The title of this album is a play on words, engaging two languages, Polish and English. The Polish word “SAD” (“Orchard”) alludes to Wiśniowy sad (Cherry Orchard), the first single of this album, dedicated to the war in Ukraine. The English word “SAD” captures the emotional state which is characteristic of our experience these days here in Poland. The linguistic resources of Polish and English made it possible to encode both senses in a three-letter keyword: SAD. How are you? – Thanks, I’m sad. This is not a tactful way to say hello! But such is the time we live in. This is not the time for small talk. Rather, this is the time for talks and conversations which are long, momentous, and profound. The time to process the horrific news coming from the front of the neighbouring war. The time to overcome our personal traumas, rise and gather strength, and mobilize the courage which we may need in a near future…
The lyrics in this album – these “SAD” lyrics – address themes which have been suppressed and did not come to light for years. Up till now I did not want such themes in my music, because it was meant to give the energy needed to respond to life in a positive way. This wish remains the aspiration of my music: I want it to carry energy, to inspire a creative attitude to life, whose sense I do believe in. But the outbreak of the war in Ukraine has made something break inside us as well. Faced with the real danger outside, we have become less afraid to confront our own traumas: they appear less traumatic. Empathy towards the unjustifiable suffering right behind our Eastern border has made us more empathetic towards ourselves. The genocidal war taking place so near has given us a new perspective on our personal pain. It seems less painful. The courage we observe in the people who are just like us, and live just beside us, has inspired us with the strength to deal with our private fears. In my case it is music (or, more generally, art) – its creation or reception – that gives me the power to go through traumas and cope with the darkest emotions. It is not right to hide them, and it is not right to fear them. Rather, they should be confronted and brought up to light – and music can be the right instrument to do this.
Perhaps these lyrics will help someone deal with their own traumas, failures, ordeals? Or perhaps this is the mark of our times – which are so SAD that culture is now claiming its right to approach and tackle this sadness. I hope that the energy infused into this music by Sw@da – the energy that makes this music “push forward” – will inspire the strength to confront all those dark emotions which may besiege us in life. That it will help defy these emotions, dance them into the ground and then crush them under our feet. The album has been conceived and designed in a way that enables catharsis: so that it is possible at/in the end to emerge with a purged heart, a cleansed mind, and the nerves ready to accept whatever Heaven chooses to give us as an individualized and personalized gift of our-being-uniquely-who-we-are.
I remember that at the very beginning of producing “Sad” I felt uneasy about some forms of pigeonholing which, I had thought, would reduce my musical efforts to a “combination of electronic music with folk”. And I also remember the moment I totally stopped worrying about other people’s descriptions of what I do and how I do it. The moment I understood the meaning of the energy and the palette of rich emotions we were carrying. The strength of synergy of combined efforts of Cicha’s and mine.
From what I recollect bass music has always been with me. From dub to broken beats. And my region – Podlasie – is a truly magical place. Within one afternoon you can travel from a Lithuanian village to the largest Polish orthodox church, visiting on your way Tatar settlements and Old Ritualists’ temple. I wanted this to be heard. Fertile diversity, honesty, deep forest. 808 bass is the canvas upon which I weave using Belarusian “white singing” and raw Tatar sounds. Cicha FTW.