided him in his life, is "the idea of being seen from the sky. Knowing that God sees you, makes it begins to feel ashamed of evil, that we are doing.30" These words could also serve as a motto for many Piotr Salaber’s theatrical projects.
The fullest reflection of it seems to be the Little Judas at the Warsaw Athenaeum Theatre, a performance that showed the frightening world of spiritual emptiness and lack of positive values, but ultimately did not take away the viewer’s hope, restored it to him because of the music. Choral singing, where by parallel compound minor thirds and extensive chromatics sounded the distant echoes of mournful Orthodox liturgy, spoke in moments of triumph of the main character, pictured by floating up door-catafalque with the bodies of subsequent victims, felt like a reminder that someone from the top of it looks and judges, and that man is not able to kill God. Similarly functioned music (though its role was not limited to) presented a few years earlier in the same theater The Devils (2004, dir. W. Adamczyk). Piotr Salaber’s monumental music, filling almost half of the ongoing performance of about three hours from the first scene introduced religious connotations.
In the history of "devils of Loudun" based on the play by John Whiting, but also well- known to the Polish audience from the novel by Jerzy Iwaszkiewicz and film by Jerzy Kawalerowicz - Mother Joan of the Angels, the song Dies Irae, based on the four-bar harmonic and melodic formula, which is the basis throughout the course of the whole piece, a reminder of the existence of God, even when innocently accused Grandier was burning at the stake. But at the same time in that performance could be heard, with great precision as Piotr Salaber’s music can go from good to evil. One of the most poignant moments of the exorcism scene was one of them; in the acoustic layer the recipient was able to feel authentic communion with an ominous howl of demons. Exorcisms and the presence of Satan was expressed in described earlier - The Karamazov Brothers’ music. Mentioned above elements, such as overtone singing (its higher variation - Khoomei in melismas and modal returns and lower - Kargyraa, representing drone basis, also the source of harmonics appearing in the higher registers) accompanied the exorcism scene, when the devil tore Alyosha Karamazov’s riasa. The whole performance lead to the music theme called by the composer -

30 Nikita Mikhalkov, Un Russe au pays des soviets, “Positif” 1991, nr 368, page 29.

Purification, there, the original, resulting from the construction of the instrument, six- step scale of Persian Ney brought hope to win for love, after a struggle with Satan. The spiritual aspect of Salaber’s music resounds with special force in the finals of the performances, by nature predestined to reveal catharsis. Among the latest foreign stage realizations of the composer, one of the finest examples of this is St. Petersburg Measure for Measure. The finale of the performance is thematically and energetically summary of the whole musical material. Markus Stockhausen’s trumpet brings peace and tranquility, arising from the fact that the dramatic conflict had been resolved, and the lives of the characters saved. Close-sounding strings, earlier in the show full of dissonant chords and rapid changes in the registers sound at the end very consistently, creating the basis for a lyrical part of the trumpet, in which, however, due to the ambiguous moral undertones of Shakespeare's plays, also echoes the sadness and anxiety. Another performance, geographically closer to us, because performed at the Ludowy Theatre in Krakow, where can be seen similarly functioning musical finale was the Playing a Victim by Oleg and Vladimir Presniakov. In this play, the hero, "contemporary Russian Hamlet", fear of life compensated by playing the victim in police reconstructions of the crime, the music sounded a wide range of feelings and moods, not shying also from sharp, dissonant tones with exposed baritone saxophone. At the end, however, resolved dissonance harmony and nostalgic music in expanding like the stained glass effect chord of electric, deformed electronically guitar, melted in the form of one with the image of flowing, perhaps, the afterlife, and with the dramatic question of the existence of God. Music carried the message of the Absolute, and seemed to exceed the limits of the most important of all - the one beyond which nothing is no longer clear.
In each of creativity, you can always find some element of crossing borders, because it is an immanent feature of the creative gesture through which the artist becomes the subject of transcendent. In the case of theater music, however, it has much broader, not just individual dimension.
"The most wonderful memories are those where there is a very close and inspiring cooperation between director, composer and stage designer - said Piotr Salaber in an interview in the journal "Your Muse". Because the theater is a collective work. I never start composing music for the play, until I see set designs. Besides this, I try to

participate in rehearsals and follow the successive stages of the gaining the final shape of the staging. And the music at that time arises in me.31 "
In this process, not only the artist opens up to what is new; it also allows you to open up the recipients, so that they could cross the narrow limits of their consciousness. Crossing borders, including the borders of one’s own "me", is being done not to cut off from something, but to expand the former areas to the new ones, to connect, build bridges. In 2005, writing about cooperation of the Bydgoszcz theater composer with the theater in Torun (Crime and Punishment, dir. A. Bubień) and referring to the long-standing animosity between the two cities, Zdzisław Pruss entitled his article - Salaber As a Bridge.32 The work of Piotr Salaber can be considered a kind of bridge, not only in this case, but also in the sense of what Krzysztof Lipka wrote - as a bridge to the invisible, reminiscent of the Absolute. It is also - but not least - the bridge leading in the opposite direction: towards viewers. Theater and film music - is a communication-oriented art; to lift us to the sky, it must first find the way to our soul. "Thin air" of Jan Kanty Pawlu¶kiewicz, "the skies of music" in the title of this article, metaphysical finals of the performances or even wind accompanied performances of Piotr Salaber in Bydgoszcz and Gdynia - are the different ways of metaphorical expressions of the same idea: music leads the recipient to a completely different world, opening before him hitherto unknown spaces. In connection with the picture – in theater or film - allows us to experience another, often richer experience, which becomes the most valuable when reveals the truth of our feelings.
"There is still one fundamental criterion in theater - says Piotr Salaber - criterion of truth. Or the viewer sits down and experiences real emotions, like actors on a stage, or does not, and then the magic vanishes. The form, or the text is after all, a secondary matter. 33"

31 Wiesław Kowalski, op. cit.
32 Zdzisław Pruss, Salaber jako pomost, „Gazeta Pomorska. Bydgoszcz”, 18.03.2005.
33 Piotr Salaber, Kryterium prawdy. Z Piotrem Salaberem, kompozytorem muzyki teatralnej i nie tylko rozmawia Tomasz F±s, „Bydgoski Informator Kulturalny”, May 2006.

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