Beyond Penderecki

by Fred Osuna

From a window, the young Pole Krzysztof Penderecki saw resistance fighters hanged by Nazis, and neighbors carted off to work camps.

Penderecki became a composer of severe music relating noise and pain to art. We struggled with him in music history, Freshman year.

My saxophonist roommate often played a furious Pendereckian miasma which he dubbed "Ode to Fred," as I spun quasi-disco LPs by the Bee Gees.

When his father visited our dorm room, he rolled back a shirt sleeve to reveal the numbers branded on his forearm. We listened, silent.