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Symphony 2002
by Topy44 [issue 07/2002]

Tuesday evening, back from the party... lets do the report! :) I've started at the party, but as I did not have access to a computer most of the time, it was a little messy, so I'm redoing it.

So, last Tuesday I left my flat in Wiesbaden, Germany to go Kostrzyn, where I met Flapjack and Shadblue. We slept at Flapjack's home, I went to bed around 1, while Flapjack finished his multichannel entry. In the meantime, my cowee worked on a plan to take over the world with the help of Flapjacks extremely evil cat. By the time they were finished with their plan, it was time to get up again. Around 5:40 we took the train from Kostrzyn to Krzyz, where we met some more sceners on the way to symphony.

There we all took the train to Trzcianka, where there were many people waiting for the party bus already, that came at 10:00. Somebody brought an really old OC, that got destroyed at the train station, by smashing it against the building a few times and then jumping around on the components... check the pics.
By the time the bus came, everybody was drunk already... :) The 30km trip to the partyplace in the Lesny holiday camp in Tuczno took another about 40 minutes. The location is a hall on a holiday camp, in the middle
of the forest, at a nice little lake. In fact, I believe it's the most beautiful partylocation ever. When we arrived at the hall, everybody was still busy setting up everything. Some people were busy adjusting the beamer on it's very experimental hanging, some were carrying out most of the chairs and tables the hall was filled with. We took a seat outside and spent most of the rest of the day hanging around and drinking. Not many people brought their computers, in fact by now there were only two, a C64 and an Amiga, plus the ones at the orgadesk. By midday, everybody was getting hungry, but nobody knew any shops or the like near the place yet. Luckily, a guy selling Kielbasa (sausage) from the grill for 6 Zlotys (1.5 euros) each showed up later. We eat some. Once the beamer was set up correctly, Amiga demos were showed for most of the day. Later in the evening, the atmosphere got really great. With the help of some REALLY improvised cabling, a C64 got connected to the beamer, and people were seriously DANCING to them! Still, many people were following the Polish scene saying "real party is outside", which basically means sitting outside and drinking. :) I went to sleep relatively early, as I got up far to early this morning... Most people rented a bungalow on the camping, and Silentriot asked me to sleep in theirs, which I did for the first night.

I was warned that the next day could get boring, since on the first day the people were just arriving so they made party, and on the third day, the competitions and everything started, but on the second day not much was going on. This proved to be more or less true. Around midday, I went to the local shops together with some other people. We bought some bread and meat, and something to drink. I was a bit confused by the way most polish shops work first. You actually tell the people at the cass what you want and they get it for you. Which is quite difficult if you dont speak a word polish... :)

Later, we went to the town again, to look for some warm food. We ended up in a weird little restaurant like place, where we ordered pizza's - and these were the absolutely most terrible pizza's I ever had... Imagine taking a frozen pizza (yes, we chose the ones we wanted from a freezer), putting it into an oven for about 5 minutes, putting some ketchup (!!) on it and then actually eating this... this was absolutely horrible. Besides, it was a bit to expensive to, 6 zloty per pizza, which is about 1.5 euros, a lot for Poland. back to the camp, the party continued as usual. Sometime now, the registration started, which meant that everyone had to get out of the hall, and could enter again after getting a name batch handed out by one of the girls at the entrance. As I was a foreigner, I could enter for free, everyone else had to pay 20 zloty (5 euros) if I remember right. Girls were free to.

The namebadges really helped identifying and remembering people over the party, specially since I have a terrible memory. Also, we got our votesheets at that time - yes, they used votesheets! :) A thing I haven't seen for a long time... The votesheet was sort of ridiculous, as it had a list of 25 competitions, which seemed to be a LITTLE bit to much for a party that would only have about 200 visitors... Again, the real atmosphere came up after it got dark. People were dancing again, and everybody was having great fun. In the evening, a group of 4 swedish people arrived, 3 organisers from the "Birdie" party and a friend of them. They had some trouble at
the border (had to leave their car!), that's why they arrived so late... Anyway, after they arrived, they got drunk immediately, and forgot about the problems. :) I went to sleep around 4 in the morning, in the hall this time, as the couch in the bungalow proved to be less comfortable as the partyhall floor. :)

I slept extremely well this night, and so I got up again around 11, after I got woken up by some real loud Jpop, that turned out to be some guy playing 10-Nin Matsuri and 7-Nin Matsuri videos on the bigscreen... A little later they were watching Polish subtitled Digi Charat episodes (weirdo anime series, for the people that dont know it), and at this point I decided that I definitely like this party. :) Later I went to the shops again, with the Swedish guys this time. We found a little supermarket called "Lewiathan", which allowed us to do some normal shopping without being fluent in Polish... In fact, Triple, one of the swedish guys, spoke polish quite well as he is half-polish. Since he spoke English quite well to, he was our translator between Polish, Swedish and English most of the time. :) We bought some BBQ meat, that we tried to fry on a little grill at the partyplace, which turned out to be quite difficult, as it wasn't very hot and the coal was finished after the meat was just half-through... Luckily, they got it going again later on, and we had some real good meat. In fact, its the first real food we all have eaten since we entered Poland... :)

Tonight, the first half of the competitions were held. It started with the 30-second jingle
compo, which was disappointing, there weren't any good entrys at all, even though there were 11 entrys altogether. After that was the 4 channel compo if I remember right, which was better. There were some really interesting entries here, unusual styles. There were 11 entries, of which 6 were played. The ones I liked most are "Der Horizont" by Flapjack^Madwizards, which is a funky guitar piece with some German voice samples mixed in, "Upside Down" by Seabrush^Ultimaa/Mystic Bytes, which is a very interesting attempt to track metal, and this in 4 channels... Very interesting. Then there is "Jumpy Alien" by Traymuss^Vague, which I like very much, but its a pitty that it's out of tune at times... "Baby I wanna..." by Emsi^Addict Labs is a slightly funky jazzy track, very well done, but not my style... sorry :) The other shown releases were "badtrip" by Cactoos^Da'Hoo and "Zet's dead" by Zombie^Behemoth Breakz.

Then came the multichannel compo. There were unbelievable 25 entries! 12 were played, some of them really great. First I'd like to mention "Setting sun" by Skuter^Marsmellow, a simple and short but really beautiful track... Really worth listening. Then there is the winner of the competition, "Funky Baranky" by Flapjack^Madwizards, another really well done funky track, and Flapjack even sings on it! :) Another very special release is "Stand up for your Rites" by Rogal^D6 (hope I got this right), which is a very short (1:25min) percussion solo! It sounds really great, you gotta listen to this one. I wonder if its sequenced though, I cannot open .dbm files on my PC so I dont know... The other played releases were "pulse" by Robin^Whelpz/Attic, "For K." by Koglas^Nemesis, "Silly Venture" by Seabrush^Ultimaa/Mystic Bytes, "Negative Vibrations 2" by v0yager^Darklight,
Immemorial by Traymuss^Vague, "Meditation" by Nordbasse^Distort Waves and Emsi^Addict Labs (did I get this right?), "Swiadomosc" by the same two guys as Meditation, "knulla kuk - next generation" by Grogon^Picsaintloup and "Mik Mik 1" by Traymuss^Vague. One more track I'd like to mention is "Gwiezdzisty diament" by Szudi^Amnesty, which reminds me of the old days. It's a classic demo-style tune, and it's beautiful. Pitty it didn't get through the presel.

Next is the MP3 compo. This one was a bit disappointing... Mostly boring stuff, high quality but boring. There were incredible 30 releases, of which 15 were selected. Most of them were very similar in style and generally boring. The exceptions are "Trzcianka Suite" by Blz^Exmortis/Razor 1911, which is a orchestral tune that shows heavy influence from big movie scores. Nice work, nice theme, listen to it, it's worth it. Other nice tunes are "Maltibu" by Traymuss^Vague or "It's not a Graceland" by Protas^the Grid. Thats about all really...

Last was the chiptune compo (I think... I'm not to sure about the order of the compos anymore :). There were a whole lot of tunes, but I really can't remember them all... I remember there were 3-4 really good tunes. I don't have them here myself, so I can't review (or better, re-listen :) them atm. One of the really great ones that I have here now, is "Natalka Roox" by Flapjack^Appendix and Madwizards.

That's all for the music compos. I find it interesting that, compared to all German parties for example, there was nearly no cheap "Unz Unz" techno in the music competition, in fact except for some MP3s there was none at all. Also, people here still stick to traditional disciplines as tracked music and chiptunes a lot more then they do in other countries. I was amazed about the incredible amount of releases, compared to the amount of visitors. But, supose, the fact that some people made more then one release is a reason for that to...

After the compos, everyone continued drinking, and the party went on... The usual :) I went to sleep a few hours later.

Damnit, my time is getting tight as I have to pack for the next party... Yes, it's the 17. now, it took me more than a week to actually do the report :)

Saturday, the party is running for 4 days now, everyone's dead... :) I got up quite late today, 12 or so. I tried to take a shower, but the hot water wasn't working today, so it was a VERY cold shower. And believe me, it was REALLY cold, like near to ice cold... After that, we went to the shops again and got some more food, and I bought a bottle of vodka to take back to Germany. We spent the afternoon babbling about and just having fun. Later, in the evening, the second half of the competitions were held. We went to the shops again just before, and because of that we missed the graphic competitions. I looked at the releases at the organisers computer later, there were some nice releases, nothing extremely overwhelming though. What I find intresting in Poland is that very many people still work on Amiga, and I mean really work on them, not just
within the scene for the sake of using it, but for their daily work. In fact, there were about as many Amigas at the party as PCs. Many of the graphic entries were obviously made on a Amiga, which I consider a good thing. (No photoshop feel to them :) Then we watched the only PC 4k entry, which is quite nice but nothing to special. Here came the wild competition. (I think... to be true, I can't really remember the order of all the competitions :) There wasn't anything really special here. "Connection" by Biter^Scoopex/Marsmellow is quite nice... check it out. Then was the demo competition, PC and Amiga mixed as there were just two Amiga demos. On the PC side there was some nice stuff, specially "the s" by Suspend, a very stylish demo with good music synchronisation, and "Captured Dreams" by Floppy (mmh... not sure if this is correct), which isn't optically the best demo ever, but has some really nice physics effects. Worth seeing. Its a little slow though... and then, after a little delay, came the first Amiga demo - "Third Eye Conqueror" by Madwizards - and at this moment everyone knew who will be winning this compo... This is the damn best amiga demo I and most other people at the party have ever seen. In fact, it is one of the best demos I have EVER seen, on any system. Let me describe it a little closer, as far I can remember it. (Sadly I have neither the demo nor an Amiga to play it on here, so I can't remember all...) It consists of a whole lot of different complex animated 3d scenes, well modelled and well textured, really really nice, and with great artwork. The whole demo gives the image of "zapping" through TV stations, jumping between totally unrelated scenes with different music accompanying them, with some noise during the changes. Not such a new idea at all, but rarely so well done, and far more creative then most other attempts to it. And the crazy thing about it, it was not even the final version... There will be a final sometime soon. I'm looking forward to seeing it. After that, and after another
pause, the second Amiga demo was shown. They were actually still working on it during the compo, and I guess its not completely finished yet eighter. It is good. Very good in fact. But it cant beat third eye conqueror... :)

After that, I can't remember anything really, as everybody got REALLY drunk now. Most of the other competitions did not happen as there weren't any entries. And some happened, but I just cannot remember them. Damn, alcohol just took over control at this party. :) I went to bed late, like 6 in the morning or so.

The next morning, Sunday, the last day. The party continues another few hours, then people start leaving. As I had to wait till monday to get home, I stayed at the partyplace and helped cleaning up a little. Mmh... damnit, it's getting late and I have to finish the report, so I'll stop here. :) Be sure to check for more pictures and a report about the adventure of sleeping in a Polish hotel... Also, I'll upload the most important releases there. Hope you enjoyed the report, and maybe you'd come to the next Symphony in 2003!

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