The Żywiołak project is the non-accidental effect of a meeting of two friends of music styles defined as heavyfolk, biometal, folkmetal, or hardfolk…
In their home-bands, both have gone through fascination of Slavic and Celtic music as well as widely defined rock and roll.
Robert Jaworski - the founder of Turek-Łódź based band ich troLe - which has shaken the Polish folk scene within just a year since it`s foundation. He is fascinated with medieval music, old instruments, good rock n’roll and folk art. He tried, not very effectively to enliven his ideas for interpretation of Slavic music by playing in Warsaw Village Band. Later, in his own band 'ich troLe', he managed to record his first Slavic composition called: 'Pochwist'.
Early breakdown of the band disable him from realisation of more musical ideas.
Some day his music trail leads him to akin soul - Robert Wasilewski.
Robert Wasilewski - regular guitar-player of the legendary folk band Open Folk.
One of the last active folk musicians in Poland, who grew up listening to bands such as Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd or Black Sabbath and who draws inspirations from them. For a long time he planned to record his ideas of interpretation of 'folk demonology' Slavic music.
Some of these compositions were already performed by 'Open Folk' the other soon will be played by Żywiołak.
Two men of the same first name decide to join forces and create band that would be led by the motive of folk demonology. That notion is at least abstract for contemporary people in Poland and so far was not directly explored by any Polish folk group.
The subject of pre-Christian beliefs, which became ground for many myths, is a rewarding artistic playground used all over the world not only by musicians. Interested in folk arts, archaeology and encouraged by kind treatment of folk music in media, they decided to once more enliven creatures from domestic legends and tales, which are inseparable parts of Slavic mythology. Creatures which were degraded by Christian tradition to role of devils and dark forces. Contemporary ethnographic and anthropologic research prove that pre-Christian cults were present in 18th century in Poland and their direct remains were visible even shortly before World War II. It’s folk art in which they still live and allude to the past. Painting Easter eggs, drowning Marzanna at the beginning of spring, avoiding greetings through doorsill or knocking in non-painted wood are the best examples of pagan habits that live in present times. All that folk background has become the core of inspirations for Żywiołak.
Many days have passed since the memorable meeting in January 2005. The inspiration-exchanging duet Open troL has been joined by a singer Izebela Byra (known from earlier experience in group Detonacja and other non-folk bands) and Anna Piotrowska (very exuberant singer from bands such as Goście z Nizin). The rhythmic section was initially taken over by the drummer Michał 'ThOrn' from metal band Sphere who was later exchanged with Maciej Łabudzki (regular leader of the Otwock-based reggae team Mistik Madzonga). Complicated and winding roads of all those music characters met one day in Warsaw and the effect of their cooperation gives Polish folk music a new perspective. Those persons are with Zywiolak until this day.
Word Żywiołak (Were-Upheaval, Were-Element) has no direct meaning, it’s no name of any mythical character. It’s just a word-game which is common in contemporary Slavic-type literature. Such words are to be found in book of beasts of Polish issues of RPGs, in poetry of Boleslaw Leśmian , or in artworks of modern generation - author of many lyrics used by Żywiołak - Zgorzelec-based multiartist Grzegorz Żak.
Offical website www.zywiolak.pl.
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