Fortuna plays Szymborska*

Almost everyone knows the recordings of Wisława Szymborska reading her poems. What will happen when the melody of her voice is treated literally – when the music becomes strictly determined by her words, the resulting elements combined into an interactive evening of poetry? This approach focuses on the elements hidden behind the timbre of the poet’s voice, its intonation, and the changing tempo and rhythm of recitation. The result is a unique blend of music and poetry that highlights not only the words, but also their melody. Maciej Fortuna plays Wisława Szymborska for everyone, in particular young people, offering them an opportunity to rediscover the poet’s works.

Maciej Fortuna polarises and consolidates – sounds and words.
Andrzej Konieczny combines – rhythms and colours.
Paweł Wypych animates – collages, cut-outs, drawings.

* Archival audio and video footage and original cut-outs by Wisława Szymborska were used in the project.


Wisława Szymborska - born 2 July 1923 in Kórnik, Poznań province; died 1 February 2012 in Kraków. From 1931 she lived in Kraków, and between 1945-48 she studied Polish. Literature and Sociology at the Jagiellonian University. She made her debut in March 1945 with the poem Looking for Words published in a supplement to the daily newspaper "Dziennik Polski". From 1953 to 1981 she worked on the Krakow-based weekly magazine "Życie Literackie", where she ran the poetry column and the book review column "Lektury nadobowiązkowe" (later resumed as "Gazeta o Książkach" in the supplement to Gazeta Wyborcza). Several books collecting these essays have been published.

Szymborska published 13 collections of poetry: That's Why We Are Alive (1952), Questioning Yourself(1954), Calling Out to Yeti (1957), Salt (1962), No End of Fun (1967), Could Have (1972), A Large Number(1976), People on the Bridge (1986), The End and the Beginning (1993, 1996), Moment (2002), Colon (2005), and Here (2009), as well as an unfinished collection published posthumously, Enough (2012).

Szymborska's poetry has been translated into over forty languages. She also translated poetry herself, mainly from French and German. In 1991 she received the Goethe Prize. In 1995 she won the Herder Prize, and in May of that same year, she was awarded the honorary degree honoris causa by Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. In 1996, Wisława Szymborska received the Polish PEN Club award and the Nobel Prize for Literature. In 2001 she became an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and in 2011 she was awarded the highest Polish national decoration, the Order of the White Eagle.


Maciej Fortuna

Trumpeter, composer, music producer. Ph.D. in Musical Arts and M.A. in Law. He runs a record label and recording studio Fortuna Music. Lecturer at the Academy of Music in Poznań, Poland. Apart from creating his own language of musical expression and expanding the sound palette of his instrument, he also experiments with combining different forms of art. The use of live electronics is an important element of his creative work. He creates and directs multimedia concerts and video productions.


Andrzej Konieczny

He specialises in contemporary, electronic, improvised music, as well as all multimedia- related genres. He graduated from the Paderewski Music Academy in Poznań (jazz percussion, composition). Winner of many domestic and international competitions. He collaborated on dozens of records, both as a drummer, a composer, and a producer. He is constantly seeking new means of expression inspired by modern architecture, graphic design, and advertising. He is interested in different fields related to neuroscience and harnessed for the service of music, such as cognitive science and psychology.


Paweł Wypych

Graphic designer and animation artist. He specialises in graphic design, including two- dimensional animation, with an emphasis on visual identity and branding for club events, concerts, and fashion shows. He collaborated on the projects realised for: the National Centre of Culture, Lech Wałęsa Solidarity Awards Gala, Custos Monumentorum Rei Publicae Competition and Awards, Cinemaforum, and many others. Co-creator and author of visual identity for the projects An On Bast / Maciej Fortuna „Electroacoustic transcription of film music by Krzysztof Penderecki”, „Processingbop", and Steve Nash & Turntable Symphony Orchestra.