In his 24-minute opus ‘A Day as a Blade of Grass’, Krzysztof Sujata glides effortlessly through the shared spaces of ambient, noise and modern classical to craft one of the defining works of his rapidly expanding oeuvre.
Delicate piano phrases and trembling guitars hold the piece together, sliding in and out of view across its six sections under punishing waves of feedback and static. But for all of the noise and jittering experimentation that skitters through the mix, Sujata is most infatuated with those slivers of light in the darkness that give space to reflect. It’s in those moments when the truly human elements of his music are brought to the fore and the connections between the fragments are made in the mind of the listener.
To dissect the essential fabric of sound is a difficult enough task, but doing it with such care and devotion marks Valiska out as an artist in complete control of his craft. With its emotional resonance and sonic verve, ‘A Day as a Blade of Grass’ is a captivating and transportive piece from one of the most highly respected figures in contemporary ambient music.
Accompanying full length video:
"A day in 24 minutes, unfurling like dawn on either end of the horizon: Calgary-based ambient/noise auteur Valiska (born Krzysztof Sujata) is back with A Day as a Blade of Grass. The album is a single piece largely sourced from his recent performance at the Soundasaurus festival. Sujata’s ambitious piece maintains an astutely measured pace, instinctively layering sounds delicate and ragged into a gripping canvas of melody and texture — you know, the type of thing Tim Hecker became known for. However, where Hecker’s recent work tends towards a sort of grandiose distance, Sujata opts to explore something more immediately recognizable.
Constructed of piano, guitar and feedback, this piece demonstrates Sujata’s dynamic control of his musical language, reigning over the digital apparatus with a deeply human touch. Sujata’s accompanying visuals provide a peek of light and shadows, as well as moving shapes and blurred consciousness — a visual pairing that makes sense, given the ways in which melodic emotion seeps through the piece. Layering piano along sheets of waking fuzz, with a yearning undercurrent throughout, this is one of the most thrilling and immersive pieces of contemporary music I’ve heard all year. Listen to this."
FFWD Magazine - Devin Friesen
"A Day As A Blade Of Grass is Calgary-based Krzysztof Sujata aka Valiska’s most ambitious composition to date. Released on June 7, 2013 on the Canadian Inner Ocean Records label and available to purchase and listen to at Bandcamp, it comes in a limited edition of 200 CD’s plus a downloadable video that is as essential a part of the whole experience as the sound waves themselves. The work depicts an aural time lapse camera and clocks in at exactly 24 minutes, with each minute resembling the respective hour of a full day in the figurative life of a blade of grass. The preposition of the title is very important, for it showcases what Sujata wants to achieve with his long form piece: the listener is not invited to experience the typical day of a blade of grass rather than as a blade of grass. The connotation stresses the aspects of metamorphosis or a highly detailed look and hence neglects a more universal viewpoint of, say, the whole meadows and their surrounding landmarks. With the help of a piano, a pair of guitars as well as filters and layering techniques, A Day As A Blade Of Grass gathers a wide array of conflictive and incompatible auras, notions and forces. The listener truly feels like a small blade of grass in the given vicinity, but Valiska eventually balances the virtues and timbres, no matter how crestfallen or euphoric a certain vignette may be at a certain minute. The video tastefully visualizes the contrastive sequences and contains a few eye-opening scenes that help a prerogative of interpretation to unfold its plausibility. However, the following analysis is all about the sound-related experience this profound piece makes possible."
Ambient Exotica (excerpt)