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Lautari - Azaran (2006)

Lautari to zespół, który od lat uznawany jest jedną z najciekawszych rodzimych, etno-jazzowych grup w Polsce. Muzyka Lautari to nowoczesne, etno-jazzowe brzmienie osadzone w tradycjach muzycznych środkowej, wschodniej i południowej Europy oraz Kaukazu. Motywy ludowe, grane na skrzypcach, fortepianie, klarnecie, fletach, dzięki odważnym aranżacjom i dużej dozie improwizacji tworzą oryginalną muzykę, w której tradycja spotyka się z współczesnością. W kompozycjach zespołu słychać orientalne melizmaty, subtelność muzyki bizantyńskiej, rytmy Bałkanów i słowiańską żywiołowość. Azaran to druga płyta w dyskografii grupy. Znajdziemy tutaj piętnaście instrumentalnych kompozycji, które stanowia wspaniałą muzyczną podróż przez tradycje muzyczne Serbii, Bułgarii, Rumunii, Grecji oraz Armenii.

"Przygotowując płytę Azaran sięgneliśmy po ormiański mit "Azaran - Ptak Tysiąca Treli". Swoją współczesną opowieść muzyczną wpletliśmy w historię odwiecznego poszukiwania wolności, szczęścia i piękna. By je odnaleźć trzeba ruszyć w drogę... Nasze ścieżki prowadziły przez Serbię, Bułgarię, Rumunię, Grecję, Armenię. Dzięki dawnej, tradycyjnej muzyce mogliśmy sięgnąć w przeszłość i przywołać jej życiodajną moc - powtarzać czas początku.

Powstała muzyka, która nie jest ilustracją opowieści, ale jej doświadczaniem. Muzyka, która mamy nadzieję, stanie się dla wszystkich mityczną podróżą, inspiracją do poszukiwania swojej drogi i odnalezienia w sobie bohatera."

Robert Siwak - instrumenty perkusyjne
Zbigniew Łowżył - fortepian
Michał Żak - flety drewniane, klarnet, szałamaje
Maciej Filipczuk - skrzypce

Lautari is one of the biggest hopes of the Polish musical stage. The fact that they remain unknown to the general public proves once again how sick the situation of Polish music is. The group plays music of a completely new, original and wondrous quality. Their music is inspired by various traditions - Romanian, Macedonian, Polish and Gypsy - that fuse into a brilliant, subtle and refined whole. The instruments add to the uniqueness of the group's music. Lautari is an instrumental trio: we hear violin, piano, and birbina - Lithuanian clarinet. This form, created by Maciej Filipczuk, the leader of the group, changes their music into emotional, though not sentimental, journey. Tomasz Janas, Gazeta Wyborcza Poznan 4/10/2002

An interview with Maciej Filipczuk
Gazeta Wyborcza Poznan 2nd April 2003
By Tomasz Janas

Lautari, one of the most interesting Polish folk bands, until recently from Wroclaw, will now reside in Poznan. The leader of the group, Maciej Filipczuk, has moved to our city and invited musicians from Poznan to play in Lautari. Today the first concert of the new Lautari in Poznan is being held in the Jesuits' Gallery.

Tomasz Janas: Where does your fascination with traditional music come from?

Maciej Filipczuk: From when I was a teenager and was roaming around various places. At that time many people were discovering Beskid Niski and its nearly lost but still tangible culture of the Lemko people. Tourist songs alternated with the old songs of the Lemks, sung very often by people unaware of their meaning or origin. This music made such an impression on me, however, that I decided to find out more about it.

TJ: You were once a member of Orkiestra sw. Mikolaja. You've travelled a long way from Orkiestra to Lautari. How would you describe the difference between the two experiences?

MF: The Orkiestra taught me to see the richness and abundance of traditional culture and its unceasing relevance. It was a time of intensity and commitment to tradition without asking unnecessary questions. Lautari is a radically different story, though we act within the same traditionalist framework. Lautari is a small group, a trio, in which each member takes responsibility for the final shape of the music. There is more work and less enthusiasm in Lautari, but there is also great passion, risk, and an acceptance of musical challenges.

TJ: The creative activity of Lautari draws largely from the tradition of the Carpathians and especially from the Romanian tradition. Why?

MF: The name of the group, signifying an itinerant musician, was taken from the Romanian tradition. Historically, this word referred to a group of Gypsies, originally slaves, whose primary occupation was to play music. In forming this group and choosing this name, I elected to acknowledge this history and to express my absorption with the musical traditions and culture of Romania, which I continue to discover, step by step, during my repeated journeys there.

TJ: Lautari's first recording, Muzica Lautareasca Nova, has been recognized as one of the three best folk recordings of the year. Are you satisfied?

MF: Naturally. I admit that I had doubts as to whether the material was ready to be recorded. Now I know it was ready, and I am excited and looking forward to further work.

TJ: When the recording was released the original line-up of group - that is, the musicians who had taken part in the recording - no longer existed.

MF: Yes, that's true. In fact, we decided to release the recording because of our plans to part. We wanted to preserve what we had achieved during our two years of work together. The reason for parting was mundane - performing this type of music in Poland one must accept that there are a small group of enthusiasts and therefore always only a small number of concerts. Inevitably the result is that one earns an insignificant amount of money. One has to be a bit of a madman and able to subsist on great passion, something with which, perhaps, I was unable entirely to infect my colleagues. Each of us chose his own path - I, for instance, moved from Wroclaw to Poznan. I think it was the right moment for such changes. I don't regard it as a failure, but as the closure of a certain stage of development.

TJ: Will the changes in the line-up of the band influence your conception of performing music and the sound of the band as well?

MF: I was fortunate to meet excellent and very active musicians shortly after I came to Poznan, with whom I quickly found common interests. Lautari is now comprised of me, Jacek Halas, well known in the folk community as a pianist, and Michal Zak, who plays wooden flutes, carinet, and bombards, and who is also the leader of Bal Kuzest and Tredrez, groups performing Breton folk music. As we create we continue to draw on what Lautari created earlier, but, obviously, the creative stances and temperaments of Jacek and Michal influence the music and add new qualities to it.

TJ: Because of a few pop bands, such as Brathanki or Golec u Orkiestra, the term "folk" has acquired bad connotations - Polish audiences associate the term with shallow stage versions of feast songs. The essence of folk music is, however, entirely different from that. Its genuine representatives do not, however, have much opportunity to appear in the media. How do you see this situation? Do you regard yourself as a folk musician?

MF:Thanks to my engagement with Orkiestra sw. Mikolaja I feel well connected to the folk movement. It still carries the same values and meanings for me as it did when I started. There is a lot of truth in what you say about the essence of the folk movement. I think, however, that people who are creative, sensitive, and searching, should not waste their time and energy on a struggle over semantics, but should regard the music as the way to mark out new paths. People whose arts refer to traditional art forms express themselves in many, often very different, ways. I see the type of music created by Lautari as an independent, creative force, easy neither for the creators, nor for the audience, who must work if they are to understand it fully.

all text courtesy of Lautari

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