The saxophonist Urszula Gosk-Baranowska from Łomża surprised me with another artistic incarnation. Her original project “Circle”, valued by the ministerial scholarship, consists of six compositions that very effectively combine Kurpie traditions with modernity. Two songs are instrumental, the rest is sung by the Kurpiowszczyzna Senior ensemble, so it’s an intergenerational musical dialogue as well. – I invite you to listen and join me in the magical world, in my interpretation of the often forgotten world of the Kurpie region – says Urszula Gosk-Baranowska.
Coming from an artistic family, Urszula Gosk-Baranowska was interested in music from an early age. After graduating in 2003 with the 1st degree in the piano class of the State Music School in Łomża, she continued her education in Warsaw, but as a saxophonist: first at the Fryderyk Chopin, in the so-called “Bednarska”, then she began to study at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music. However, she did not forget her birthplace, for example, participating in the Drozdowo-Łomża International Music Festival, concerts of young talents of the Chamber Philharmonic. Witold Lutosławski or in the Łomża performance of the Big Band of the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music during the national competition “Joy under the hat”. Now at the State School of Music, she teaches young adepts to play the saxophone, often giving concerts, solo and in larger ensembles, winning prizes at numerous competitions. In addition, she is the leader of the Ulla Saxophone Trio, gives concerts, composes and arranges – hence the idea of taking on the next challenge.
– When the announcement about the creative fairs of the Minister of Culture appeared, I began to wonder what I could prepare and decided to return to my roots – says Urszula Gosk-Baranowska. – And although I haven’t lived in Łomża for 17 years, I thought it would be worth doing something non-obvious. So I decided to return musically to our area and get involved in synthesis: the saxophone was the obvious choice, because I’m a saxophonist; In addition, I was always interested in electronics, and the third element was traditional white vocals.
The end result is the project “Circle”, valued by the ministerial scholarship, six original compositions by Urszula Gosk-Baranowska for saxophones, electronics and voices.
– I wrote these pieces under the influence of folk music, it was the main source of inspiration for me – explains Urszula Gosk-Baranowska. – It’s such a universal language, and the saxophone fits perfectly with it, because it’s a very flexible instrument, and it has an interesting sound, it works well in any kind of music. The “Circle” project is about the elements – air, fire, water, nature and nostalgia. That’s all the Kurpie region has to offer. I hope that my compositions will help the listener, through contemporary sounds and bold interpretations, to get into the world of nature, hear the gusts of wind and really throb of the soul, sincere singing. The “circle” is the set of all points on the plane; these are the surfaces on which I have walked, roamed and searched for six months.
The author recorded all the music alone, only during the mixing she was supported by Marek Lipski, another artist from Łomża, and once a classmate at the local music school.
The situation was a bit more complicated with the vocals, which he eventually recorded
Kurpiowszczyzna Senior team consisting of: Michalina Dębowska, Stefania Prusaczyk, Czesława Dąbkowska, Teresa Kobus, Krystyna Drężek, Zofia Lewandowska and Marianna Grzegorczyk.
– I went looking for singers when I got a scholarship – says Urszula Gosk-Baranowska. – While writing the application, I thought of white voices. There was also an idea to do it today, but when I called the Regional Center for Kurpiowska Culture in Myszyniec, I got a contact with Ms. Michalina Dębowska and we met for the first time, I already knew this was it. It was winter, it was still covid, the ladies were still a little suspicious on the first meeting, they didn’t really want to sing, but during the next one, and it was 5-6, it got better and better. I totally recorded them, all these songs and enjoyed this great atmosphere – all the ladies are already in their 80’s, but they are so full of life, joy and energy, so active, because they perform at different events, with their necks and cutouts that nothing but an example can be taken from it.
The group Kurpiowszczyzna Senior can be heard in four songs: “Marysia”, “Choose”, “Chleb” and “Beauty”. The opening project “Forest” is in turn a more traditional instrumental composition, while “Finale” is based on modern, electronic sounds. So it’s kind of a concept, although each song also defends itself. From June 23, they will be regularly posted on the artist’s YouTube channel. Another goal is a possible concert with the members of the Kurpiowszczyzna Senior band, which would be an interesting experiment that would connect not only generations, but also different musical worlds.
– I have traveled through Kurpie so many times, but I never imagined how amazing and rich this place is, how it can inspire and inspire creative work! – summarizes Urszula Gosk-Baranowska. – Let what I have found become an invitation to immerse yourself in a beautiful Polish place – a forest where you can feel magic at every step. The magic of nature and people that are difficult to describe in words. You just have to feel Kurpie with your heart, otherwise it can’t be done.