„Tatvamasi’s debut album Parts of the Entirety does more than just hold a great deal of promise. Straight out of the gate, they’re an awfully convincing act. Parts of the Entirety deals out all of modern jazz’s best traits — playful performances, major/minor key ambivalence, asymmetric song shapes and the occasional art of the unlikely melody…” – PopMatters
Tatvamasi is an extraordinary instrumental ensemble that plays scorching, uncategorizable music defined by searing tenor sax riffs, cutting electric guitar, and a loose and sinewy rhythm section of electric bass and drums.
„Admirers of …groups embracing the jazz-rock and progressive rock genres may find a lot to get revved up about with the Polish quartet, Tatvamasi. No doubt, it’s an aggressive unit, armed with a vibrant demeanor as they tread across the jazz and rock terrains with polyrhythmic grooves, accentuated by the frontline’s high-impact mode of delivery.
The musicians’ agility amid a throng of sub-motifs and variable pulses are often framed on complex unison choruses, rapidly executed paradigm shifts and a few episodic passages where tenor saxophonist Tomasz Piqtek skirts the free-jazz schema.” All About Jazz
In 2012 a new, outstanding formation Tatvamasi appeared on the musical map of Lublin. Oh and it was a strong entrance; their EP album with a surreal title The Peloton of Unsettled Cyclists was a real blast. Since then, it was just like in Hitchcock movies with the tension constantly building up. Their debut album Parts of the Entirety (2013) caused quite a stir, and not only on the Polish music scene. Once noted and appreciated, they were given the opportunity to record their debut album at the American Cuneiform Records. Cuneiform is an iconic record company, widely known among prog-rock and avant-garde rock enthusiasts; let’s say it is a custodian for Canterbury Scene achievements. Tatvamasi’s European tour was widely and positively received and reviewed in the press. Their uniqueness consists of many
features including the Slavic sensitivity of the leader (who also formed the Santa Claus Orchestra and the Ann of the Green Gables) filtered through progressive, jazz-rock narrative, enriched with elements of avant-garde, free jazz and free improvisation. Joggling with conventions and improvising, they create their own jigsaw. Among their inspirations we’ve got the already mentioned Canterbury Scene (Soft Machine, Gong), krautrock (Amon Düll II, Can) and New York Downtown Scene. They share ease, sense of humour and absurd and a total lack of pomposity with the Englishmen from Canterbury; the raw, underground energy and pulsations with krautrock and the avant-garde (minimalism, sonorism) mixed with ethnic inspirations (Slavic and Jewish folklore, and Arabic scales) with the Downtown Scene. Tatvamasi is eclectic – jazz freedom of improvisation, rock sensibility upbeat with black blues and psychedelia, funky freedom and joy for music plus some serious folklore romanticism. This mishmash, seemingly insane and chaotic, is simultaneously precise, deliberate and pleasantly melodic.Further in the life of the band so many things happened that it seems necessary to place it all in order. Their sensitivity, humour and perspective naturally leads them to making new contacts with other artists while on tour, and therefore, results in inviting guests to play with them on every next recording. A certain type of artistic chemistry among hosts and their guests is easily noticeable on their albums and live recordings. This musical connection between them gives space to a lot of freedom to improvise, pursuit new musical solutions and break stylistic barriers. Their second album, The House of words, was released in 2015 by Requiem Records. It is a live recording of a concert that took place in 2014 in the backyard of the House of Words – a music scene installation arranged for the City of Poetry festival at Lublin. The album features a guest appearance of Jan Michalec – a talented instrumentalist of the improvised music scene of Lublin. The third album, The Stagecoach of Seven, released in 2016 by Audio Cave features Janek Michalec – trumpet player, Vasco Trilla – Catalan drummer and Yedo Gibson – Brazilian saxophone player. The musicians first met on tour in France in 2014. The fourth album, Amor Fati, recorded in 2017 at Obuh Records is quite a flirt with classical music, of course in a progressive-jazz-rock kind of way. The album features a string trio of classical music instrumentalists (Anna Witkowska-Piątek and Michał Ostrowski on violins, and Małgorzata Pietroń on cello). Wojcek Czern (Bruel & Kjaer Beat Oscillator 1022), head of Obuh, also makes an appearance on the album. Their newest and fifth album, Haldur Bildur, released by Audio Cave, again features Anna Witkowska on violin, Małgorzata Pietroń on cello and Jan Michalec on trumpet. Since the very beginning, Tatvamasi cooperates with three people who take care of the widely understood visual side of the band. Their artistic vision fits perfectly in the musical message of the band. Marcin Sudziński, responsible for photography, is a colourful person – professional beekeeper, certified animator and culture agent, dedicated photographer, occasional musician, and author. The visual setting of the concerts is prepared by Maria Porzyc – graduate in Art School in Lublin and Faculty of Ceramics and Glass at the Academy of Art and Design in Wrocław. She is the author of over 30 performances from monodramas to musical theatres and operas (among many she cooperates with Paweł Passini, the neTTheatre, CHOREA Theatre Association, Polin Theatre Institute and Museum). Albums’ covers and posters are created by Rafał Kucharczyk – graduate of Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw (Faculty of Graphic Arts, Illustration class by Zygmunt Januszewski), Polish-Japanese School of Computer Sciences in Warsaw (Faculty of Multimedia, class by Paweł Nowak) and Warsaw Photography Academy (Faculty of Photography, Multimedia class by Katarzyna Majak), author of book covers, album covers, illustrations in newspapers, Web design, animation, and graphic communication. Till the moment, Tatvamasi has had three foreign tours. In December 2013, for the Ukrainian part of the Jazz Bez festival, they played in Lutsk, Ternopil, Rivne and in Lviv (meanwhile they also played on Polish scenes in Lublin, Piła, and Sanok). The material from their first album, Parts of entirety, was also presented on tour in France, in September 2014 visiting: Nancy, Clermont-Ferrand, Orlean, Tours, Montpellier, Toulouse, and Paris. Their last tour with the newest album Haldur Bildur was European: started in Poznań, continued through Freiburg, Würzburg, Munich, Prague, Brno, Vienna, Budapest, Zilina and ended in Cracow.
The Third Ear Music /MUT/
The musicians, in their creativity and need for exploration, built a new project called The Third Eye Music. It is a series of improvised concerts with various guests from Europe and Poland. Each event consists of a concert by the guest musician(s) and an improvised set played by Tatvamasi and the guests. The Third Eye Music draws from the tradition of Henryk Palczewski’s radio auditions that go by the same name (by the author’s agreement). Henryk Palczewski who comes from and lives in Piła is an unquestionable authority, one of the most recognized European experts on avant-garde music. In the 70s he started collecting albums with widely understood music of pursuit – jazz, folk, avant-garde, prog-rock, experimental music. From that moment, he has been tireless in promoting his musical fascinations. He issues printed leaflets, distributes cassettes and CDs, presents the music in various clubs, and since 1995 he broadcasts his Third Eye Music auditions on radio.Since 2018 Tatvamasi has organized four sessions of the Third Eye Music (MUT – Muzyka Ucha Trzeciego). Each one of them brought to Lublin outstanding musicians of improvised, avant-garde and experimental scenes. During the first MUT session, on the 14th of May 2018 three improvisers met: Vasco Trilla – Catalan drummer from Barcelona, Rafał Mazur – acoustic bass guitar player from Poland and Martin Küchen – Swedish saxophone player. Vasco Trilla is a young and very creative drummer who is strictly connected with the free-improv scene. He has quite a musical experience – starting from prog-rock, heavy metal, through Indian and African music, and finally reaching to jazz. Rafał Mazur is one of the most prolific bass guitar players – widely appreciated and present on the European scene of improvised music. He often interlards concepts of Chinese philosophy (studies at Jagiellonian University in Cracow) and tao practices into his music. Martin Küchen is probably the most outstanding person of this session – the leading figure of the European scene of improvised music. The trio played a very ravishing and ecstatic improvisation oscillating between free jazz and free impro. The second MUT session took place on 28th of September 2018. It featured a French trio TOC and an extraordinary Polish trumpet player of the young generation – Piotr Damasiewicz. TOC comes from Lille and has been playing since 2008 their widely understood improvised music, where avant-garde rock music meets jazz. Piotr Damasiewicz, from Wrocław, is a versatile improviser and one of the most original trumpet players of our Polish jazz scene. He was awarded a Fryderyk for Jazz Debut of the Year in 2012 with his album Hadrony recorded with Aukso Chamber Orchestra. His band – Power of the Horns – plays and records on a regular basis. The musician is engaged into many projects – some of them of his own initiative, other as cooperation with graphic, visual and multimedia arts creators. The third MUT session (on 5th of May 2019) was a concert with guest appearance of previously invited Vasco Trilla, accompanied by the Portuguese trumpet player from Lisbon – Luis Vicente. First came the Trilla-Vicente duet, and later the mutual set with Tatvamasi. The duet, led by intuition and imagination, played an acoustic free impro with elements of contemporary chamber music and sonorism, exploring sound and articulation capacities of the instruments. On the 9th of November 2019, during the fourth MUT session, two musical worlds met – the real freaks based out of Berlin from Alex’s Hand band and the Polish avant-garde singer and performer – Marta Grzywacz. Alex’s Hand presented the material from their fifth album Hungarian Spa. The eight musicians who come from different countries and live in Berlin form quite an eclectic mixture. In the scorching, incessant pursuit of motifs and tempos the musical experiments of jazz, avant and prog rock intermingle. All of this with a pinch of absurd humour – exuberant, wild and totally Zappa-like. The vocalist adds originality to this creation by merging tumbled pop songs with real opera voice. Alex’s Hand are truly theatrical on scene, with their decadence straight from the 20s’ cabaret that works perfectly with the glam rock entourage. Marta Grzywacz, on the other hand, took us to a completely different musical region. The young and talented artist and classical singer graduated from and teaches at The Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw. She is passionate about avant-garde music and improvisation, and in this field she has already been awarded on numerous occasions. During the performance with Tatvamasi, Marta – with her extraordinary voice and marvellous technique – highlighted perfectly the progressive and experimental sound of the band. Apart from the MUT sessions, on the 1st of December 2019, Tatvamasi invited Marta Grzywacz and Piotr Damasiewicz on scene again. In the improvised concert, they created an astonishing, captivating and very suggestive musical ritual. The raw trance, ritual and some sort of melancholia permeated the experiment at the edge of avant-garde and chamber music. Prog-jazz-rock energy enriched this outstanding performance. Tatvamasi keeps on searching and is constantly thirsty for new musical experiences.