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Freedom of research | Karol Pyka, PhD

20.12.2021 - 11:26 update 21.08.2023 - 14:39
Editors: OO
Tags: Inicjatywa Doskonałości Badawczej, Research Excellence Initiative



„Freedom of research – science for the future” series consists of articles, interviews and short videos presenting research conducted by winners of „Freedom of research” call for proposals

Karol Pyka, PhD

Metamorfozy album release

Karol Pyka, PhD from the Institute of Music of the University of Silesia has recorded an oratorio called Metamorfozy as part of “Freedom of research” call for proposals. The album was released on 20 December 2021. It is available in popular music streaming services, including Spotify, Tidal, Deezer, Apple Music and YouTube Music.

You can listen to the interview with Karol Pyka, PhD about the new album on University of Silesia Spotify channel. The interview was conducted by Tomasz Grząślewicz.

The oratorio Metamorfozy is a combination of illustrative music, soundtrack and progressive rock, with certain elements of musicals. The libretto was written by Andrzej Pacuła. Metamorfozy consists of 10 songs preceded by an overture, with numerous impromptu parts played on electric guitars and keyboards. It was recorded by an extended team of musicians, including a symphony orchestra, a rock band with two guitarists, a mixed choir and two lead singers – alto and tenor.

The rock band plays a significant part on the album as the core of the instrumental group, with the leading role of solo electric guitar. The sound of this instrument, which complements the words of the main characters, increases the expression and tension of the narrative, as well as emphasizes the dramatic quality of the emotions which they experience, serving as the tool to articulate the cry of our times. The two central characters are: He (everyman) and She – the narrator and friend of the main character, who struggles with internal dilemmas as a lonely man lost in today’s world. The goal of Metamorfozy is to show the solitude of a human being living at present, facing isolation on a daily basis in the overwhelming urban environment, which restrains the development of his ideas and dreams. However, there is also a clear aspect of hope and faith in a better tomorrow, as well as trust in God as the force to face any adversities. The choir in the oratorio takes a role similar to one from Greek tragedies, serving as the main character’s voice of conscience, embodiment of his emotions, as well as commentator of the events.

The oratorium is delivered as a symphonic rock radio play. All songs form one logical sequence, which makes the project a concept album. It combines traditional forms of musical expression with a modern approach to sound texture and its confrontation with the aesthetical needs of a contemporary listener.

Notably, although part of the musical material was written gradually over several years, a majority of songs were composed and orchestrated during the SARS-CoV-2 lockdown in the spring of 2020. The paradigm of isolation induced the composer to reflect deeply on human loneliness in the world and inspired more intense music writing. Moreover, the specific tracks of live instruments (drums, bass, guitars, keyboards and cello) and digitally generated orchestral sounds were prepared without physical contact between musicians – the work was created by the author and specific performers isolated from one another. Each of them recorded their instrument in their own home recording studio.


Andrzej Pacuła – libretto
Karol Pyka – concept, composition, arrangement, keyboards
Magdalena Krzywda-Krzysteczko – She
Marcin Jajkiewicz – He
Piotr Wójcicki – electric guitar, acoustic guitar
Krzysztof Ropicki – bass guitar, fretless bass
Michał Dziewiński – drums
Barbara Kamińska – oboe
Paweł Siembieda – trumpet
Marta Sitek – cello
Silesian Chamber Choir Ad libitum
Izabella Zielecka-Panek – choir preparation
Rafał Smoleń – recording of orchestral parts
MARPART Studio – recording of vocal parts
Krzysztof Gawlas – recording of choir
Rafał Hilbrycht – recording edition
Mateusz Sołtysik – recording, mix and mastering
Grzegorz Bobrowski – cover and booklet design

Track list:

  1. „Uvertorium” – 4:09
  2. „Domy samotnych ludzi” – 5:16
  3. „Człowiek bez właściwości” – 3:42
  4. „Każdy sobie, każdy sam” – 5:19
  5. „Jeżeli nie śpisz w tym wielkim mieście” – 4:30
  6. „Są we mnie ukryte mroczne sny” – 10:10
  7. „Ja cię przed tobą osłonię” – 4:20
  8. „Zagubienie” – 7:05
  9. „Zawsze masz wybór” – 6:25
  10. „Dwie twarze w oknie” – 5:05
  11. „Gdzieś kochają podobno” – 6:20

okładka płyty „Metamorfozy”
Metamorfozy album cover



Karol Pyka – composer, arranger, conductor, session musician, pedagogue, employee of the Institute of Music at the Faculty of Arts and Educational Science in Cieszyn of the University of Silesia in Katowice (since October 2009). Graduate of the Faculty of Arts of the University of Silesia with a major in conducting at the Institute of Music, as well as a major in composing and arranging at the Institute of Jazz of the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice. In 2015, he obtained the PhD degree in conducting at the Faculty of Conducting, Jazz and Musical Education at the Feliks Nowowiejski Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz. In 2009–2020, he was the conductor of the Representative Orchestra of the AGH University of Science and Technology in Kraków. Since 2012, he has been the conductor of the Cieszyn Brass Orchestra of the University of Silesia. In 2010-2013, he was the conductor of the big band at the part-time studies of the Academy of Music in Katowice, and since 2015 he has taught conducting at the Institute of Jazz of the Academy of Music in Katowice. He is a jury member of several domestic reviews of brass orchestras. He is the author of numerous compositions and arrangements for various vocal-instrumental ensembles, a number of scientific publications, and a winner of composing competitions in Poland and abroad.

dr Karol Pyka
Karol Pyka, PhD from the Institute of Music of the University of Silesia | photo from the private archive of Karol Pyka, PhD


Andrzej Pacuła – poet, satirist, essayist, lyricist, author of theatre scripts and librettos of musical events, artist of Piwnica pod Baranami in 1980–1988, member of the editorial team of „Piosenka – rocznik kulturalny”, ed. by Polish Song Museum in Opole since 2013, initiator and first artistic director (together with Piotr Filip) of TaliA Comedy Festival, Tarnów 1996–2002.

Magdalena Krzywda-Krzysteczko – a versatile and charismatic vocalist, author of music and lyrics, pedagogue. Graduate of Musical Theory and Jazz Singing at the Music Academy in Katowice. Deeply submerged both in jazz and medieval music. Interpreter of poetical works (e.g. poems by Agnieszka Osiecka). Thanks to sensitivity, vocal skills and talent, she successfully performs both modest, ascetical music, accompanied by guitar only, as well as lively big band and orchestral pieces.

Marcin Jajkiewicz – graduate of the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice. Musical actor and singer, jazz and popular music vocalist. Qualified vocal instructor. He underwent methodology training in teaching solo singing at the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice. He is a lecturer at the Faculty of Musical of the Academy of Music in Łódź. He has cooperated with the Musical Theatre in Łódź and taken part in popular TV programmes for many years. He is the winner of many prestigious prizes in international competitions and festivals. Marcin Jajkiewicz has participated in many prestigious concerts, frequently performing with well-known Polish artists. He is a laureate of Jan Kiepura theatre prize for The Best Musical Vocalist 2020 and „Golden Ring” prize for The Best Actor 2020.

Piotr Wójcicki – a graduate of the Interpretation, Education and Jazz Department of the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice in the electric guitar class and Private School of Popular Music „Nice Noise” in Katowice, where he also later taught. He is currently a lecturer at the Silesian School of Jazz and Popular Music – Centrum Muzyki nad Rawą in Katowice. Composer and guitarist. He creates instrumental music combining elements of jazz rock and progressive rock, referred to as fusion or crossover. He has recorded three albums as a solo artist. Apart from playing concerts, he also conducts educational activities. In 2011, he released his guitar school on DVD. He is also the author of a textbook on improvisation. He has his own band, which performs his original material on concerts.

Krzysztof Ropicki – session bass guitarist, graduate of the 2nd cycle Władysław Żeleński State Music School in Kraków in the double-bass class, and the Faculty of Jazz and Stage Music of the Karol Lipiński Academy of Music in Wrocław with a major in bass guitar. He has cooperated with many ensembles and artists. He is also the winner of numerous competitions and festivals in Poland and abroad.

Michał Dziewiński – drummer, educator, session musician, graduate of drum class at the Institute of Jazz of the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice (2016). He has taken part in numerous projects, performing with jazz musicians and artists of other genres. He has participated in many musical events in Poland and abroad. Two years ago he started his own jazz project in which he develops his own ideas as a composer. He is currently preparing material for his solo album.

Silesian Chamber Choir Ad libitum was established in 1999. Its name contains the word Silesian, because the singers come from different locations in Silesia. Their private passion for singing turns into making music with passion together by singers professionally differing from one another. They refer to themselves as a team for special duties. Ad libitum is known for taking up various, interesting musical challenges, ranging from popular music to participation in opera performances and large-scale vocal and instrumental forms. The choir has participated in several dozen international festivals and competitions, winning over 40 prestigious prizes. It records for Polish Radio, TVP and Polsat, works as a session ensemble, and has released 8 CD albums. Prof. Izabella Zielecka-Panek is the founder and conductor of the choir. Silesian Chamber Choir Ad libitum:

  • soprano voices: Adrianna Gierula, Barbara Fijak, Alicja Jankowska, Kamila Strońska,
  • alto voices: Katarzyna Dziech, Nina Polczyk, Martyna Prochowska, Dagmara Wieczorek-Żogała,
  • tenor voices: Piotr Garczyk, Krzysztof Kaczor, Jacek Krzyśków, Dariusz Panek,
  • bass voices: Szymon Goraus, Krzysztof Puda, Adam Sojka, Mateusz Zięba.

The album release was co-financed under Research Excellence Initiative programme of the University of Silesia in Katowice.

The album release was co-financed from the funds under Research Excellence Initiative programme of the University of Silesia in Katowice.

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