- Maria Pokrzywińska
The work was composed in 1982, during martial law in Poland. It originated as a protest against the reality of that time: the hopeless social, political, and economic situation of our country. Due to the deep economic crisis, all everyday goods were rationed, with drastically reduced availability. Few now remember that for example, two sticks of butter had to last a month, and there were shortages even of rationed meat (subdivided into qualities: 1st, 2nd, 3rd). Additionally, civil liberties were limited, telecommunications were blocked, a curfew was introduced, the country was militarised, and persecutions were widespread.
In the work’s structure, three sound layers can be distinguished. The basic layer is composed of voices reciting the names of rationed wares (butter, sugar, our, rice, chocolate, cocoa, and so forth). The second layer includes signals—sound quotes: the jingle of TV news of the time, a telephone ringing, an ambulance, applause from the Polish Communist Party’s conference, and so on. Additionally, percussion plays a background layer. The work uses exclusively musique concrète material. The voices were recorded by Katarzyna Bortkun, Tadeusz Czechak, and Jarosław Malanowicz, percussion effects by Stanisław Skoczyński, and the whole was remastered on tape by Bohdan Mazurek using the equipment of the time (without computers!) at the Experimental Studio of the militarised (of course!) Polish Radio. Obviously, Reglamentoso could not be performed in that period, so it waited in the drawer for many years.