“Sacrum Profanum” is a conceptual album, the result of my experiments and creative explorations. I feel that we as humans are more than ever before looking for harmony, faith, timeless values and the truth about ourselves, while also yearning to convey our personalities through self-expression. This is what Sacrum Profanum means to me.
I decided to reach out for sacred music, from the medieval mystic Hildegard of Bingen and the renaissance Thomas Tallis, to the contemporary Russian avant-gardist Sofia Gubaidulina. My goal was to capture the timeless beauty of the mystical music of these exceptional composers and interpret their work through contemporary musical language.
The album also includes five new compositions that I wrote while working on the project. My artistic journey came back to its starting point. As a young violinist, I was expelled from music school for playing jazz, for improvising and for rebelling against classical music in an attempt to redefine the sound of the violin. Now, once again, I felt the imperative to connect with my greatest inspiration at the moment – classical music. Today, the contemporary language of classical music and the spontaneity of jazz improvisation are my impetus. While working on my new album, I was also intensively exploring a dimension that is often used by New Music composers, sonoristic layer.
For the recordings I used orchestral instruments including the gran cassa, gongs, crotales, and a prepared piano. I also wanted to delight in the magical, inspirational and unique sound of the Renaissance violin. For me, contemporary virtuosity is based on the most sophisticated and varied of sounds, full of new colours and different techniques, which I discover by experimenting on my instrument. It gives me an infinite sea of possibilities.
“Sacrum Profanum” is my first album for the ACT label with Polish musicians. My new quartet consists of unique musical personalities: Krzysztof Dys, Michał Barański, Dawid Fortuna and myself. Our performance combines what I love most about playing music: a nobility of sound from classical music, an uninhibited imagination from jazz, and inspiration from the traditions of both.
"Without doubt the greatest living master of violin in jazz. His potential knows no bounds," wrote the FAZ after the celebrated performance of the 26 year-old Polish violinist Adam Bałdych at the 2011 Jazzfest Berlin. On "Imaginary Room", his first album for the ACT label, we hear a jazz violinist like none has ever been experienced before: there is no wailing and sobbing, indeed, Bałdych's technically breath-taking lines are more reminiscent of those of a brass instrument, and the polyphonic passages, of a pianist's chords, always underpinned by a somewhat raw, bluesy undertone. He most recently caused a furore at the JazzBaltica 2012 and the Montreux Jazz Festival, leaving no doubt that Europe has a new jazz star!