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Interview FOR PiK

December 29th, 2016 | PiK Polish Radio

Interview with Krzysia Górniak for PiK Polish Radio

Interviewed by Magda Jasińska

„When I was a girl I didn’t realise that mainly boys play the guitar – it’s changing slowly as more women start to play. Until now, men were dictating the rules of how to play this instrument, but women are beginning to show their skills are not worse. Not everyone has to play loud or with a rock flair, you can play more gently – smooth and it can be great too…” – says Krzysia Górniak, a jazz guitarist who has just released her next album ‘Moments’.

TIs this such new/not-new Krzysia Górniak?

This is such a new version of myself, because the album contains songs played on an acoustic guitar, of what was not before, but the composition is still the same: a jazz quartet with a piano, bass guitar or double bass, percussion and guitar. I remained faithful to my old habits and what I like.

Where did the guitar come from in your life?

It’s an old story, everything happened in my childhood. When I was little, I wanted to go to the music school for the piano. It turned out that there was no room for me in the piano class, but there were still free places on the cello and guitar. I didn’t even know how the cello looks like because my parents were not musicians, but I have seen guitars on TV, so I chose the guitar. After a year, a place on the piano freed up and I was even offered to pass, but I stayed at the guitar. It was such a choice by accident or fate, and I think this initial story is very romantic.

And there has never been a longing for a cello or a piano?

I play the piano. When I was a girl I didn’t realize that mainly boys play the guitar. I like this instrument, because you can hold it close, I would even say intimate. At the time, I didn’t even think that I would switch to an electric instrument to reach a larger audience.

And have you ever wondered why the guitar is still seen as an instrument for males?

I find it difficult to answer. When I started playing I didn’t think in such categories. There are more and more women playing the guitar. It is slowly changing. Until now, men were dictating how to play this instrument, but women are beginning to add their voice. Not everyone has to play loud and with a rock flair, you can play more gently – smooth, and it can be great too.

At first you’ve played a classical guitar and then an electric one? 

Yes, I have played the classical guitar for many years. I was 18 when I have bought an electric guitar and year after I got to the jazz department at Bednarska in Warsaw. The academy has opened a electric guitar class especially for me. Even then I had an idea to talk to a larger audience. I had an idea for my own compositions and band. Classical guitar, which was a chamber instrument for solos wasn’t been seen as an instrument for bigger events.

Did you choose jazz music then?

When I was 16 I got tickets from a friend for a Michael Brecker concert. He played a solo concert with electronics, it was such a great emotional experience that I knew that I would also perform such music that I would like to express.

There are six of your compositions on the album. I’ve heard you compose best at home?

Sometimes I write on boats because I am a sailor, but mainly I write at home. I live outside Warsaw, I have forests around – nature inspires me. I also try to draw, mainly from nature, but I am inspired by various situations in my life and emotions, and how other people influence me. In a sense, I am inspired by joy and pain.

So we can say that you don’t keep a diary but you compose it?

Yes, you can put it this way.

These songs have a similar atmosphere, although very diverse, listening to them seems like walking from one room to another.. 

The album is emotionally diverse. The first three songs were recorded with Grzesiek Grzyb, he is a drummer who has such a drive – “napęd”, as I call it. He kept these compositions very nice giving a lot of his own inspiration. There are songs like Moments, which is fast and full of tension, Spring is a composition that blooms and has many spring colors, and Meditation is again such a hit song, if someone sang it could be a hit. The next songs I recorded with another drummer, his name is Gniewomir Tomczyk. He gave a different character to subsequent compositions. Zdzisław Kalinowski played the piano in all songs – he is a pianist who draws a lot from Herbie Hancock, he manages to sense this balance, so as not to play too much, but as much as he needs. Łukasz Makowski accompanied us on the bass.

Did you record it for “a hundred”?

Yes, I care about that a lot. I already have several CDs recorded in different ways. The last two albums – Feelings and now Moments were recorded for a hundred. I want this music to be as “live” as possible. In the age of computer music, I need a man alive, without many cuts, corrections and extra time.

Moments – Info

Krzysia Górniak – electric & acoustic guitar
Zdzisław Kalinowski – piano, synthesizer
Łukasz Makowski – double bass
Grzegorz Grzyb – drums
Gniewomir Tomczyk – drums

Polskie Radio PRCD 1851

 Buy this album here

A stunning record! Delicate and elaborate smooth jazz meets the liveliness of good old fusion. – Jazz Forum