To The Waters Above (Jankowski)

Headshot of Jakub Jankowski standing outside. There are trees out of focus in the background.
Jakub Jankowski, Australian composer (Image: Zuzanna Juszczyńska)
Jakub Jankowski is an Adelaide-based composer working primarily in the field of chamber and orchestral music.

Many of his works have been championed by prestigious musicians from Australia and abroad.

Jakub’s work Clairières for symphony orchestra (commissioned as part of the ABC’s Fresh Start Fund), was recently premiered in September 2021 by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Luke Dollman.

In April 2019, Jakub was featured as a composer in residence at the Tongyeong International Music Festival in South Korea, which included performances of his woks by the Fabergé Quintet, cellist Hee-Young Lim, pianist Holger Groschopp, and the world premiere of The Dove Descending written especially for the Arditti String Quartet.

Jakub’s music has been featured at a number of festivals, including the Coriole Music Festival (2019), the Huntington Estate Music Festival (2019), the Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival (2018), the Musica Viva Festival (2017) and the London International Mime Festival (2016). 


It is easy to take for granted the fact that we are unable to truly see the stars at night in our modern urban cityscapes – our artificial lights obscure those of the heavens.

In order to fully see the night sky, we must make a deliberate effort to escape the noisy glow and sensory distortions of our electrical surroundings. When stargazing, our numbed perceptions require time to settle and adjust to the darkness. With patience and stillness, more and more of the heavens are opened to our gaze.

With patience and stillness, more and more of the heavens are opened to our gaze.

I have attempted to depict this ‘perceptual widening’ musically: throughout the piece, more and more of the night sky is gradually revealed in the sonic fabric. As our sight becomes clearer, we are able to see higher and further. Accordingly, the musical trajectory also becomes a voyage upwards through the firmament of the night sky.

Our journey is occasionally obscured by clouds which gently move across our view, and which become an integral part of the musical unfolding.

© Jakub Jankowski, 2022

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