In 2012, after his graduation, he went to Amsterdam, to do a workshop in literature and (early) music and simply asked: who is the organ teacher? The answer was: Jacques van Oortmerssen. This man asked him to come to the Waalse Kerk the next week and to play for him on the Christian Müller Organ built in 1734. He was very excited and nervous, there was no time for practise, but he saw in the Public Library a piano and commenced practicing, a fuga of Bach. The judgement was clear: ‘you are not yet a professional musician, but with your talent, you can be one, so come to study with me’. From that moment on he tried to be in Amsterdam as much as possible, to study with tone of the best organists in Europe also in this case with a teacher who goes far with just techniques, like it should to be, teachers for life. In the same period Tomasz worked on a thesis about literature and music, to complete his university studies. A study about polyphony, from music to literature. In polyphonic music there are comparable solutions of melodies building up rhythms as in literature and poetry.
Another example (from Paul Éluard in Poésie intentionelle et poésie involontaire) in my novel A Winter Heart: Léon, emir cornu d’un roc, rime Noël.
In that sense maybe it is not that strange that he stands open for a theatre project like the Piano Etudes, based on literary texts and the combination of text and music. Tomasz found his way every time. In the Netherlands he was a guest in my brother’s home in Weesp, the village where he played the organ as well as teaching my brother Jan to play the piano. Jan took him with to a book presentation of another brother, Herman, about a book on the writer Mies Bouhuys, in the Public Library in Amsterdam. After the presentation I met Tomasz in the bar of the Library and we started talking about my project The Piano Etudes. He was immediately interested and a few days later came to my place where we continued talking and he made it clear that he wished to take part. I started to make a list of works, which are part of the project, present in the twenty stories. Some of them should be executed on tape and some live. In my view it was theatrically better to look for a second pianist too, in order to exchange, and to create with the two actresses a more varied performance. Later on I proposed to perform the music as much as possible live. Finally this will happen, 19 of 20 pieces will be performed on stage. He proposed Magdalena Golebiowska as the second pianist.
What is so characteristic in his way of playing? You can say his story-telling way of playing music, which fits so well in the Piano Etudes. Tomasz feels very well the mood of the chosen music for the stories, also in stimulation and colour. You can hear this in his way of playing, relating to the thread of the story. In that sense he is an ideal musician for this production, just as Magdalena –a more about her another time-, feeling very well and flexibly the scene as part of a bigger story. You can remark this quite well in different musical solutions he proposed. So he started guiding and coordinating the music part of this production. In that sense the child of the border, has touched the limitations, crossing over them into an area with unlimited possibilities.
photo: Marta Golebiowska