During this year’s gala of the Medal of Freedom of Speech in Gdańsk, there will be a premiere of a new song created to the words of Wojciech Młynarski’s poem “A small word ‘decency'”.
The Grand Press Foundation together with the Association of Authors ZAiKS announced a competition for writing a composition for a melodic line to a text by Wojciech Młynarski. It’s about a poem that the artist posted on Facebook on May 22, 2016.
I look around my homeland and I think, deeply saddened, that today the Polish language could use a Dictionary of Missing Words. A dictionary of words that used to be close to us, but which have escaped our language, because they name phenomena that are unlikely to be encountered. So if someone were to ask me, I would point to an abundance of such words, mainly the letter “Pe” – a small word for “Decency”. This word meant a lot, it thwarted the scoundrels until it took over and evaporated from culture, science and politics. That is why it would be worthwhile to run with memory into the quite recent past, where the so-called decent man disappeared on the corner of history. I want to remind you for a few moments how this man in desperation hid his faith in imponderables in internal exile. I want to mention what this man loved, arousing laughter and pity in smart people, and then a little word will come to mind – “Decency”.
“He wrote his brilliant poems almost until the end of his days. He didn’t manage to set it musically”
The president of the Grand Press Foundation, Weronika Mirowska, argued that “Wojciech Młynarski wrote his brilliant poems almost until the end of his days”. – He did not manage to set it musically, and we would like such an important piece not to be only in poetry books, but sung by those who appreciate not only Młynarski’s talent and wisdom, but also share his concern for our homeland. I believe that Polish artists will creatively approach our joint initiative with ZAiKS and Jan Młynarski. Because freedom of speech is also, and perhaps above all, freedom of artistic expression, the importance of which for building democracy in Poland has already been recorded in the pages of our history, said Mirowska.
The competition is addressed exclusively to Polish composers, who may submit only previously unpublished, unperformed and non-awarded works. The composer of the best work will receive a cash prize of PLN 10,000. zloty.
The submitted works will be evaluated by a jury consisting of: Jan Młynarski (as the chairman), Adam Nowak, Ralph Kaminski, Jacek Tarkowski and Weronika Mirowska.
The premiere of the winning composition will take place during the gala of the Medal of Freedom of Speech on August 30, 2023 at the European Solidarity Center in Gdańsk, with live broadcast on TVN24 and on the websites of other media patrons of the event.
Applications will be accepted until May 15, 2023 (until 23.59). Works should be submitted using the form available at: form.fundacjagrandpress.pl.
Contest details and rules are available at: www.fundacjagrandpress.pl/konkurs.
Main photo source: Grand Press Foundation