Hashtag Ensemble

Hashtag Ensemble. foto Anita Wąsik Płocińska

Hashtag Ensemble – music cooperative specializing in contemporary music, improvisation and musical education, established and managed by flutist Ania Karpowicz.

Members of the cooperative are young Polish musicians: composers, vocalists, instrumentalists and a conductor from leading cultural institutions such as Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra, Polish Radio Orchestra, Polish Royal Opera or The Fryderyk Chopin University of Music.

Hashtag Ensemble cooperates with composers and has ordered new pieces from Jagoda Szmytka, Artur Zagajewski, Agnieszka Stulgińskia, Adam Porębski, Paweł Malinowski and Zygmut Krauze, among others. It has in its repertoire classical works of 20th century music, by Peter Maxwell Davies, Louis Andriessen, Helmut Lachenmann, Georg Crumb, Gerard Grisey, Steve Reich and others. 

Hashtag Ensemble operates by creating egalitarian structures based on multi-layered activities of its members and by buliding programmes based on legible and usually non-musical contexts. An important element of the group’s concert practice is support and presentation of artistic achievements of women – since it’s beginning the group has cooperated with multiple female composers and artists. Only in 2018 the ensemble performed the works of Jagoda Szmytka, Agata Zubel, Agnieszka Stulgińska, Age Veroos and Rebecca Saunders.

The group has performed at numerous festivals, such as POLIN Music Festival, Warsaw Autumn, Sacrum Profanum (Cracow), Tallin Afekt Festival, Poznańska Wiosna Muzyczna (Poznan Music Spring), Musica Electronica Nova (Wroclaw), Musical Gardens Festival (Warsaw), Warsaw Music Encounters. The cooperative has been hosted by prominent concert halls, such as Solti Hall in Budapest, National Philharmony in Minsk, Sala Laboratorium at the Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw, but also music clubs such as Meskalina in Poznan or Boogaloo and Skwer in Warsaw. Hashtag Ensemble performs finalists’ compositions at composers’ competitions, e.g. at the Baird Composers’ Competition and 15th International Serocki Competition.

One of important areas of the group’s activity is improvisation, which has produced three improvisational threads so far. „Visegrad Songs” (CD 2016) is a reinterpretation of motives taken from 19th century classical music, “#WITKACY” (CD 2018) presents a musical re-reading of photographic autportraits by Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz, performed during the SOUNDLAB project in the M. Karłowicz Philharmony in Szczecin (among other performances), and the newest thread „urb<s>core”, consists of closed improvisational forms inspired by photographic scores by Zbyszek Siemaszko, revolving aroung the theme of Warsaw’s modernist architecture. „urb<s>core” concert has been recorded for TVP Kulturawithin the Scena Klasyczna (Classic Scene) programme and the album will premiere in 2019.

Hashtag Ensemble has produced two repertoir albums: #NetworkMusic (2018), which traces the group’s artistic explorations and development in years 2013-2017, and „Trash Music” (2018), which presents a study on the works of Wojciech Błażejczyk. All Hashtag Ensemble albums have been have been published with Requiem Records Opus Series.

Hashtag Ensemble is engaged in musical education as well. Since 2016 it has been performing educational concerts of contemporary music at the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw, within the Smykowizje project. Only in 2017 the group has played 34 concerts for more than 1000 families, presenting the works of Crumb, Andriessen, Schoenberg, Penderecki and many young Polish composers.

Hashtag Ensemble cooperates with other new music groups in Poland and Europe (Spółdzielnia Muzyczna, Musik Fabrik) and supports partnership builiding within the contemporary music environments – both musical and institutional.