Ashia Grzesik: All cello parts, Ukulele, Vocals, and String Arrangements
Patti King: Violin, Guitar, Glockenspiel
Todd Bayles: Drums, Accordion, Bass
Anežka gebauerová: Accordion
Olga Kwiatek: Violin
Lucia Conrad: Violin
Hillary Schoap: Viola
Mark Burdon: Drums and Percussion
Marcin Spera: Bass
Michal Lasota: Drums
Wojciech Orszewski: Guitar
Portland Male Singers (still collecting all the names- in progress!)
Recorded by: Douglas Jenkins, Portland, OR
Nalin Silva, Revolver Studios, Portland, OR
Jacek Krzaklewski, Portland, OR
Maciej Prokopowicz, Portland, OR
Ania Grzesik: Mastering and Album Artwork
This album was partially recorded in Portland, OR and partially in Wroclaw, PL, and even an accordion part in Ostrava, CZ, mixed entirely in Portland, OR, and mastered in New York City by my sister, Ania Grzesik.
These songs and pieces mostly stem from a longing, as a child of immigrants, for Slavic and Polish Roots. But, not just the roots, the ideas and mirages, the self made fairy tales of trying to understand what it would have been like to grown up and live in a place, learn a different language, if one would have never left. When I perform I call out to the audience in song, cello loops, ukulele, to find what is missing in our selves, to call upon our ancestors, our environment, and each other. I’m singing and writing in my wayward-broken Polish, not only to connect to that Slavic part of me, but in hopes that people will search from what they came from as well. My parents immigrated from Poland when I was a baby and now as an adult I dive into my ancestry for inspiration, as well as my current environment and life experiences.
This album also has a strong theme about the environment, hence the song ‘Diesel vs Lungs’ and the struggle between industry and maintaining the environment.
Eastern/Central Europe has witnessed deep destruction and pollution due to heavy metal and coal industry, so the song ‘They Take’ was inspired by just that. My family raised us on the West Coast of the US and we took many trips to the forest, so I grew up with an interest of the environment.
The album ends on Burn Give Bust Love. When I was 17, I experienced my first cello-playing injury. For the next 8 years I struggled with pain in my arm, wrists, shoulders, and back. It wasn’t until full blown epicondilitis in my elbow that I learned that I needed to change. Through many forms of physical and mental therapy and self-awareness, I realized that most of the pain came from being afraid. Afraid to express and let go and so all the anxiety would build up in painful forms in my body. It was a difficult passage to go through, but at least now, I’m able to perform, and record, such as this album.
We all have cages that we need to break free from. Some, our own bodies, for others’, political systems, such as the Socio-Communist Regimes of Eastern Europe. But, it seems, as though the most important part, is that we have a voice and that we can express it and have it be heard.
I hope you enjoy the little journey I created in 9 pieces and all the love that went into it!
All the Bison Love to You!!