They transform traditional Polish songs into Kujawski swing, and they mix folk songs, whispers, and shouts with sounds of…a grater, a knife being sharpened or a bathtub being filled with water. An original trio, Sutari, is gaining popularity on the folk scene with their modern interpretations of old songs.
Sutari is based on the strength of three female talents, temperaments, and voices. Zofia Barańska, Katarzyna Kapela, and Barbara Songin are vocalists, instrumentalists, actresses, and performers who have been active on the Polish artistic scene for many years now in various fields: from music to theatre through dance and film. Kasia collaborates with the Wrocław Song of the Goat Theatre, Basia deals with physical theatre, choreography and produces her own original shows along with the artistic collective FURU, and Zosia collaborates with the Adam Mickiewicz Institute on musical projects. They met a few years ago at the “Gardzienice” Centre for Theatre Practices and that is how their musical collaboration began: on violins, drums, wine glasses, bottles, knifes, graters and even using water. As Zosia Barańska explains:
We feel good on stage together. Playing together and giving concerts gives us great joy. We experiment with sound a lot. It’s enough to change the tempo, slow down, or speed up in order to find jazz, swing or blues in old songs. The idea of using unusual instruments helps us tell the stories of our great grandmothers, it reminds us all of the musical tradition of singing together while peeling potatoes or working in the fields, because singing was a part of everyday life. That is why we incorporated the rhythmization of sounds produced by kitchenware.
The engaging Canadian singer-songwriter Basia Bulat sings highlights from her two albums — including “In The Night” — at the NPR Music offices. And, as an added bonus, she trots out a surprise from Poland.
- “The Shore”
- “W zielonym zoo”
- “Heart of My Own”
- “In the Night”
‘Kalle Lamen’ is the first single of the upcoming EP ’Palinë‘, which is the story of a 14 year old girl who is being married off by her family, told through lyrics written by women who experienced child marriage themselves.
Gaelynn Lea, the winner of NPR’s second annual Tiny Desk Contest, makes music like nobody else. Her sounds are steeped in the deep melodies of great Irish fiddle tunes, but her performance and singing style aren’t traditional. More than 6,000 artists submitted videos in which they performed an original song behind a desk of their choosing with the hope of winning a chance to play a Tiny Desk concert at NPR. Gaelynn Lea was the overwhelming favorite of our six judges.
After voting for Lea, I wanted to learn more about her and her remarkable talent. Following about a minute of just focusing on the desk, her video pans to a small woman in a wheelchair as she plays a violin she holds like a cello. Lea has brittle bone disease, which made it necessary for her to reinvent the ordinary — and, in this case, a way to play the fiddle.
I also discovered, after selecting Gaelynn Lea, that she’d become friends with Alan Sparhawk of the band Low. Sparhawk first heard her perform at a farmers market in Duluth, Minn., where they both live. They’ve become friends who sometimes make music together, recording under the name The Murder Of Crows, so I also invited Sparhawk to join Gaelynn Lea for two of her four songs at this special Tiny Desk concert. There was hardly a dry eye.
“Someday We’ll Linger In The Sun”
“Moment Of Bliss”
There’s a decent chance you’re about to discover your favorite new band. Based in San Francisco and led by Liam McCormick, The Family Crest builds its songs from a combination of infectious enthusiasm and powerful talent. The group owes its huge sound not just to its seven members, but to the community that records and plays with them. Eighty people are credited on The Family Crest’s first album, Beneath the Brine.At the Tiny Desk, we heard from seven players with training in classical and jazz, as well as instruments including violin, cello, upright bass, flute, trombone, drums, guitar and McCormick’s voice. And what a voice: Trained as an opera singer but with a hunger for jazz, he’s one of those fortunate souls with plenty to express and the range to deliver. The three songs performed here give you a sense of what The Family Crest can do, though Beneath the Brine is what you’ll want to hear once your jaw has dropped watching this.
DakhaBrakha – is world-music quartet from Kyiv, Ukraine. Reflecting fundamental elements of sound and soul, Ukrainian “ethnic chaos” band DakhaBrakha, create a world of unexpected new music.
The name DakhaBrakha is original, outstanding and authentic at the same time. It means “give/take” in the old Ukrainian language.
Having experimented with Ukrainian folk music, the band has added rhythms of the surrounding world into their music, thus creating bright, unique and unforgettable image of DakhaBrakha. It will help to open up the potential of Ukrainian melodies and to bring it to the hearts and consciousness of the younger generation in Ukraine and the rest of the world as well.
Accompanied by Indian, Arabic, African, Russian and Australian traditional instrumentation, the quartet’s astonishingly powerful and uncompromising vocal range creates a trans-national sound rooted in Ukrainian culture