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Tag: Music

The living and the dead

A conversation with Grzegorz Kwiatkowski, a Polish poet, and Trupa Trupa, songwriter, vocalist and guitarist. Interviewer: Jacek Hajduk

JACEK HAJDUK: During the 2019 SXSW Music Festival you dedicated the performance of your group, Trupa Trupa, to the memory of the late Gdańsk mayor, Paweł Adamowicz. Let us then start with Gdańsk. How much of this city is with you today? And how was it before? Which faces of this multi-layered urban centre are close to your heart?

GRZEGORZ KWIATKOWSKI: Today, Gdańsk is a big part of me, unlike in the past. Back then I was more interested in self-isolating myself and creating a kind of enclave in one of its districts – Gdańsk Wrzeszcz. This actually is still my ideal, but now I also understand the impact that this city has on me and my poetry. This is mainly because of my family stories.

September 12, 2021 - Grzegorz Kwiatkowski Jacek Hajduk

Russian woman made of salt shakes up Eurovision

“Not only is Manizha not Russian, but she’s not even a person, she’s… salt!” declared the professor, as he revealed the result of an experiment conducted on the pop star’s skeleton. The research was ordered following widespread public discussion about who exactly Russia was sending to this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam.

May 21, 2021 - Michael Cole

There will be no singing revolution in Russia

The Russian authorities are wiser after the occurrence of numerous colour revolutions in post-Soviet states. They have been working on a new arsenal of measures capable of halting events that could lead to social protests. The independent music scene is a perfect illustration of this.

Analyses of revolutions in post-communist countries have neglected the role that culture has played. Even the fact that the main social protests in the post-Soviet states were named after colours, or flowers, is quite telling. In Ukraine there was the Orange Revolution in the winter of 2004/2005, while in Belarus, in 2005, there was the denim protest, which was also known as the Cornflower Revolution. In the same year, there was the Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan, while in Georgia there was the revolution of roses two years prior.

August 26, 2019 - Wojciech Siegień

Shortparis and a strategy of defiance against the Kremlin

2018 saw increasing political repression against independent artists in Russia. Artists who are outside the mainstream have become a new target for the regime. Amidst such repression, they have also been exploring new strategies of resistance.

February 1, 2019 - Wojciech Siegień

Poetry, music, politics

A conversation with Tomasz Sikora, a Polish musician and member of Karbido. Interviewer: Zbigniew Rokita

ZBIGNIEW ROKITA: Your band Karbido has recorded several records with a symbol of Ukrainian literature – Yuri Andrukhovych. How did this co-operation between a band from Wrocław and a writer from Ivano Frankivsk begin?

TOMASZ SIKORA: It was actually by coincidence. Back in 2005 Serhiy Zhadan, Andriy Bondar and Yuri Andrukhovych were among some Ukrainian writers invited to a literature festival in Wrocław. The idea was that the poets would read their own poems on stage. However, the organisers were worried that the audience would fall asleep, so they suggested that our band create a musical background to keep people awake. Recitations of poetry do not stir much emotion in Poland – as I would later find out, public recitation or the singing of poetry is more engaging in Ukraine.

November 5, 2018 - Tomasz Sikora Zbigniew Rokita

Mickiewicz reactivated

For the first time in 190 years, music has been added to the poetry of Poland’s greatest poet – Adam Mickiewicz. The project is a collaboration between a Ukrainian folk rock band and a contemporary Polish writer.

The album, titled Mickiewicz-Stasiuk-Haydamaky, includes 10 poems put to the music of the Kyiv-based band Haydamaky. Andrzej Stasiuk, a renowned Polish writer, is one of the initiators of the project, and appears in some of the tracks reading Mickiewicz’s poetry. The cross-border collaboration reflects the heritage of the poet himself. “Mickiewicz has it all,” Stasiuk says. “The lyrics, rhythm and energy.”

April 26, 2018 - Grzegorz Nurek

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