From Choir Directing to Improv: Małgorzata Lipka

DSC02564Małgorzata Lipka, Polish, choir conductor, has a MA in choir conducting and music arts.  She was a violist for 12 years, and still plays, although now she refers to herself as, “a singer and a choir conductor, a teacher, and sometimes an actress. I also play violin, but I don’t do it in a classical way anymore. I am soprano, and find it easy to get high notes; the color of my voice is bright…” An indeed not only is Małgorzata’s voice bright, but she beams and has a vivacious personality.”

Having lived in Italy in the past, Małgorzata is inspired by its culture, DSC02556and this was her driving motivation to be in resident at Arte Studio Ginestrelle, to develop a project with friend, Aleksandra Markowska. They are working on a music and theatrical improvisation piece, in which they plan to incorporate some of the local music of Assisi. Also, Małgorzata adds, “Coming here, I’m hoping to meet international people from all over the world who can influence my work, in some way.” While there is no pressure to create new work or even develop a project, Małgorzata is motivated and wants to make sure “I spend my time in Italy in a productive and creative way.”

Seven years ago Małgorzata and Aleksandra met in Warsaw, where they live, while participating in a jest choir, and from there they quickly developed a friendship. They became roommates and began doing projects together, including forming a vocal quartet, which led to improvisation about destroying art. Thereafter they began a duet at the Night of Museums, where “we started exploring different sounds, and discovered we were having fun; we agreed that music is not just about notes and rules, but also about freedom.”

Małgorzata said she missed this freedom she discovered working with Aleksandra, and realized that that aspect was missing from “the things I was doing in Warsaw. With us, there are no rules.  We know each other so well, we feel the vibrations as a result of talking for hours.” Resulting from the above mentioned show, they performed at Comedy Club, which they realized was “an important place to improvise, and the public liked us.”  The rest, so to speak, is history. They were ready to forge ahead and hone their craft. It was Małgorzata’s idea to do the residency and she asked Aleksandra, who readily agreed to join her.

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After listening to them practice most of the morning, being lulled and carried by their harmony, I joined them to learn about their project.  They were in the middle of practicing “The Flower Duel” by French composer Leo Delibes, but were getting ready to switched gears. In Assisi, they bought a score by an unknown Italian composer, based on old Italian music, as they wanted to sing something in Italian and something religious “because we were inspired by the religious atmosphere here.  We are also practicing modal church sounds –the voice we are using is more serious, like opera singing, but when we perform we use our more natural voice or pop.” Although their root is classic, they met doing pop. Malgorzata enjoys, “many different vocal techniques,” and plans to develop an improve repertoire with Aleksandra.

To learn more visit Małgorzata Lipka on Facebook

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