Bieżan, Andrzej


Polish composer, pianist, and performer. Between 1966 and 1972, he studied composition at the State High School of Music in Warsaw with Piotr Perkowski and in Cracow with Bogusław Schaeffer. He was a founding member of several improvised and live electronics groups, including Materials Service Co. (with Ted Kobrin, Jacek Malicki, Nigel Osborne, and Olav Thommesen), Intuitive Music Group (with Wojciech Chyła, Jacek Malicki, and Zdzisław Piernik), Sesja 72–76 (with Władysław Jagiełło, Helmut Nadolski, and Andrzej Przybielski), Super Group, No False Modesty (with Czesław Adamowicz, Piotr Bernacki, Wojciech Czajkowski, Mieczysław Litwiński, Andrzej Mitan, Helmut Nadolski, Andrzej Przybielski, Janusz Trzciński, and Zbigniew Wegehaupt), Independent Electroacoustic Music Studio (with Janusz Dziubak, Krzysztof Knittel, Stanisław Krupowicz, Mieczysław Litwiński, Andrzej Mitan, Tadeusz Sudnik, Paweł Szymański, and Leszek Woźniakiewicz), and Cytula Tyfun da Bamba Orkiester (with Krzysztof Knittel, Mieczysław Litwiński, and Tadeusz Sudnik). 

As a pianist and composer, he performed at modern music festivals in Warsaw, Poznań, West Berlin, Bourges, as well as jazz festivals (including Jazz Jamboree) and club concerts. 

He manufactured his own instruments such as the tubmarine. 

He wrote music for the theatre, was the director of Poznań’s Morcinek Puppet and Acting Theatre, and worked at the Polish Radio Experimental Studio.

He died tragically on 15 December 1983, aged merely 38. In 2013, the Bôłt label published a two-CD anthology of his music, titled Polygamy

Andrzej Bieżan le a small number of compositions, notated in score or as verbal instructions. He eschewed traditional composition in favour of music generated spontaneously according to the venue, circumstances, and meeting of various artistic personalities, including amateurs. He considered music making to consist of looking for what “lies under the music.” He was a colourful personality, contributing a playful creative spirit to the grey reality of Communist Poland. 

Selected works: Orange Music for soprano and four instruments (1969), Divertissement, musique concrète for several circus actors, china plates, glasses and flute (1970), Structures for violin and orchestra (1972), Clash for tuba and piano (1976), Polygamy for tape (with Krzysztof Knittel; 1979), Archangel’s Sword for tape / flute, harp and tape (1980), Isn’t It? for tape (1981–83), I Was and Was for cello and tuba (1983); theatre music.