One of the colorful warsaw bunch, born in here in 1982, pianist, composer, conductor, member of the independent label Lado ABC, leader and participant of an astounding variety of projects. Winner of many awards Masecki is widely recognized as a leading figure in the polish independent music scene. Among others he leads a jazz sextet “Profesjonalizm”, he is the director of WOR – Warsaw Orchestra of Recreation – and he is member of international bands Paristetris and Pictorial Candi. His latest project POLONEZY is a 10-piece brass band which plays a set of original Polonaises.
His parallel passion is classical music which he most often presents in contexts foreign to it. He is an advocate of treating classical music as a legitimate and fully integrated element of the modern musical landscape, not just as an elitist museum piece (which unfortunately happens often). Marcin Masecki will preform at Donau115 on March 7th.
1: People with 6 fingers (polydactyly) have a little harder time learning the decimal system.
2: In Uruguay there is a girl called Compania Holandesa (Dutch company).
3: There is slightly more good in the world than there is bad.
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
Inspiration for me comes from everywhere. People, mountains, food, trash, wigs, taxes etc. Recently though I’ve felt especially inspired during the act of running. The heartbeat, the breath, the stride, the pulse and the oxygen flow, it all pumps ideas into my head.
2. How and when did you get into making music?
I’ve been in it since the beginning. My father was a musician and he meticulously installed music into me since I was born. By age 3 we were having daily music lessons, by 7 I was playing the piano.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
I don’t listen to music in full albums. Usually it’s a specific song/piece that I am insterested in. But if I was pressed I would choose:
Solo Monk – Thelonious Monk
Studies for Player Piano – Conlon Nancarrow
Bach: Cello Suites – Andrzej Bauer
Cole Espanol – Nat King Cole
Pecah Belah – Mały Szu
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
Kebabs, alternative culture, the wall (increadible story), budget deficit.
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
In Warsaw my favourite place is Barstudio. It’s not a very stunning place at first glance, but the owner is a dear friend, I’ve played there a million times and it feels like home. And it’s in the Palace of Culture, a grandiose communist relic skyscrapper, a “gift” from Stalin from 1955. Quite a sweet and sour structure.
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
I’d love to be a sheppard and sit in the mountains with a herd and a dog. It may just be a romantic fantasy. But I can’t get it out of my head. Other than that I would love to be a sculptor and work in wood.
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
A reconstruction of the first performance of Mozart’s Requiem by John Butt and his Dunedin Consort. It’s basically a very small band and choir (they didn’t have the money for a full performance). It takes away a lot of the pathos. Changes the piece a bit.
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Ornette Coleman. But he’s dead.
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
As a spectator I was really floored when I saw “Four Organs” (for 4 organs and maracas) by Steve Reich in Buenos Aires a few years ago. They played it on some old Casio keyboards and there was a very dedicated maracas player. It was beautiful. As a performer one of my most interesting gigs was at the Edgar Keret House in Warsaw. We played an improvised show with Ziv Ravitz on drums. The house is 1 meter wide. It sits in a crack between two buildings. Very funny place to be. Like a doll house.
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
Not very. I am quite an old fashioned musician. My instrument – the piano – is almost an anachronism. It’s golden epoch was the early 20th century. I like to toy with the lo-fi aesthetic. I recorded a classical album on a tape dictaphone, and I love the crap piano samples of the 80s, but that’s about it technology-wise.
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
I have a younger half sister. You’d have to ask her, but I think she’s somewhere between proud and indifferent.
To Listen: youtu.be/marcinmasecki