A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away till dawn they played…
Once upon a time in Lublin there was this band and till dawn they played, and when the dawn came the band stopped playing but their music never ceased to be present and once again it will play for you but this time from a vinyl recording.
The album, titled Are they known yet these abyssal depths?, that we hereby present, is a live session of Till Dawn They Played (a phrase of Julian Tuwim’s poem Christ of the City) recorded during the Folk from the Chatka (Folk z Chatki) on 24th of May, 2000. The band ended their activity in 2003, and the musicians all went their own ways. This session was originally recorded on an audiocassette and now, after many years, it underwent analogue mastering in Analogowy Rogalów by Wojcek Czern.
Till Dawn They Played was formed in 1998 by Grzegorz Lesiak (classic and acoustic guitar, compositions), with Grzegorz Kondrasiuk (conga, djembe, mouth harp, kettledrums, percussion instruments) and musicians from Pól Post – Dariusz “Rut” Rutkowki (common flute, didgeridoo, percussion instruments) and Piotr Franaszek (kalimba, mouth harp, percussion instruments). Łukasz “Dankton” Downar joined them one year later and with his appearance, the band was finally formed. The band, even though tied by rehearsals and first concerts with Chatka Żaka, was not perceived as strictly folk. They often highlighted that they wanted to play off, improvised music. For sure, the link with folklore was visible in acoustic sound and some kind of musical ritual. Nevertheless, their music was a resultant of their inspirations, fascination and sensitivity of each of them. The leader, Grzegorz Lesiak, emerged from jazz, oriental ethno (Arabic scales), flamenco but also postpunk and experimental rock, Grzesiek Kondrasiuk was rooted in reggae, Darek Rutkowki and Piotrek Franaszek were fascinated by folk Atman and their sound theatre as well as by Osjan’s world music, and Łukasz Downar was heading toward progressive rock, especially by Canterbury Scene, and psychedelia.
A common denominator of this musical eclectics was a certain kind of ritual-mystery that was occurring on the scene. Emerging from oriental, African or Balkan motives they experimented on the border of jazz, rock and blues. By using electronics their primary trance was not deprived of modern expression means. Bitches Brew’s music philosophy of Miles Davis appealed to them with its fusion, union of what’s acoustic with what’s electronic, lack of fear of modernity and independence from being categorized into one genre.
Regardless of their regular repertoire, the band was into creating new, unique musical situations by inviting various local (and not only) artists to play with them. This two-fold style and the fun hey had when improvising enriched their sound.
Are they known yet these abyssal depths? is an example of such a one-time collaboration. Till Dawn They Played invited six musicians to collaborate with them on the scene. This musical narrative was inspired by a piece of audio play based on Janina Porazińska’s tale about Szewczyk Dratewka. The repetitive, oriental themes led Szewczyk Dratewka to the Land of Thousand and One Night. His journey was embellished by electronic sounds from DJ Umberto (Hubert Mikos) who added some awesome samples and scratches that somehow created this collage of a tale of Dratewka and a Spanish language class.
Their music conveys something different for everybody. For some it is a piece of illustrative music, some may be astonished by its mystery, and for others it may resemble some primeval ritual and be perceived as some sort of trance-mystery.
Their expression and sound consists not only of innovation, but also of connection to the archetype of music, to its ritual and communal dimension that was always deeply sensed by the audience. During their concerts the musicians and the audience always found some mutual connection: people were dancing, and the musicians -carried away by the ambience- kept on improvising more and more.
The themes of Collapse of time… and House of Words… were then used after years by Tatvamasi formed by Lesiak with Łukasz Downar joining on the bass, but that’s yet another long story…
released January 1, 2018
Łukasz Downar-bass guitar,
Dariusz Rutkowski-flutes, percussion,
Jacek Dejneka-double bass,
Hubert Mikos-gramophone, samplers,
Recorded by Grzegorz Furtak, may, 2000
Mastered by Wojcek Czern in Rogalów Analogowy