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The Voice of Suka

by Maria Pomianowska

supported by
Bob Spector
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Bob Spector Congratulations to ForTune for presenting us this treasure! What we have here are lovely tunes with the seeming simplicity of folk music, but newly written and subtly arranged. They range in tone from Western anthems to Carnatic forms. The music is calming but well worth careful listening. And it's done mostly with gorgeous instruments not long ago considered "historical", but now alive largely through Prof. Pomianowska's efforts. Favorite track: Służyłem ja Tobie.
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Step 05:19
Wind 04:51
Rainbow 03:02
Ocean 05:21
Valley 05:38
Island 04:45
Fiord 04:27
Forest 04:01
River 02:45
Desert 05:47
Monsoon 09:59


Maria Pomianowska – vocal, Bilgoray suka, Plock fiddle
Aleksandra Kauf – vocal, Bilgoray suka, Mielec suka
Iwona Rapacz – bass suka
Patrycja Napierała – percussionalities
Piotr Malec – tabla (11)
Marta Sołek – accompanying suka (12)
Bartek Pałyga – folk bass (12)

We're witnessing a return to the sounds of forgotten musical instruments. My perception is that this is one of the elements in a process of rediscovering cultural identity, and of restoring a natural hierarchy of values. Building on research that, for over 20 years, has had the support of Ewa Dahlig-Turek's vast knowledge, and the masterful hand of luthier Andrzej Kuczkowski, I undertook a challenge of no mean proportions: to recreate the playing techniques used on forgotten, old Polish knee-supported fiddles – the Bilgoray suka, the Mielec suka, and the Plock fiddle. The process of replication has been greatly enriched by my friendship and exchange of experiences with Zbigniew Butryn, a folk musician from Janów Lubelski who undertook the reconstruction of a Bilgoray suka on the basis of an image from a postage stamp. The album I'm presenting to you is comprised of musical post cards of mine – original compositions that, for years, I've written and simply 'filed away'. Quite some time ago, while in India, I understood that music, in its entirety, has already been composed long ago, and resides in a place that is beyond space and time. In creating it, we artists are essentially just discovering something that already exists, much like an explorer uncovers new territories. We simply extract it from potentiality, and materialize it. The climates of traditional Polish music, reverberations of Persian and Indian melodies, and rhythms of the Middle and Far East have all made impressions on my heart, like a signet. Thirty years of traveling throughout all of the continents has taught me that simple, old Polish instruments are capable of conversing in all the languages of the world. Listen here to their sound, reborn – an alphabet for the 21st century.

Sincere thanks to: late Ustad Sabri Khan, Pandit Ram Narayan, Vidushi Aruna Narayan-Kalle, prof. Andrzej Zieliński, prof. Zdzisław Łapiński, prof. Ewa Dahlig-Turek, late Andrzej Kuczkowski, Maria Baliszewska & Shaheen Parvez.


released September 5, 2016

All tunes composed by Maria Pomianowska, except 12. by a 17th century Anonymous.
07. inspired by Norwegian & 09. by Polish folk melodies.

Recorded June 4th, 2016 at Ztudio in Warsaw (Poland).
Recording, mix & master: Paweł Betley
Design: For Tune®
Cover photo: Aleksander Wyszyński
Other photos: p. 2–4, 8: Aleksander Wyszyński; p. 5: Jerzy Pomianowski; p. 6: illustration by Stanisław Putiatycki; p. 7: watercolor painting by Wojciech Gerson
Translation: Charles White


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