It was April, but everyone felt like it was June or July already. With warm weather outside and happy feelings Sofar Sounds Krakow returned to Wytwórnia, a studio and place for open workshops. And some four-legged friends were there too, enjoying the evening of truly wonderful performances. They had a delay and some technical problems but it didn’t spoil the good mood.
In the middle of the room was a piano, indicating the nature of that evening. Sternlumen, a composer from Copenhagen got up first to enchant the audience with his music. During his performance, he reminded the audience, that on the 12th of April was the 57th Anniversary of the day Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin went to space, and he commemorated the day with a piece he wrote. The last song he played was called Neon Lakes. As he played, all people gathered there felt the swing in the atmosphere. It was as if he switched an invisible button joy. Apparently there was no melancholy in his music, just pure passion, love and a positive energy that seemed to flow through the room. It was very impressive.
As a second artist performed none other than Helaine Vis, a young and talented singer-songwriter from Krakow. She performed at Sofar shows in the past and people simply loved it, the music and her pure, angelic voice. The same happened that evening, when she performed her own material live for the second time ever. Beginnings are always the hardest, and she apologized for being nervous, yet, all that nervousness was invisible to the audience as they were quite fascinated with her voice. Helaine Vis’s performance started with Ice, a lovely and sad ballad. Then she proceeded with two more songs, ending with a song she wrote as an acknowledgment to her parents and family.
The last to perform was Simeon Walker, a talkative modern-classical pianist and composer from Leeds. He plays slightly different music than Sternlumen. Walker describes his work as sad piano music. The audience went silent the moment he started playing his pieces. He played quietly, people weren’t making any sound focusing on the pianist. Louder noises from outside the window suddenly were hushed as the audience sank into the melancholy. The compositions played that evening were moving to the core. Walker played a song called Drift from his newest album Mono. When introducing the songs, he spoke about how a certain American graphic artist created the cover art for Mono after just hearing some of Walker’s music. The composer didn’t talk him through his inspirations and the meaning behind all songs, yet in that particular artwork, the artist enhanced all what inspired Walker to create this music. He also played Hush, about the need to hide from whatever’s bad in the world, and Shelter, a song he released recently. Last song he played was a short piece introduced with a story of how at the end of the day some monks say a prayer of comfort as a way to sum all day up. He was happy and sad at the same time, as that was his last show in April. After playing at some Sofar shows he returns home. He even managed to sneak a bit of politics into his performance, commenting on the current situation in UK. Walker mentioned that he is a piano teacher, and he teaches some Polish children. He told them about the trip to Poland he was going to make, and ask if they could teach him some Polish words or phrases. Unfortunately, after playing in Germany, when he arrived to Krakow, all he could remember at our show was Dziękuję (Thank you), which seems enough, considering that Polish language is very hard to learn.
One can never guess what can happen or who would be performing first. Sometimes it turnes right, sometimes not. Nonetheless, that’s what the most exciting about Sofar Sounds.