The joint project of charismatic singer with Slavic Polish-Russian-Ukrainian roots - Sasha Strunin and outstanding composer and trumpeter Gary Guthman, consists of jazz pieces composed for the poetry of Miron Białoszewski - a poet of Warsaw who spoke about himself as ‘the night watchman’, describing the relationship of the parts of reality in his poems as well as being the only Polish civilian to write memoires of the Warsaw Uprising of 1944.
Strunin and Guthman came to take root in a city that is still looking for its identity and as a culturally diverse as the capital of Poland. They delighted at Białoszewski's work, which is surrealistically unrealistic at the same time and decided to pay homage in the form of translating his work underscored with jazz and create a bilingual album so that not only Poles could admire the music of his poetry but also so the international audience could get to know the poems of this unique poet .
Miron himself said about his work: "We often heard special speeches (very calculated for the melody, though still speaking), straightforward singing and vocalising on its borders, which turned out to be wide, as there were many ways the singing, speaking chanted, sequences of monotony, or vice versa, gave rise to the rhythmic springs created by their undulating beat."
All compositions by Gary Guthman
A vocalist with a real Slav soul, she was born to a multinational family with artistic connotations. Her parents, the Russian bass-baritone Igor Strunin and the Ukrainian mezzo-soprano Vita Nikolajenko, are soloists of the Grand Theater in Poznań. Her grandfather was a theater director, and her beloved Polish grandmother – Nella, an actress. Sasha received a thorough education music school, receiving singing lessons first with her mother and later in the vocal class of Marzena Osiewicz.
During the past 10 years, she has appeared extensively on Polish and European stages. Sasha graduated from the University of Arts in Poznań in 2013 (photography department). Her diploma thesis Viscera was presented as part of the "Subconscious Events" exhibition at the Spokojna Gallery at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts. In 2016, her Cd, "Woman In Black" was released, which is jazz-noir autobiography, composed especially for her by Gary Guthman.
Composer, arranger, orchestrator, and trumpeter.
Gary Guthman has cooperated in concert with such renowned artists as Stan Kenton, Louis Bellson, The Dorsey Brothers Big Band, Clark Terry as well as the Bee Gees, Tom Jones, Aretha Franklin, Paul Anka, Burt Bacharach, Tony Bennett, Michel Legrand, Anne Murray, Neil Sedaka. From 1999-2001 he was musical director for Michael Bublé.
He has composed, arranged and performed for the “ITV in Concert Series”, “Celebrity Review”, “The Palace”, “The Tommy Banks Show” and has written and arranged for premier performances with the Toronto Symphony, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Winnipeg Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, Edmonton Symphony, Memphis Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, Portland Symphony, Austin Symphony and the New York Pops (Carnegie Hall).
Białoszewski studied linguistics at the clandestine courses of the University of Warsaw during the German occupation of Poland. Following the end of the Warsaw Uprising, he was sent to a labour camp in Third Reich, and returned to Warsaw at the end of World War II.
First, he worked at the central post office, and then as a journalist for a number of popular magazines, some of them for children. In 1955 Białoszewski took part in the foundation of a small theatre called Teatr na Tarczyńskiej, where he premiered his plays Wiwisekcja and Osmędeusze, and acted in them with Ludmiła Murawska. In the same year Białoszewski debuted in monthly magasine "Życie literackie" along with another renowned Polish poet and his contemporary, Zbigniew Herbert.
According to Joanna Nizynska from University of California in Los Angeles: “This most private author of postwar Polish literature disregards discourses of history so deeply embedded in the Polish literary tradition; rather he focuses on the mundane aspects of the everyday life, usually from an autobiographical perspective and using an overtly colloquial language. Although Białoszewski's works have stirred many discussions, most of these have focused on his treatment of genres and language...”
His highly acclaimed memoir, Pamiętnik z powstania warszawskiego ("Memoir of the Warsaw Uprising") was published in 1970 (and translated into English in 1977). In it, Białoszewski gave a philosophical account of his wartime experiences 27 years after the fact. In 1982, he was awarded the Jurzykowski Prize by the New York-based Alfred Jurzykowski Foundation. He died of a heart attack on June 17, 1983.