Traditional music and folk instruments of the Radom region


'venue: Przysucha, Oskar Kolberg Museum

organiser: The Oskar Kolberg Museum in Przysucha, branch of the Open-Air Museum of Rural Architecture in Radom

The exhibition is devoted to rural music of the Przysucha area, which is presented as a distinct manifestation of regional culture, and as an expression of the personalities of its creators and performers: well-known tradition bearers of nearby villages (incl. Jan Gaca, Piotr Gaca,Tadeusz Jedynak, Wiesława Gromadzka, Adam Tarnowski, Jan Kmita, Tadeusz Lipiec, Maria Siwiec, many of whom are winners of the Oskar Kolberg Award) and their younger students coming down to study tradition from the cities (Warsaw, Kraków, Toruń, Lublin, Olsztyn).

The exhibition portrays a group of people that represent and safeguard old music traditions of the countryside, the process of this rural culture’s revival (incl. traditional parties, in particular kusoki held at the end of carnival), and the interpersonal aspect of musical practice (learning and teaching).

The exhibition is complete with the museum’s collection of the most popular rural music instruments of the Przysucha area (violin, basy, drums, Polish accordions) whose history is intertwined with the biographies of well-known local folk musicians (e.g. basy of Walenty Marecki from Brogowa) and instrument makers (frame drum and baraban drum of Stanisław Lewandowski from Brogowa). A painting rendition of the topic will be provided by works of Andrzej Bieńkowski.

Piotr Baczewski’s photographs are an artistic documentation of projects carried out in the villages of southern Mazowsze for a few years now. They render the emotions and atmosphere of get-togethers, workshops and parties that bring together tradition bearers, members of local communities, and young city-dwellers fascinated with traditional music of the Przysucha region. The photographs are portraits of leading musicians, singers, and dancers as masters handing local music traditions down to young singers and musicians.

Piotr Baczewski, a photographer, has been recording for over five years now activities connected with traditional music and rural life, perhaps the last manifestations of old traditions. For a year his videos of the last great masters of rural tradition and their students have been available online.

Andrzej Bieńkowski is a painter and ethnographer who documents rural music of many Polish regions, as well as parts of Ukraine and Belarus; he writes books, makes films, audio recordings, as well as photographs.

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