The Passing Songs

The Passing Songs is a concert built from Polish ritual songs, with the dominance of Lublin funeral songs. The minimalist composition works in this case perfectly, and the performers form a complete, coherent whole on the stage. Grochocki – a researcher and archivist of Polish songs, a registrar of life, death and stories spellbound in words, on the stage like a Greek narrator takes viewers outside the place called the very end. There, Odorowicz is waiting to fill up the place of forgotten everyday life with a mixture of fulfillment, excruciating pain, ultimate longing, love fulfilled and disappointed, its lack, reconciliation and expectation … The complement of the whole picture, Kozieł’s voice, is delicate, yet penetrating to the bone, which can bring out all deeply hidden memories – joyful, sad, the most intimate …

They play on the most sensitive strings. In every possible way. They remind us that the last resort is final and we can only accept it. And that it depends only on us how we do it. At the same time, meeting them is very intimate. As if the message from the stage was directed to each of us separately. And it immediately gets to the point. Like the last conversation with a real friend …

During the concert, a song performed by Antoni Hoduna from the village of Długołęka (Krypno commune, Podlasie region) will be used, coming from the album “People’s religious songs from Podlasie” published by the Heritage Association of Podlasie.

Information about the creators / performers: Paweł Grochocki and Paweł Odorowicz as Lubliners met in Szczecin, standing in a queue for prizes won during the 2nd Real Musicians’ Tournament, when both in their categories (solo singer, soloist instrumentalist) took second place. They considered a sufficient contribution to start cooperation and conquer the world with Polish funeral songs. Their interpretation deeply touched the audience and the jury of the 20th edition of the Polish Radio Festival New Tradition – as a duo Grochocki_Odorowicz they won the Grand Prix there.

In 2019, Olga Kozieł joined them – they released an album titled The Passing Songs.

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Soundcloud: Grochocki Odorowicz

Paweł Odorowicz

Singing workshops

I have been interested in traditional music since 2005, when I first heard natural, unrestricted, loud and meaningful singing. It amazed me. Since then I have been learning singing from rural singers, listening to archival recordings and taking part in various singing workshops.

For several years I have been going regularly to Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, Serbia in search of forgotten melodies and stories.

I bring from these expeditions a lot of impressions and experiences that I feel a need to share. I love to conduct voice workshops and singing meetings. Participants learn the so-called technique of open or natural voice, we practice the correct body posture while singing, deepen the technique of proper breathing while singing, we listen to archival recordings, analyze them with particular focus on the regional style, the method of sound production, the use of resonators, individual performance manner, ornamentation, melismatics and other components that create a unique sound of songs. During the workshops, we also have time to discuss the cultural context of the songs- we tell each other about the traditions and rituals of a particular village / region.

It is a very important time for me to participate, build relationships, create a given situation, assist participants in their individual development. I am very grateful that I can be a witness and companion of their path.

I permanently run one singing group in Warsaw and occasionally one-, two- or three days – workshops in various Polish cities.

Movies

THE SONG OF TREES (ŚPIEW DRZEW)

Director of Photography:
Kasper Lorek
Sound:
Barbara Juniot
Editor:
Alice Godart
Production:
INSAS – Institut national supérieur des arts du spectacle, PWSFTviT – Lodz Film School
Duration:
14 min
Language:
polish
Subtitles:
english

WOŁYŃ

Director:
Wojtek Smarzowski
Genre:
historical drama
Year:
2016

The Golden Thousand

Everything has started by my fascination of deep, dark, mysterious tone of a voice that I heard from an old magnetic tape. The sound quality left much to be desired, but already there I was intrigued. I did not know who was singing. I could only recognize that it was an elder person – through not clear delivery, hoarse voice, natural slow tempo of singing, delicate rustlings. I thought that it must have been an old recording and that the person on it was someone special, incredibly interesting, strong in spirit, in a sense – wild, uncontrollable. Something unbelievable to sing like this – use such intervals, not be afraid of glissand, whispers, scratches, rich melismatic. And above all, to bring out the sound in such a way – as if from the depths of yourself. He’s an extremely brave person, I thought. It was all heard in just a few verses of the song. It was the voice of Stanisław Brzozowy, and my fascination with his music has been going on for over a decade. With each subsequent listening, I “catch” more flavors – overstatement, understatement, hesitation, stalling, etc. I happily met two great musicians who accompany me in this search and discovery of new sounds. The band’s name comes from one mysterious verse of the song – you can catch it during the concert.

About members of the band:

Robin Hayward – since 1991 when he finished his studies in Manchester, he is an active performer of experimental, contemporary music. He is passionate with a subject of microtonal tuba – created an interface Hayward Tuning Vine and Microtonal Tuba.

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Sebastien Beliah – double bass player, member of artistic collective in Paris – Umlaut. Plays contemporary and improvised music as well as jazz.

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The sound of Brzozowy’s songs is dark, mysterious, full of tension. The voice, double bass and tuba complement each other in this sound.

Video:

Stanisław Brzozowy Songs

Stanisław Brzozowy (1901-1980)

He was an amazing singer from Kurpie region (north-east part of Poland) with a rich repertoire of religious and secular songs. During his life, he did not receive enough appreciation for his skills. He was known as a local singer for funerals or a person that sings all day long while working. However, he never performed for the music festivals, reviews, displays. He continued the musical traditions of Kurpie carrying songs of his father Leon – as well a great singer. As a child, Brzozowy, used to participate in weddings, so he took over typical traditional female repertoire. He has got his succesors out of his daughters. His performing style is unique – apart from characteristic elements of Kurpie region singing (using thoracic resonator, whispering pickup, using glissand, strong dialect), it contains unique elements of individual style (rich melismatics, apokopa, musical improvisation, ornamentation and the specific ending of musical phrases described as “kulasiki”). Therefore, the repertoire of this singer provides a very interesting material for work, which I have been working on for few years already.

Zvanai

Zvanai is a new band led by Kamil Szuszkiewicz, an artist inspired by trance qualities in folk music. One of his main inspirations are sutartinės, polyphonic chants from Lithuania. His new project will look further in a search for strong rhythms and melodies, presenting modern music inspired by the traditional sounds of Eastern Europe. Members of the band include Olga Kozieł (trumpet, voice), Wojtek Traczyk (bass), Wiktoria Jakubowska (drums, flute), Hubert Zemler (drums), Igor Nikiforow (bass synth, violin). 

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Z lasu (From the Woods)

Z LASU (From Woods) is a Polish vocal ensemble, that sings traditional songs from the Ukrainian and Belorussian parts of Polissia. Its members have long experience with traditional music and have sung together since 2008. They travelled to Polissia looking for old songs and traces of archaic culture. They got in contact with older residents of the villages, recorded their songs and learnt to sing them. The idea to form an ensemble came from Jagna Knittel in the course of projects implemented by Cultural Panorama Society in Polissia in 2008.

Singers: Maniucha Bikont, Julita Charytoniuk, Joanna Gancarczyk, Ewa Grochowska, Anna Jakowska, Jagna Knittel, Olga Kozieł, Karolina Podrucka.

Lumpeks

Louis Laurain : trumpet

Pierre Borel : saxophone

Olga Kozieł : voice & percussions

Sébastien Beliah : double bass

Lumpeks is a french-polish quartet created by the french double bass player based in Warsaw Sébastien Beliah. He gathered around him two emiment improvisers from the french jazz scene Pierre Borel (saxophone) and Louis Laurain (trumpet) and the talentful polish singer and percussion player Olga Kozieł. This band manage to create a thoughtful mix between jazz and traditional polish music. From this encounter across the border is born a singular style shuffling the energetic creativity of jazz improvisations and the strength of folk dancing music from Poland.

Lumpeks has been awarded by the Grand Prix during the contest Nowa Tradycja 2019 organized by polish national radio.
“The music of Lumpeks is charaterized by its free, brave and thoughtful interpretation of polish traditional music.” (Piotr Kędziorek)

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Volhynia in songs

Volhynia in songs – project dedicated to music, stories, remembrances kept in memories of pre-war habitants of Volhynia region that live today on the both sides of a natural Polish-Ukrainian border – Bug river. In those melodies, harmonies and language the listener can hear Ukrainian, Jewish, German influences, as Volhynia used to be inhabited by representatives of many nations, religions and cultures.

The „Volhynia in songs” CD contains wedding, harvest, love, faith and longing songs collected by Olga Kozieł.

Singing: Olga Kozieł, Anna Jurkiewicz, Julia Biczysko

Sound engereer: Adam Mart

Artwork: Alicja Magiera