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Biography

Janusz Prusinowski - skrzypce, głos
Piotr Piszczatowski - baraban, bas
Michał Żak - flet, szałamaja, głos

I learned my first kujawiak from my father. After that it was blues and the electric guitar, and then in an Andrzej Bieńkowski film I heard the Józef Kędzierski band. It was a revelation: the authenticity, intensity and ease that I had been looking for throughout the world existed right here, beside me – in my own language and the musical phrases belonging to it. I started visiting village musicians and became fascinated with mazureks, getting to know a whole world around them. It turned out that almost every musician puts his fingers in different places, which means playing different sounds, in different scales. Of course there are lines and schools of musicians, but human life is long enough for a unique style to evolve, especially if someone plays at three weddings per week. When musicians from Tajikistan heard me play, they said: “Our fiddlers from the next village play just like you”. A griot from Mali recognised his own melody in one of Jan Lewandowski’s mazureks, sang it and spiced it up with a totally different rhythm. The people from the Mazovia region had been called Mazurs for centuries, but where do the Mazovian mazureks come from? Did they originate in ancient communities or are they rooted in an everlasting, worldwide human source of music? Mazurek is a round, triple movement which can be sensed under the surface of this world’s phenomena. Its pulsation can include two or four beats as well as five or seven. Accents can shift – not because of an artist’s fancy, but resulting from the dancers’ steps; they may twist and turn, undermining the logic of the tune, putting it in a new, unexpected light. The human being breaks free of the corpuscular, metronomic experience of time and simply takes the plunge in life. It is no longer rubato, but an ancient tongue, common to all people… and birds. I remember a dawn in a forest near Rdzów, when I was awakened by singing birds, and a few moments later I was listening to Jan Ciarkowski and Piotr Gaca playing. “There is no fundamental difference,” I thought then, and I still think it’s true.

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