International Katarzyna Myćka
IKMMA 2007 (engl.)
When the idea of making international marimba master-classes crossed Katarzyna Myćka’s mind, no one could predict what will be the future of this venture. Project was named The International Katarzyna Myćka Marimba Academy and took its place for the first time in the year 2003 in the Polish city of Wroclaw where it also lasted for the next two editions in 2005 and 2007. Already during the first edition it became certain that IKMMA is successful event, and there were no doubts about its future anymore.
Third edition, the IKMMA 2007, which just came to an end on the 23rd of September, was slightly different form the past two editions. This year, instead of Momoko Kamiya (Japan) and Bodgan Bacanu (Austria), Katarzyna Myćka decided to invite and collaborate with Eric Sammut (France) and Robert van Sice (USA). Both gentlemen are marimba experts and virtuosos so their classrooms were always full with participants observing individual lessons. What remained unchanged was presence of Prof. Jacek Wota and his help with all the preparations at The Karol Lipinski University of Music in Wroclaw where he is professor for percussion and where IKMMA was held with its daily lessons, rehearsals and concerts (excluding concert in Oratorium Marianum and Wroclaw’s Philharmonic Hall all the concerts were played at the University of Music).
This year, same as 2005, brought some guest appearances. In 2005, IKMMA was visited by Eckhard Kopetzki and John Thrower. IKMMA 2007 aimed for David Friedman and his music. Unfortunately Mr. Friedman got sick really bad just before inauguration day and the last minute call went to Taiko Saito who agreed to take over lessons about Friedman’s music and jazz music in general. She stayed with IKMMA’s students a couple of days giving mini-recital during evening concert of September 16th. Taiko Saito played music of her own (Landscape IV, A sa suzumi for 6 mallets), as well as music of David Friedman (Izgalom, Between Dusk and Dawn). For the concert ending piece she was joined by Eric Sammut and as a duo they improvised on marimba (E. Sammut) and vibraphone (T. Saito).
Mentioned already Eric Sammut had his special on the evening of the 18th of September when concert was fully dedicated to his works and arrangements. Concert named as Composer’s Portrait was divided into two parts. In the first part there were students playing Eric Sammut’s pieces (Stroboscope, Rotations 1, 3, 4, Spiral 1 and amazing arrangement of Gerswhin’s Porgy and Bess). Second part was mini-recital performed by Eric Sammut himself (among other pieces audience could listen to Sergey Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet excerpts arranged for marimba solo by E. Sammut)
Just in the middle of master-classes very busy Robert van Sice had to leave Wroclaw. Fortunately such a caring professor, as he is for his students, took necessary preparations to provide IKMMA with new professor substituting him. That is how the young and talented marimbist – Ji Hye Jung (Korea) – came to Wroclaw and taught Marimba Academy participants for two days. She also performed as a final act of the evening concert on September 20th playing Eric Ewazen’s Northern Lights.
It also has to be mentioned that IKMMA had a special guest, Kim Mi Youne (Korea), 1st Prize winner of the Universal Marimba Competition 2007 in Belgium. On the 21st of September, at evening concert she performed already mentioned excerpts from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, as also Eric Sammut’s Rotation 4, and Marimba d’Amore by Keiko Abe.
What would be the point of organizing event like this if it isn’t truly about students who came to Wroclaw from all over the world? In 2003 and 2005 IKMMA gathered people from 17 different countries including Mexico, Australia, Korea, Japan, Germany, Croatia, Slovenia Bulgaria and many others.
Third edition brought together some of old friends from past years as well as introduced for the first time musicians form Hong Kong, Sweden, Latvia, Colombia, Russia, Portugal and France. In total number of 31 participants, 22 came to IKMMA for the first time. It is very important for Katarzyna Myćka to let new people join IKMMA society, so they can meet in ensembles which beside individual classes are fundamental idea of the IKMMA.
Ensembles mentioned above are very special and reason is simple: participants coming from more or less distant lands meet in ensembles rehearsal rooms and start making music together. Difference of language, culture, performing style and even practicing method is to be overcome by mutual effort and will to create professional music group in short period of time. Already mentioned daily concerts and both, welcome and farewell dinners, had their influence by helping the group to unite and to get to know each other way better not only as a musicians but also as a human beings (as it often happens also this time food has done its integrating job). This year IKMMA had special person to provide guidance and help for new born ensembles. It was Shoko Sakai (Japan), IKMMA 2003 and 2005 participant who in 2007 became IKMMA trusted assistant. She acted not only as ensembles coordinator but also as individual teacher when temporary substitution was needed.
Wide range of repertoire dedicated (written originally or arranged) to mallet ensembles was really impressive this year. To begin with Johann Sebastian Bach Air from Goldberg Variations arranged for marimba duo and performed at the Oratorium Marianum on 19th of September, to end with contemporary pieces like Gary Wain’s Seven Steps or Chain written by one of the IKMMA students – Arkadiusz Katny – performed by Katarzyna Myćka and Shoko Sakai at the Wroclaw’s Philharmonic Hall on 22nd of September. Moreover pieces of Keiko Abe (Memories of the Seashore), David Friedman (Hand Dance), Astor Piazzolla (super-popular Tangos #1 and #3), Emmanuel Sejourne (Departures), Bela Bartok (Allegro barbaro), Christopher Deane (Vespertime Formations), Lucas Gonseth (Marie), Daniel Levitan (Marimba Quartet) and a lot more were performed during IKMMA 2007 on various concerts inside and outside of the Wroclaw’s University of Music.
Here with special thanks to Norsk Musikforlag Oslo and Herbert Brandt Percussion who, beside audio CDs and mallets, supplied IKMMA with huge amount of sheet music which could be performed on instruments provided by Marimba One, Pustjens Percussion Products, Adams and Yamaha. Without this help organizing master-classes on such a high level wouldn’t be possible. Thank You!
Help of companies is very important part of IKMMA but still it can’t be forgotten how an event like this is created and by whom. IKMMA as actual master-classes lasts 10 days. IKMMA as an idea is nothing but constant work of project’s brain and decider, Katarzyna Myćka, who searches for the new musical material for solo players and ensembles as well as interesting artists to become one of IKMMA’s performing guests or professors. This year Katarzyna Myćka was supported by the group of people (who were, with great pleasure, leaded by author of this text (Przemyslaw Loho) responsible for keeping an eye on smooth course and perfect organization of the master-classes, from the beginning to the last day.
Time will show what is going to happen next. IKMMA is already an event where during three editions over 100 people – musicians and composers – were given an opportunity to play music together and to make new friendships. And just for that, there is still the reason and point to continue International Katarzyna Myćka Marimba Academy project in coming years.