„A peek Through The Window”
I recorded this tune spontaneously couple of years a go. I didn’t think I would ever listen to it again, nor publicly share it. When in 2020 I was stuck in Athens, Greece, I started to listen to my old records and found that tune. I found it simple and catchy and so I decided to remaster it a little, dared to publicly share it. Obviously it’s not a masterpiece from any angle! It’s one of my intuitive attempts to use a live pedal looper; spontaneously and full of joy.
During one of the hottest Polish summers, I just set up the music equipment: African kora, cajon as a chair, looper pedal and microphone. It was actually in my house, in the living room.
I took a deep breath and allowed my mind to reset. After my mind started to feel light and „empty” the need to play appeared. It was a good moment to let my fingers follow the 21 strings of the African kora. I mindfully plucked string after string and allowed sound to come back to my ears and let it effect note after note, tone after tone. Not long after the simple tune was born out of improvisation. It was a tune that felt alive and wanted to be played. Then I tried to repeat it. By repeating it I prevented the tune from flying away from me. After I could play that freshly born out of improvisation tune repetitively, I recorded it onto the looper.
The first base was there. I listened to it and allowed my fingers to freely pluck the strings. I spontaneously quickly connected the recorder to be able to memorize the moment. Then I freely started to play on top of the base loop again allowing my fingers to do what they would like, being inspired by the loop.
Then I started to replay the loop and again let my brain relax and my fingers link through the ears to follow the looped melody. Then the bass line appeared. I tried to repeat the bass line over and over to remember it, and then again I recorded it onto the pedal looper. So the bass was there. Then I realized that I am sitting on a cajon (wooden Spanish type of drum) and I can use it for the beat. Usually, I am not a fan of beats when creating my own music, although I play on percussion instruments – however, at that moment it attracted me to play on it. So, there it was, a simple cajon beat supporting the already existing melody. Then I just picked up my transverse flute and started to improvise around the looped base melodies. A simple and joyful moment of my life.
Rafał Habel-Bloodgood, from Poland, is a musician, actor and teacher whose work is a culmination of 30 years of research, practice and performance in a unique genre of ensemble devised, music based – physical theatre. Rafal is a self-taught multi-instrumentalist, known for his sensitivity, versatility and skills in improvisation. He has created and performed original scores for the theatre, accompanied live performance and has been a musician for countless performances.
Rafał plays on world instruments including the African Kora, Lithuanian Birbyna, Korean Kayagum, transverse flutes, hand percussion instruments and is a singer. He regularly records and produces his own music. He was an original member of the award winning Polish chamber folk music group Lautari, and in 2020 performed in Lautari’s 20th anniversary concert, broadcasted through The Polish National Radio Two/ Radiowe Centrum Ludowej. He is known as the only birbyna player in Poland.
Throughout his years in the theatre, Rafal has developed a profound understanding of the ensemble and theatrical development and with that, a knowledge of the connection between movement, voice, music, text and rhythm. He was a member of the internationally renowned Polish theatre company, Song of the Goat Theatre, from its inception in 1996 to 2018. Rafal has been a key collaborator in the devising process of almost all of Song of the Goat’s performances which have won numerous awards and critical acclaim throughout the world including the Edinburgh Festival “Fringe First” in 2006 and 2012. He has performed countless times throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, South America, Mexico, USA and the UK, including in some of the world’s most prestigious Theatre Festivals.