Arkadiusz Glensk, or Fismoll, was born in 1994. His father is a violin player, his mother is a cellist. The music Glensk records sounds so un-Polish that many journalists took one of the artist’s jokes seriously and attributed him with Icelandic birth.
Indeed, Sigur Ros is an important source of inspiration to Fismoll, but his creations greatly differ from the bloated, nearly orchestral arrangements of the Icelanders. The sound realm of the Pole is rather quiet - he has more in common with Olafur Arnalds, who is unpretentious, quiet, and focused on the tiniest of sounds.
The artist from Poznan started out by posting covers on the internet, which in his versions sounded delicate and fragile. He posted, for instance, Tears For Fears’ Mad World and Damien Rice’s 9 Crimes.
He gained popularity amongst others after being praised by Czesław Mozil and Katarzyna Nosowska. He opened the performances of the latter artist when he accompanied her on tour. He plays delicate, completely international folk with elements of pop. Thanks to his high-pitched voice, he was associated with Bon Iver. Fismoll is both fond of songlike forms and capable of creating intimate atmospheres. Glensk never learned how to sing and at his music school he attended the classical guitar class. He is familiar with the acoustic guitar, the piano and the bass guitar. All of this adds to the atmosphere. A few years ago, the band Iowa Super Soccer was creating similarly well-crafted, delicate songs.
What is praiseworthy is that such a young artist can build a delicate atmosphere not only on his album – when he is backed by a crew of professionals led by a producer, and the listener is left one-on-one with the music – but also on stage. Here Fismoll stands in the brightness of the lights with a few musicians behind him and a big audience in front of him, but nevertheless the rapport that he establishes with the listeners is intimate.
When I was listening to Fismoll at the Open’er festival, shortly after he released his album, I was surprised how few sounds were coming from the stage, how unspectacular the concert was and at the same time – how quiet it was in front of the stage, how focused the listeners were. Despite the early hour, the youngster from Poznań attracted a huge crowd into the stuffy tent, which reacted to even the smallest gestures of the musician.
After this concert, he said what follows in a conversation with a journalist from the daily Gazeta Wyborcza:
(…) to me these songs are above all, in a certain sense, a record of memories, a record of certain moments from my life. What inspires me the most is nature – I have a few places that I know very well, I visit them very often and that is where I look for energy for living and writing. On one hand it’s the outskirts of Poznań, on the other – the Polish mountains.
The young artist debuted a year before his secondary school-leaving examination, in July 2013, with the album At Glade. The record was produced by the discoverer of Fismoll’s talent, Robert Amirian, who played the bass and keyboards and wrote lyrics for some of the songs. Marcin Ułanowski, a drummer who plays, amongst others, with Smolik, Maria Peszek and Loco Star, and one of the best specialists in the country, played the drums. The line-up was made complete by Arkadiusz Glensk’s sister Joanna, who is four years younger than Fismoll and has been accompanying him from the beginning, by the guitarist Kacper Budziszewski and by a string quartet. At concerts, Ułanowski is substituted by Jakub Szydło and the quartet is represented by the violinist Kristine Harutyunyan.
Fismoll isn’t afraid of becoming mainstream. The song Let’s Play Birds, the most popular composition from his debut album, was part of the soundtrack for the ambitious Polish comedy Man (Not) Needed Right Away / Facet (nie)potrzebny od zaraz. Even before the debut album was released the artist claimed that he had enough material for three albums.
Author: Jacek Świąder, Gazeta Wyborcza
Translated by: Marek Kępa
2013 – At Glade