The Adam Mickiewicz Institute opens digital project Penderecki’s Garden

Maybe its because I’ve spent an extended period of time using one particular type of mass publishing platform, that visiting a new website dedicated to Polish composer Penderecki feels like a lavish treat. Penderecki’s Garden examines the man’s lifelong passions – music and flora – in one bespoke digital experience that features ravishing design optimised for touch-screens.

Explore Penderecki’s Garden

As well as featuring a rich collection of first hand accounts from young, training and established musicians, the website is peppered with audio clips that play in the background as the user explores the virtual garden across multiple locations.

There’s a museum display feel to the entire thing which is unexpectedly reassuring. It’s not that the site is compensating for a physical space. Rather, the bespoke design and build creates a much-needed escape from the ubiquitous text-driven web pages and social media formats which dominate content delivery.

I’m particularly impressed that the core content – videos and text – are presented in a phased approach, with enticing sub headers, introductions and, most important of all, there are full URLs available that take you straight to that content (like the Max Richter tribute performance available for free until 31 December 2021). That makes this both an absorbing visual treat, but a rich accessible resource too. Deft design.

Perhaps most important of all, the site isn’t seen to be apologising for the cultural richness of Penderecki’s life, work and passions. Pride is hard-coded into the creation. Quite some achievement.