Sukotherapy

by Maria Pomianowska Project

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about

Maria Pomianowska – Bilgoray suka, Mielec suka, Plock fiddle
Karolina Hulbój – cello, wspak
Arad Emamgholi – daf
Sebastian Wypych – double bass
Wojciech Lubertowicz – frame drums
guests:
Sylwia Nadgrodkiewicz – tuning forks
Adrianna Maria Kafel – wspak (09)
Aleksandra Kauf – Bilgoray suka (09)
Shaheen Parvez – sarangi
Ryszard Wojciul – processed sounds

There’s a pandemic outside. Sitting at home, I recall past travels and the joy of giving concerts. From the recesses of my mind, there emerge the slightly blurred faces of people who claimed that the sound of a Bilgoray or Mielec suka, of a Plock fiddle, was soothing, calming, and let them forget their troubles. Faces from Shanghai, Tokyo, Szczecin…I start to wonder. The power of music, power of sound. How is it? Since the beginning of time, traditional societies saw music as resonating sounds of the Cosmos. It was treated as a reflection of divine laws, so it had the power to heal, lessen pain or sufferings of body and soul. The Egyptians used the same hieroglyph for happiness and music, the Greeks recommended playing an instrument to cleanse body and soul. To this day in Africa, wise men say that music enables human beings to listen to other people. Sound is the most universal communication. Exploring the world’s different string instruments for 30 years, I found some (like the kobyz, sarangi or morin-khur) that had served therapeutic purposes along the uninterrupted line of traditional transmission. Choosing the repertoire for reconstructed fiddles, I sought "gems" in various parts of the world and used them as themes for my compositions. The pleasant traditional tunes that drew my attention in Asia, Africa or Poland had interesting cultural connotations. Many of them in fact belonged to "therapeutic" repertoire.
Sukotherapy refers to the name of an obsolete Old Polish string instrument, the Bilgoray suka, which is the album’s main soloist. This fiddle is known mainly from late 19th-century references. It has been reconstructed by Andrzej Kuczkowski and Zbigniew Butryn from a watercolour by Wojciech Gerson. The unique theoretical knowledge on which the reconstruction was based was provided by Ewa Dahlig-Turek, while I created the performance practice. Sukotherapy is a journey into the world of the sounds of instruments whose job it is to soothe our nerves, relax our bodies and minds. The melodies come from different corners of the world. Having heard them played on flutes, lutes or even sung, I translated them into the language of the Old Polish knee fiddle, the cello and the double bass, and wrote this down. There are also a few classical pieces. The tune of each piece is supported on an ambient musical base built specially for the project from sounds of the world’s authentic ethnic instruments (not just strings), many of which have played a therapeutic role for centuries. Healing tuning forks are audible in the background, soothing both mind and body. Sukotherapy is joy and hope, a musical poultice for today’s pandemic times. (Maria Pomianowska)

credits

released November 27, 2020

Recorded in June 2020 at Brzmi Dobrze in Piaseczno (Poland).
Recording, Mix & Master: Michał Kupicz
Design: For Tune®
Cover photo: Jakub Wikliński
Other photos: Michał Malinowski, Andrzej Łojko

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