Ensō represents a musical journey of rediscovery and reinvention of one's original musical traditions, with rich instrumental inflections from across the globe. The album draws upon the traditional music of Poland, Scandinavia, Middle Asia, and the Middle East. Still, it is also a result of my contemporary music experience from Australia – a reinvention of stylistic canons and instrumental approaches to folkloristic tonality. Among these explorations, the project's substance stands out as not merely an ethnomusicological showcase, but through its inventive expressiveness, it contemplates emotional complexity associated with expatriation.
COVID-19 restrictions worldwide forced the artistic community to cease face-to-face collaboration. I want this work to demonstrate the inextinguishable drive of collaborative creativity by cultivating our alliances, networks, friendships, and team spirit to perform and record, regardless of our circumstances, challenges and location. As the arts have been heavily challenged in recent months, the notion of collaboration and togetherness carries a special meaning for this project – ideated, planned, created, and produced exclusively through the digital means of remote collaboration. Most of our involved musicians lost their income and livelihood stability due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The generosity of our donors will allow us to compensate performers who bring their talents for this album, visual artists creating album arts and promotional videos, audio engineers mixing the recorded materials, and pay for production and promotion fees for the physical manufacturing of the recording.
All participants of the project are acclaimed international artists with a long list of stage and studio accomplishments:
- Agata Steczkowska (Poland) – Performer, multi-instrumentalist, with over 35 years of experience.
- Agatha Pradnik (Brazil) - Accordionist.
- Bart Pałyga (Poland) - Sarangi player.
- Bronwyn Kirkpatrick (Australia) – shakuhachi virtuoso.
- Cezary Skubiszewski (Australia) – Multi-award-winning Australian composer with 40 years of experience.
- Deborah Cheetham AO (Australia) – Soprano, actor, composer, and playwright.
- India Czajkowska (Poland) – Jazz fusion vocalist.
- Julia Sawicka (Poland) – Jazz vocalist with over twenty years of experience.
- Natalia Paruz (USA) – Musical saw virtuoso.
- Ola Turkiewicz (Poland) - Folk fusion vocalist.
- Pawel Steczkowski (Poland) – Studio and stage bassist and vocalist with twenty years of experience.
- Piotr Nowotnik (Australia) – Composer with over a decade of experience in the industry.
- Przemek Sokół (Poland) – Acclaimed brass player.
- Sid Mehta (USA) - Traditional Indian percussionist.
- Taba Ostad (Australia) – Persian singer residing in Australia since 2015.
- Violina Juliusdotter (Sweden) – Folk vocalist with over 25 years of experience.
The donations will be used to compensate participating artists for their work, mixing and mastering the recorded material, studio hire where applicable, promotion, printing, and production of the album.
In the initial production phase, we will rehearse and record the arranged material and consolidate the audio content using remote studio collaboration methods. Subsequently, the material will be mixed and mastered before the final phase of submitting it for digital and physical distribution. This process will take place between four continents simultaneously, and the final content will be collated in Australia.
The recording material will consist of about 60 minutes of music created through unique instrumental configurations containing instruments. Some of these include hurdy-gurdy, Vilnius cymbals, Spanish bandurria, Finnish kantele, Chinese bawu and hulushi, Japanese shakuhachi, Armenian duduk, Slovakian dvojanka, fujara and koncouka (overtone flute), Sackpipa (Swedish bagpipe) and classical instruments – piano, double bass, bass recorder, soprano saxophone, female voices (folk, jazz, classical operatic) and percussion. These rare instruments require specialised recording techniques and highly skilled musicianship that cannot be easily substituted.
The album will be published as CDs and digitally, and distributed by Australian publishing house Wirripang Pty Ltd (https://www.australiancomposers.com.au) and medially supported by SBS Radio and digitally distributed by Rehegoo Music.
Thank you for your generosity.
This project won't happen without your help. As a token of our appreciation, all donors will receive a pre-release digital copy of the album and an honourable mention on our social media channels!
This music will take you places, tell you stories, and enrich the way you hear the world...