Gliptopalinomia for solo piano (2017-...)


7.2, 2.7, ...


Duration: 2’45”





7.1, 1.7, 3.5, 5,3, ...


Duration: 3’45”





10.1, 1.10, ...


Duration: 1’00”





6.3, 3.6, 6.3, 3.6, 5.4, 4.5, 5.4, 4.5, ...


Duration: 2’00”





The piece is planned to be a piano cycle in which all of the basic elements from my System of Periodic Constructions will be presented. Every miniature of the cycle is based on some periodic pitch material derived from the row of alternate intervals. Sets of selected intervals in combination with mostly cyclical rhythms define specific timbre and textures of each part of the cycle.

The first miniature Gliptopalinomia 7.2, 2.7, ... is written using perfect fifth (7 semitones) and major second (2 semitones) only. These intervals give a bright, glossy and light sonority of repeated phrases. It creates an impression of iridescent liquid matter quickly changing its shape in looped motion.

The second one – Gliptopalinomia 7.1, 1.7, 3.5, 5.3, ... is based on a richer row of intervals. The combinations of two groups: perfect fifth and minor second (7.1, 1.7,); minor third and perfect fourth (3.5, 5.3) sound shadowy and vague. The texture of this miniature – whilst the piece develops – is becoming more and more complex but very often one can hear an initial motive of a very fast repetition of a chord, performed by a pianist in two more or less distant registers: high-low-high or low-high-low. This imitates the sound of a bounce or a jump. The motive fills most of space of the piece. Sometimes it is clearly audible like at the beginning of the composition; sometimes it is more hidden among other rhythms, fast runs and arpeggios.  It forms a jagged and rough texture, a dramatic and fast movement, strength, elasticity and virtuosity.

The third part Gliptopalinomia 10.1, 1.10, ... is composed of only two intervals: minor seventh (10 semitones) and minor second (1 semitone). This part of a cycle is very slow, delicate and almost transparent because it contains very few tones. After the second part, the third one sounds like a couple of raindrops rarely dripping on a windowsill after the thunderstorm.

The fourth miniature Gliptopalinomia 6.3, 3.6, 6.3, 3.6, 5.4, 4.5, 5.4, 4.5, ... refers to the idea of musical "perpetuum mobile", i.e. short forms with cyclically repeating content. The piece consists of a fast piano part, played with the left hand, as well as an electronically transformed Rhodes piano sound, which the performer plays with his right hand on a MIDI keyboard. The pianist performs the entire piece three times. During this time, the electronic part "swings" down a quarter-tone and the listener can hear the interferences between the right and left hands. 

The meaning of the title is spread in a semantic field between three Greek words: glipto from glyphē – a sculpture or glyptós – engraved; palin- from pálin – again, against, aback, re--nomia from nomós a skill, an art, a field of study or a law. Thus Gliptopalinomia is a sonic sculpture engraved by my musical matter framed by me for almost two decades. Every part of it is a study of the fragment of the System of Periodic Constructions but the whole cycle contains every element of the system, showing its modus operandi.

Hitherto Gliptopalinomia’s 7.2, 2.7, ...  I dedicate to prof. Grażyna Pstrokońska-Nawratli (note that first letters of her name and surname gave the first letter of three Greek words which built the title).


List of performances:


6 January

Gliptopalinomia 6.3, 3.6, 6.3, 3.6, 5.4, 4.5, 5.4, 4.5, ... (premiere)

Gdańsk (PL), Klub Żak, 10. Dni Muzyki Nowej

Małgorzata Walentynowicz – piano



19 June

7.2, 2.7, ...

7.1, 1.7, 3.5, 5,3, ... (premiere)

10.1, 1.10, ... (premiere)

Tokyo (JP), Sumida Triphony, The Chamber Hall

Ignacy Lisiecki – piano



10 December

7.2, 2.7, ... (premiere)

Wrocław (PL), The Karol Lipiński Academy of Music Concert Hall

Marcin Grabosz – piano



28 kwietnia 2022