Volosi combine the seemingly disparate worlds of traditional and classical music to create a completely new musical entity. Volosi are musicians from Silesian Beskids who previously played with Zbigniew Walach in the band Walasi. Jan Kaczmarzyk, Zbigniew Michalek, and Robert Waszut were born and grew up in Trojwies which is a triangle of three villages: Istebna, Jaworzynka, and Koniakow. It’s a region where tradition is more than simply alive – it’s vibrant, it’s thriving, and it continues to be passed on down the generations. Hardly any musical occasion goes by without traditional melodies being played on violins and gaidas, and Silesian Beskids is rich in pastoral instruments too such as the archaic trombita.
Volosi is a name that puts the musicians firmly in touch with a tradition that is hundreds of years old. The settlers from historical Wallachia (territory of modern day Romania and Moldova) who came to Silesian Beskids in the 15th and 16th centuries made a huge mark on the local musical culture. The common cultural heritage is evident both in melodic and stylistic similarities. Perhaps it is precisely for this reason that the melodies played by Volosi bring to mind the music of Romanian lautari? But that Carpathian element is just one of the inspirations in this multi-plot story. The traditional musicians, Volosi, are joined by city born-and-bred classical musicians Krzysztof and Stanislaw Lason. They’re associated with the Music Academy in Katowice, where Krzysztof is an assistant professor and his brother Stanislaw is a recent cello graduate. They too are part of a musical dynasty – their father, Aleksander Lason, is a composer and an acclaimed conductor, and a member of generation ‘51. Music has constituted a natural part of their lives, but thanks to the influence of their father, they got to know it from a completely different perspective to Volosi. Despite the all-encompassing definition of the world-music genre, the music played by Volosi cannot simply be labelled world music. The virtuosity and mutual understanding between the musicians creates a magic which takes their art to a completely new level. Tradition is the starting point for the journey, a creative inspiration for their own compositions. Melodies from Silesian Beskids are quite pronounced, but the pervading musical character is broadly Carpathian. The true value of their art is in how the musicians adapt these elements and put them together to create new musical experiences. Improvisation is key to their performances. It takes maturity and a rare talent to balance such technical skill and imagination, but the music on this album proves that Volosi have it balanced to perfection.
released May 13, 2011
Krzysztof Lasoń – skrzypce / violin
Zbigniew Michałek – skrzypce / violin
Jan Kaczmarzyk – altówka trzystrunowa, gajdy / three-string viola, pipes
Stanisław Lasoń – wiolonczela / cello
Robert Waszut – kontrabas / doublebass
Recorded, mixed & mastered by Ewa Guziołek-Tubelewicz at S4 Studio in Polish Radio, 23-24.11.2010.
Produced by Wolosi & Lasoniowie
Executive production & Project coordination: Kuba Borysiak, Karol Czajkowski
Layout & design – Hubert Czajkowski
Media patronage: Polish Radio Pr 2
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