Multiinstrumentalist duo trace the multilingual paths of the northeast Polish borderlands
Karolina Cicha is a singer, songwriter and onewoman orchestra, playing many instruments at once and using vocal techniques she invented herself. She hails from Bialystock in the Podlasie region of northeast Poland, a culturally and ethnically diverse area and historical borderland between east and west. Her latest album, 9 Languages, a collaboration with multiinstrumentalist Bart Palyga, contains songs composed by Cicha to lyrics written in the languages of the ethnic minorities of Podlasie: Tatar, Roma, Lithuanian, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Russian, Yiddish and Polish as well as Esperanto, whose inventor Ludwik Zamenhof was born in Bialystock. The result is a modern mix of styles on which the two protagonists give full reign to their creative talents on an array of instruments including cello, morin khuur, dutar, jew’sharp, duduk, accordion, pipe, mandola, as well as samplers and loopers.