A folk band which merges the Slavic musical tradition with oriental influences. The styles turn out to get along splendidly - is no separation and it forms one ingenious style, with one guiding principle: the use of historical and ethnic instruments from different times and places.
Folk band which merges the Slavic musical tradition with oriental influences.
Mosaik has won laurels at competitions at the Nowa Tradycja and Mikołajki Folkowe festivals. The band participated in such world music festivals as Skrzyżowanie Kultur, Ethnoport and the London International Arts Festival. The group was founded in 2007 and it recorded its first album, Ludovava, under the name Mosaic. In 2013, the group released, under their new name, a second album titled Całe szczęście, which was made possible thanks to funds raised through crowdfunding.
Jolanta Kossakowska, born 1976, is the leader of Mosaik. She is a vocalist and violinist who also plays with the folk-punk group Pochwalone. This versatile artist has also performed and recorded with the R.U.T.A. project, and performed early music with bands such as Dekameron, Ars Nova and Sine Nomine, as well as contemporary music with the group Kwadrofonik. She has created theatre music, film music and songs. Historical string instruments are her passion. She plays medieval fiddles and gusles. In an interview she said the following -
As in the case of the earlier albums, it is mainly me who collects the source materials. Nevertheless, the whole band participates in the work on these materials. We still can’t leave the Kurpie region and the Lubelszczyzna region behind. The Orient and the Middle East still inspire us. Right now, we are beginning to work on new material, we will expand our horizons a little, but it’s still too early to say more about that.
At the beginning, the band’s line up consisted of two hurdy gurdies and wind instruments, but this has changed over time to include more acoustic instruments. Bart Pałyga, who plays basses and an experimental instrument called the wspak, joined Mosaik for the group’s second album. He collaborates amongst others with Yerba Mater, Masali, Leterny, Village Kollektiv, Maria Pomianowska and Karolina Cicha. In 2013, together with the latter artist, Pałyga won awards at the Nowa Tradycja festival, including a Golden Gusle for best instrumentalist (Kossakowska also has this award under her belt).
Apart from these two musicians the line up of Mosaik includes Zofia Kolbe-Wojdyr (Galician bagpipes, flutes, percussion instruments, vocals), Wojciech Lubertowicz (percussion instruments) and Mateusz Szemraj (Arabian lute, tar, saz, Polish cymbals). These latter musicians play amongst others with the groups Hanimal and Nisza. Mosaik has given concerts with such artists from the world music scene as Nidi D’Arac, Soema Montenegro, Seema Tewari and Maria Pomianowska. The Polish folk band has also shared the stage with the Al Andaluz Project.
What’s most important in Mosaik’s music is the combination of Slavic music with elements of oriental music (Persian, Arabian) and acoustic instruments. One side of this idea for playing is the use of specific instruments from a given region, the other side is the drawing from the artists' passion for early music. Something new, a mixture that couldn’t exist anywhere else and couldn’t have existed at an earlier time is born from the friends’ meetings over old songs and the friends’ utterly contemporary experiences.
Mosaik is understandable to Polish listeners, because it stems from the local tradition, nevertheless the band also makes use of contemporary ideas for music. They often play early musical instruments and create a present-day orchestra from them. Mosaik's communicativeness partially results from reaching for jazz improvisations, trance rhythms and from using space in which there is room for each note to fade away. This way, old songs are presented in contemporary, exciting forms, with full respect for their sources.
Author: Jacek Świąder, July 2014
Translated by: Marek Kępa
2010 – "Ludovava"
2013 – "Całe szczęście"
2010 – "…a my do Betlejem"