Working in digital media is always very problematic in terms of documenting the development- inserting here an endless list of pee-final mixes of each track is rather impossible. Some versions are only different from each other in details however each alteration means often hours of careful listening and experimenting. It also means listening to some other music and sound pieces, workshops and of hours chats with music making friends, constant expanding the range of my skills and tools as well as thorough investigation of my sound identity. Someone once told me, that there is nothing is worse for the artist other than following someone else’s footsteps. Therefore, although the process of developing my own way of making music was long and difficult, today I can present the zloto Zloto Zloto (gold gold gold) album with pride.
All the tracks were made in Ableton Live using virtual instruments. The ideas usually emerged from sound experimentation- from a singe melody, motive, beat through building the compositions and concepts. I think the sound was the most important base of the project, which determined everything else. Nonetheless, in the stage of final mixes, having the visual side done helped me a lot in giving the music its final shape. Over time it shifted from more structured, song type compositions into more experimental with quite unobvious mixing- vocals too quiet, bass to loud etc.
Visually, I was inspired by diy punk/ black metal cd releases from 1990’s/ 2000’s- title in gothic font, black metal inspired logo and black inside, which is to reflect the dark twist of the content. The black has been broken with baby pink print on the cd- firstly, because I simply wanted it to be girly and cute, secondly to give a visual hint about synth based music in contrast to black metal hardcore (if that makes sense ..!). The packaging was made of cheapest available white card which was screen printed with my hand drawings and lined with black kraft paper. The booklet was designed in Photoshop and printed on recycled paper with an ordinary photocopy machine. The print on the cd was designed in a special software for Canon printers- it turned out that my home printer has a hidden cd printing unit.
Conceptually, I wanted this album to be a selection of texts about my observations of social reality- that’s why this music project is so important for my whole practice. Below I will give quick descriptions on each track to clarify the concepts and stories behind.
1. Prologue- some faces will always be grey- basically a track about loneliness in multicultural society. Mainly inspired by my own experiences as well as ‘Polish face’ phenomenon- grey spaces expressing nothing. I am often asked if everything is ok or why am I so sad/ angry while I am just culturally not used to expressing positive emotions- when I was growing up in Poland noone was every asking how are you, we used to talk seriously without courtesy or say nothing at all. I found that many people moving to the UK, including myself, have some issues with getting used to interpersonal relations based on courtesy and positivity.
2. Michael Kors- a joke track which I wrote a year ago- about the dark side of economic migrations. Inspired by youtube channels of female Polish immigrants presenting their cosmetics/ clothes online. It is about compromising one’s dignity and future perspectives for gold; about the trap of consumerism, which I got trapped in as well.
3. Body- trapped made for the International Women’s Day- remixed and rearranged. About how we can’t look past body in perceiving women.
4. Mama- Karolinka – on how politics and culture affects interpersonal relationships.
5. Style- on a game of social appearances
6. Shaman- a desperate, slightly sexual prayer to a golden shaman to find solace in prosperity
7. How are you- a remix of popular Polish song Jak sie masz kochanie? by Happy End- originally written for wave of Polish migration to U.S.A in 70’s
8. Amnesia- about being lured into hateful discourses and politics. Again.
9. Human dog- text inspired by my childhood memories about Poland joining the EU. Back then, there were many adverts and campaigns encouraging Polish labourers to leave to the UK and Ireland to work. It is about the process of making people dependant on something and then taking it away (Brexit, anti immigration discourses) leaving them with no other prospects.
10. Girl- on one hand about cultural shock and on the other about what every girl secretly dreams of.
11. Zloto zloto (gold, gold)- the track inspired by an interview with a Ukrainian migrant living in Warsaw, which I watched in a Youtube talk show. The woman, working in Poland as an academic, was among other subjects talking about the war in Ukraine. It turned out that there is a still pending exacerbated military conflict which affects whole country. At the same time, UK government sent its troops for another bombing in Syria in the background I placed a recording a succulent speech delivered by Theresa May on validity of this intervention. Why there are no interventions in countries like Ukraine? Zloto, zloto, zloto…
12. Epilogue- a short poem on why it is worth to be a decent human. Just in case…