Lamunan

by Antonina Nowacka

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Cosmographer
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Cosmographer This record right here is the music of light, of angels, of anti-gravitational forces. Such beautiful sounds. As we all agree, 2020 has been a bad year, and when I listen to something like this I cannot stop thinking about how therapeutic beauty can be.

There is no word for this: this is simply a BEAUTIFUL album. Favorite track: Part 6.
tctclr
tctclr thumbnail
tctclr i heard 'part 5' via an episode of spool's out and instantly bought the tape without even having heard the end of the track. stunningly beautiful vocal work with strong echoes of palestrina, hildgard of bingen, and the like.
ondrej_genot
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ondrej_genot one of the best singers alive
doubtz
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doubtz Ethereal and timeless! Favorite track: Part 2.
Jakub Knera
Jakub Knera thumbnail
Jakub Knera There are no instruments here, just Antonina’s voice resonating in a Javan cave and in the murky dungeons of the Modlin fortress. Her voice is clear, and the space is used for its added acoustic values. The vocal and its echo overlap, intertwine, leaving behind reverberating space, rustles, delicate buzzing, sounds of nature, noises that are hard to decipher. Favorite track: Part 5.
Leon Frey
Leon Frey thumbnail
Leon Frey A totally mesmerising release, full of tender and visceral vocals that feel both deeply human and, simultaneously, otherworldly. Favorite track: Part 3.
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1.
Part 1 03:06
2.
Part 2 03:42
3.
Part 3 03:46
4.
Part 4 03:56
5.
Part 5 09:46
6.
Part 6 01:57
7.
Part 7 05:07

about

Forged alone in a cave on the island of Java, and recorded in a fortress in Poland, Antonina Nowacka’s “Lamunan” is an intimate exploration of a mysterious darkness and the earliest of musical forms. Nowacka has co-created raw electronics and audiovisuals as half of WIDT and the enigmatic Mentos Gulgendo, but her solo practice focuses solely on the voice’s inherent connection to mental states, its ability to speak wordlessly, and the apparatus of speech itself – leading her to a six-month trip to study traditional music in Indonesia.

A day trip to visit a Javanese volcano turned into days of exploring, Nowacka eventually stumbling across a cave. “Rarely does anyone come there because Indonesians are afraid of the dark and the cave is poorly lit,” explains Nowacka. “I could sit there and sing for hours without feeling the passage of time.”

Hours spent in the dizzying darkness and echoes of Seplawan Cave produced a series of unaccompanied vocal motifs. Moans, chants, hums, and wordless cries met with the multi-million year-old facades of the stone walls. The freely flowing compositions seem forged from the same natural material as that stone, carved into shape by nothing but water, time, and solitude.

Upon returning to Poland, Nowacka recorded with Rafal Smoliński in the cave-like sonic conditions of the Modlin Fortress some 50km north of Warsaw. The intimate and surreal sound of the cave is recreated, Nowacka overlapping multiple vocal lines to create delicately interwoven chamber choral pieces, musically minimalist and emotionally maximalist. The album’s title – "Lamunan" – comes from the Indonesian word for ‘dreaming’ or ‘fantasy’.

credits

released September 11, 2020

Composed & performed by Antonina Nowacka at Modlin Fortress / Summer 2019

Recorded by Rafał Smoliński
Mastered by Fatima Qureshi at Mindsight Studio NY

Words by Tristan Bath

Photo by Marcelina Pieniążek
Artwork and layout by Paulina Ufnal & Janek Ufnal

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