A wedding feast, a wedding feast
Joy is ours tonight!
Joy and happiness for one short day
Hard times are never far away!
Wedding ceremonies having been changing for some time. Older customs are replaced by modern fashion. No longer do the knives gleam, sticks are no longer raised, the bride’s hair is no longer unbraided, nor her pig-tail trimmed and cut, but still in all, a wedding with no music is simply unimaginable!
The music of the Kielce region, so very old, our firm favourite, has always had the power to raise the dancers right up to the ceiling. All the way to heaven! The women would give voice to the wedding festivities. They would take part in the oczepiny ceremony – the tying of the bride’s hair – improvising their verses with great presence of mind. Anyone thought guilty of holding back would feel the sting of a sharp tongue. The same fate was reserved for anyone who, despite their mature age, insisted on postponing their own wedding day. Everyone had their part to play: the younger generation and their parents, the bridesmaids, the best man and friends, the master of ceremonies, the musicians and the singers, the guests of course, and amongst them no doubt an occasional gate-crasher.
This is the sort of wedding atmosphere we would like to evoke on this recording. Sounds and melodies of yesteryear, but played in an utterly contemporary spirit, informed by the vitality of our own everyday lives, and by our own experience of the world. Our wish is for the whole ceremony to be played out in a way that will allow all our listeners to feel themselves part of the proceedings. Because a wedding today, as ever before, is the door to a new life for the young couple. This great journey cannot be undertaken without a tinge of anxiety. But fear not! We have a map of this terra incognita, a land in which bride and groom will tarry for a short time, before emerging soon as man and wife.
It is with great pleasure that we extend to you this invitation to our wedding feast!
Polish Radio Folk Phonogram of the Year 2017: 3nd prize
Globalisation. Corporatocracy. The concentration of capital. The gibberish of the economists and the pharmaceutical companies. The homogenisation of culture. What can we do? We can do our own thing! It may not always be perfectly balanced, but it’s something we always do together. It may not always be the epitome of excellence, but it is always sincere and meaningful. It comes from the root, it is born of tradition, and through musical arrangement, simple everyday things in the life of the village can gleam and shine and be transformed into rituals that are full of love. Tęgie Chłopy are doing wonderful work, and in this production we are witnesses to a combining of the group’s sharp intellect with a feel for the principle of musical phrasing that is a cornerstone of popular music. The tradition demands to be taken seriously and handled with care so that its sides and corners remain undamaged. In it, emanating from their toil, we can sense the dignity and virtue of a people born of the soil. Yes, this is nothing less than the language of the soil and of the earth. Our language. Thanks to this recording, we feel as if we have been born again. Leszek Możdżer
For many years now, music that comes, to use a conventional term, ‘from the source’, whether urban or rural, has done everything to distance itself from its own roots. Dressed up like a shop dummy, kidnapped by ideology, it was emptied of all life and reduced to the status of a fading sepia photograph that helped tired hearts to continue beating, too often in a faraway place or in a foreign country. But for this music to rebecome the cultural pearl it once was, it needed no more than to have its energy and wisdom restored, to be placed in capable hands, and played with unaffected joy. On their latest record, Tęgie Chłopy provide ample proof not only that this must come to pass, but that, in fact, they have succeeded in making it happen. Wojciech Waglewski
Grippingly ecstatic, solemn at yet witty, both modern and traditional at once – such is the latest record by Tęgie Chłopy. And if we are left with no other choice than to imitate contemporary Hungarian culture in one way or another, we would be well advised to lean creatively towards our own musical heritage. In this way, we may succeed in determining where it has its beginnings, and how to help it find favour again amongst the people. Thanks to Tęgie Chłopy, this delicious plan seems to have some chance of success. Robert Makłowicz