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Rhythm Against Chaos

Polish classical guitar phenom Mateusz Kowalski shares insights on the importance of rhythm and practicing with the metronome.

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ARTIST FEATURE: Classical guitarist Mateusz Kowalski, the youngest ever elected professor at any university of music in Poland, the winner of the prestigious EuroStrings Guitar Competition and an advocate for Polish music on guitar, has joined us this week for our regular artist feature. Check out what he has to say about rhythm and time in music!

1) Why is rhythm important?

Rhythm is primal, it’s the foundation of music. It’s important because it organizes a sound matter in time. Rhythm is a way of fighting against chaos, which we try to escape from, both in art and our lives. That makes the rhythm extremely humane.

2) How do you practice your rhythm and sense of time?

I practice a lot with a metronome. I regularly record myself playing and then I check if what I hear in the recording is in line with how I would like it to be sung or danced.

" Rhythm is a way of fighting against chaos. "

3) What are your favorite rhythmic exercises?

I love to practice with metronome starting from Largo, gradually increasing it up to Prestissimo. It helps me to continuously exceed my limits. In addition, I enjoy practicing rhythmical phrases of various lengths – from few-note-long motifs to a few-bar-long musical sentences.

4) Can you name one thing that you like about the metronome on Metronome Online?

I particularly appreciate the woodblock sounds, which the Metronome Online offers. They fit the sound of a guitar very well, and they don’t make you feel tired, even after a relatively long practice session.

VIDEO: Ready to be dazzled by the classical guitar gymnastics?! Look no further and click on the video below for a spectacular performance of Stepan Rak’s Hora played by Mateusz.

Rhythm Against Chaos

Mateusz Kowalski

Touted by Classical Guitar Magazine as a ‘spectacular’ musician and his interpretations as ‘truly breathtaking’, Mateusz Kowalski is emerging as a star on the worldwide guitar stage. His repertoire consists of pieces from different epochs – from renaissance to modern compositions. He interprets them in a historically informed manner. His aim is to build the interesting, convincing and very often surprising musical creations, being in the same while the great stories, which impact the listeners. As a concert artist, he performed in the most famous venues worldwide. In age of 23, he made his debut in Vienna Musikverein and in Shanghai Grand Theatre, where great stars as Yo-Yo Ma and Luciano Pavarotti gave concerts. In 2019 he performed Concierto de Aranjuez with Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra. He gave recitals in Paris, Budapest, London and could be heard in 15 countries all over the world. The competitions he had won had a huge, positive impact on his career. Next to the 1st prize and audience prize in Antony, France, the most important one is the 2nd EuroStrings International Competition – the highlight of the EuroStrings program, which Mateusz was a member of. EuroStrings is the first European platform gathering 17 classical guitar festivals that organize international guitar competitions. To become a member of the program one has to win at least one of them. In Mateusz’s case, it was a competition in Rust, Austria. The program creates a lot of international opportunities supporting professional career development. 2nd EuroStrings International Competition, which in 2019 took place in London, is the first European competition open only to the winners of the EuroStrings international competitions. The winners were representatives of 12 countries. Part of the 1st prize was an international tour in Europe, the US and Asia.

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