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Burning Down the Strings
“I try to make everything sound different, even if it’s a one-minute video on my Instagram. I like to digress into all sorts of things… that’s the cool thing about today’s music, there are really no boundaries.” - Marcin
I’ve known about Marcin for a bit now but have been struggling to find the best way to talk about what he does with that guitar of his. In the end, I don’t think there’s any point in trying to describe it. A lot of people, including some very accomplished musicians - are trying and failing miserably.
Yes, you can read his bio, learn about his nationality (Polish), where and what he studied, where he has performed, and what he has recorded (see links below). But even knowing what his music style is called - percussive acoustic guitar- won’t help you much. Marcin’s music must be experienced, felt, and absorbed. It has to become fuel for your own creative process - part of who you are to be understood. Which of course means that each person who listens will come away with something different - a different reaction, interpretation or opinion. I find this happens a lot with singular art. The artist’s work acts as a springboard for others. It opens their hearts and minds to new possibilities - new ways of experiencing life.
Having listened to quite a few interviews with Marcin, I think he would be pleased with this description of his work. After all, he himself uses the compositions of greats like Beethoven, Bizet, and Led Zepplin as fuel for his own creativity. It’s only fitting that he follows in their footsteps, passing the excitement and magic of music on to others.
Take a few minutes to listen, watch, and respond to Marcin’s version of the aria “Habanera” by George Bizet from the opera Carmen. If it inspires you to create something of your own (as it did me), please share in the comments or drop me a line at JenaBall@CritterKin.com.
Below is the poem I wrote in response to Marcin’s work.
Burning Down the Strings
They’re not really strings you know,
but the rhythms, vibrations, and cries
of ancient galaxies
screaming their way into existence -
the memories of composers
still toying with orchestration,
aching to inscribe the air with fugues
through your hands.
If you could,
you’d embody wood
slide between the fibers,
turn the world around you
into overlapping rhythmic waves,
play the skins of listeners
like drum heads
thrumming to your touch.
But you are, after all, still human
still confined to blood and bone
plucking, strumming, tapping, cajoling
sound from linear space
translating from an ancient language
only dimly heard
in a voice that defies modulation.
You don’t fool me one bit, Marcin
with your patient words
and simple demonstrations.
You were born to explode our notions
of here and there
where and why and with whom
to re-calibrate our heartstrings,
to recall us to the rhythms
of our souls.
Play on. - Jena Ball
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