Tatvamasi - Parts Of The Entirety
Born out of cataclysm and nurtured in silence and solitude, the music of Tatvamasi reveals hidden depths of the Polish soul. Tatvamasi is an extraordinary instrumental ensemble that plays scorching, uncategorizable music defined by searing tenor sax riffs, cutting electric guitar, and a loose and sinewy rhythm section of electric bass and drums. With the release of their debut album Parts of The Entirety, Tatvamasi opens up new territory, bringing the narrative heft of jazz to the sturdy forms of folk music.
"The compositions are designed to form an invitation to play, to improvise, to compose and to create the world within, the world of imagination", says guitarist, composer and arranger Grzegorz Lesiak, the band’s founder and guiding spirit. "The music awakes thoughts, provokes images. The spirit takes its effect, a violet haze wreaths a mysterious goal of the journey into the wild of thyself."
The band traces its origins back to a devastating 2003 car crash that left Lesiak hospitalized for many months. In the midst of a thriving career as an experimental folk musician immersed in Polish roots music, he was an expert acoustic guitarist and specialist on folkloric Eastern European string instruments, such as the mandola and dutar. But the crash cost him some of his hearing, and he spent the next decade largely off the scene for his physical & mental recovery. By the time he reemerged in 2012, Lesiak had constructed a vividly detailed, emotionally probing and spiritually numinous musical world that he christened Tatvamasi.
Lesiak enjoyed a long and fruitful career as a folk musician before the car crash that changed his creative trajectory. A leader of the experimental band Till Dawn They Played, he was also a cofounder of Anne of Green Gables. Before the group's brief meteoric run ended with the tragic death of phenomenal vocal talent Anna Kielbusiewicz in the 2003 auto accident, the band won first prize in the New Tradition category at the 2001 Polish Radio Folk Festival and released a widely hailed eponymous album in 2003.
The group's name is drawn from a Sanskrit phrase that means "that thou art", and reflects the spiritual path that brought him back to life and music. During his many years of physical and mental recovery, Lesiak created the new sound entirely in his head. But eventually he felt the call to bring it forth into the world, and availed himself of an electric guitar, wrote out the compositions and recruited a group like-minded musical friends for Tatvamasi, which features tenor saxophonist Tomasz Piqtek, plus bassist Lukasz Downar, and drummer Krzysztof Redas (who have honed their combustible rhythm section chemistry in the Klezmaholics).
Brimming with life and incident, and recorded completely live in the studio, the music reflects a remarkable journey. As Lesiak says, "To live, sometimes one must die, just to be reborn once more." For Lesiak, Tatvamasi is that rebirth.