Resina: The ‘Monday Is Okay’ Mix
After her appearance on the 130701 anniversary compilation alongside Hauschka and Max Richter, Warsaw based cellist/ composer Karolina Rec is releasing her debut album with the label shortly under the moniker Resina. Re-imagining the folk music from her Polish roots, the eponymous release is also determined by her love of landscapes and nature. Citing further influences in experimental rock bands, electronic music and the music from Werner Herzog, she sounded like the perfect host for our antidote to Monday's selection. Listen here and read on to find more about her story:
Please introduce yourself…
My name is Karolina Rec, I do my solo work under a name "Resina".
Who are you, where are you and what are you?
I’m a cellist – composer – performer. I’ve been living in Warsaw for last 3 years with small breaks.
What does your music sound like?
I take an intuitive, probably experimental and a very personal approach to playing cello with some basic electronic tools. It’s strongly connected to nature and to the nature of the instrument also. It generally sounds for me like “left-behind” landscapes. Also much like a simultaneous feeling of beauty and anxiety – that’s what many of us experience for example in contact with a powerful piece of nature. People might call it ”post-classical music” I suppose it also has something in common with a mix of all my fascinations: with electronic music, contemporary classical, experimental rock, folk music… I hope it makes a mess in your head!
Can you draw what you think it sounds like for us (an image from the old internet is acceptable)?
The cover art is actually a drawing, made by brilliant artist, Hanna Cieslak. I feel it fits perfectly and captures exactly the essence of the album. Also an old b&w postcard from the Polish mountains, Tatry. It has a strong atmosphere which I hope you can recognize in my music.
How does it feel now that the album has finished?
The album was finished more than one year ago. I spent some time wondering how/where to release it. But for all that time (and still) I feel that generally it’s a process which has been started – not finished – by recording this album. Performing these pieces on stage also strengthens that feeling – the compositions are always evolving. Every time I play them live I try to think about what makes them better, moves them further; try to move the border and squeeze out more…and learn from that how to write new pieces.
How would you describe the upcoming record in one word?
That’s the toughest question I’ve heard yet. ”Organic” could be a good key.
It got picked up by 130701, how did this come about?
I sent my demo…! After playing for around 8 years in many bands finally I felt that I need and I’m ready to speak my own language. And I hoped that language is readable for people outside Poland but had no other tools and possibilities to check that than sending a demo. When Dave Howell (A&R at FatCat Records/130701) responded to my mail I was unbelievably happy as I’ve always loved the breadth which this label represents.
What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?
It’s definitely night music, so turn off the lights. Also could be a nice soundtrack for coming down from high mountains during a foggy evening.
What should we be wearing?
Nothing you would think of, nothing that would take your attention from the music, that’s rather obvious. But optionally something in which you feel comfortable and strong at the same time.
Where was it recorded?
At my home in Warsaw.
Are you on the same wavelength as the boomtown rats or do you actually like Mondays?
Now, I work mostly as a freelancer, so I have a much more free and calm mind. So free that sometimes I mix up the days…so for me there is no reason to hate Mondays. The only problem is that Mondays are usually these days when I actually sum up all the past week and learn what I haven’t done.
Who got you hooked on electronic music?
I’m not a typical kind of digger, I like to stick to some records for a while – especially regarding electronic music. Lately I’ve been hypnotized by ”Sonno” by Alessandro Cortini. Looking deep into the past, searching for the first one it would be probably Autechre and Biosphere.
Who would you say are your biggest influences and what are you hoping to achieve with your music?
As I mentioned before I feel I’m influenced by nearly every genre of music so definitely it’s a total mix of inspirations. I was influenced the same by aleatorism of Lutosławski and intransigence and intensity of many electronic music producers. Paradoxically maybe I'm least influenced by postclassical music. I’ve been also playing with a few great Polish bands focused around experimental rock/songwriting. That was a great time of learning how to use my instrument in not always obvious way.
What I’m hoping to achieve? I would like my listeners to lose themselves in imagining landscapes, to bring their own memories to the album. I try to take people to some places – but where particularly depends on them, their needs and experiences.
What were your original aspirations as a musician and how do you think you're shaping up?
I just wanted to be a good cello player-arranger-composer of my own instrument parts in the bands I was playing. But then I realized that it’s impossible to try all the ideas I’ve had in my head in the frame of a band. So it’s been a spontaneous, natural process more than a plan. After making music for several theatre productions (also in duets with electronic music producers) I’d love to try to write music for film.
Some self-help questions for a Monday…
Am I excited to dive into the challenges that i have lined up for the week?
Depends on what kind of challenges they are. Lately there are many connected to premiere of the album. It’s my debut so I feel super excited about every of that challenge.
Your doctor says you need more exercise….what do you take up for exercise?
I would take my backpack and go to the mountains. Optionally start swimming regularly as I love water and sea but can’t swim well enough to feel safe.
If you could travel in time…where in time would you go? Why?
I’d like to travel far into the future to see what would happen with ”classical” instruments, all the music and generally humanity (but at the same time I feel very afraid of that).
Resina – Resina is released by 130701 on 30th September 2016 and can be pre-ordered HERE.