New tribute album by Marcin Styczeń (Poland)

Tributes & covers; Leonard's songs on the soundtracks and TV
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jarkko
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New tribute album by Marcin Styczeń (Poland)

Postby jarkko » Fri Nov 24, 2017 10:36 am

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1. Idę tam/Going home 03:32
2. Ciemność/ Darkness 04:15
3. No i co /Nevermind 04:05
4. Nie biorę nic/ Traveling light 03:15
5. Prawie jak ten blues/ Almost like the blues 03:16
6. Amen 04:36
7. Lepszą drogą pójść/ It seemed the better way 03:48
8. Tylko w moim mroku/ You want it darker 04:01
9. Weź swój ster/ Steer your way 03:06
10. Każesz mi śpiewać/ You got me singing 02:26
11. Przyjdź, uzdrów/ Come healing 03:00
12. Idę tam (live)/ Going home 04:06
„Lubię gadać z Leonardem” („I love to speak with Leonard”) is an album consisting of 11 songs by Leonard Cohen from his last three albums translated and performed by Marcin Styczeń. These songs haven't been sung in Poland by anyone so far. There have been no translations as the greatest promoter of the Canadian artist - Maciej Zembaty - died in 2011. Therefore it is a pioneer work. All translations have been approved by Leonard Cohen's heirs.

Why “I love to speak with Leonard”? “The translation of Leonard Cohen's songs was like having a conversation with him. Sometimes we agreed, sometimes we argued but in general we were looking in the same direction. ‘Going home without my sorrow, going home sometime tomorrow, going home to where it’s better than before’. It may be surprising but to me Cohen is an artist who walked towards the light despite deep inner darkness, depression and pessimism. He didn't offer cheap comfort and hope but he also didn't cast doubt. Years of meditation had taught him to keep healthy distance and accept also the dark side of human nature. This is also the way this album is put together. Darkness and light interweave the same as they interweave in our lives” - says Marcin Styczeń.

The songs have been arranged by an excellent composer and arranger Marcin Kuczewski: “The greatest challenge of working on “I love to speak with Leonard” was to create such music space that wouldn't compete with the lyrics which had always been of superior importance in Cohen's work. Marcin has managed to create noteworthy and yet faithful ‘rhythmical’ translations. Thanks to it we could use the pulse - so important in Cohen's work - as our guiding light in the search of best arrangements”.

The songs have been recorded by a Canadian sound engineer Chris Aiken: “The vocal performances are very emotional and intimate, the arrangements are dark and moody.
The CD d will take you on a wonderful musical journey through some of Cohen's great compositions”.

The guitars have been played by an excellent and multitalented guitarist Tomasz Pfeiffer. The album features Marta Zalewska on the violin. The CD has been mastered in Nashville by a Grammy winner Brad Blackwood.

The album is released on the first anniversary of Leonard Cohen's death - 7 November 2017. It has been supported with massive crowdfunding action via Polakpotrafi.pl and Polish Radio Channel 3 provides media patronage for the album.
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Marcin Styczeń (1978) - Polish singer/songwriter. An artist independent from big labels, fashions and mainstream media. Dependent on his fans. It is them he creates for. Together with them he sets on a journey that leads inwards. He has a thrilling and warm voice which both soothes and haunts, provokes reflection and gives hope.

A journalist by education, a graduate of Warsaw University.

He has been singing, composing and writing texts for more than 20 years. Gives concerts in Poland and abroad.

He has published nine albums, five of them together with Ernest Bryll, a poet he has been cooperating with since 2009.
Artist's website: https://www.marcinstyczen.pl/
Contact Marcin at marcin.styczen@gmail.com if you want to buy the CD or have questions.
1988, 1993: Helsinki||2008: Manchester|Oslo|London O2|Berlin|Helsinki|London RAH|| 2009: New York Beacon|Berlin|Venice|Barcelona|Las Vegas|San José||2010: Salzburg|Helsinki|Gent|Bratislava|Las Vegas|| 2012: Gent|Helsinki|Verona|| 2013: New York|Pula|Oslo|||
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Apolinary
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Re: New tribute album by Marcin Styczeń (Poland)

Postby Apolinary » Sun Nov 26, 2017 2:14 pm

Unfortunately these versions have very little common with Leonard Cohen's message and I don't know if you want to advertise them here.

There are some fine translations among them, but they are picked to make just a christian song album. At last three of them (Going Home, It Seemed the Better Way and You Want It Darker) are not translations, but alterations to fit translator's vision and mission. Cohen seem to be a devoted christian there. All the depth of his songs was changed to devotion act and the lines which didn't fit were just overwritten.

Here are exemplary fragments - literally translated Polish versions for you to appraise. My English is not so good to make no language mistakes, but maybe someone would fix them for me. Neverless I hope that you will have some pictures of what has been done to Cohen's lyrics on this album:

From "Gong home":
I want you to be certain
That this burden is unnecessary
That the only thing needed is permission
To repeat great words
Incessantly, with devotion
Carry them across the world
On His call


From "It Seemed the Better Way":

I could go a better way
like he did

But today is too late
To take a second strike

Did he tell me the truth
To go a better way?
Did he tell me the truth?
Because the truth is not here


From "You Want It Darker" (A Polish title "Tylko w moim mroku" means "Only in the darkness of mine"):

Refrain:
Only in the darkness of mine
You can be the light


I lined up next to wall
My three demons
I wanted to start an execution
To become free
You didn't allow me to hurt them
Because your light shines
Only in the darkness of mine


And the worst of all:
A million candles burning
for the help that never came

in Polish version of Marcin Styczeń means exactly:
Your light shines,
you know it well.


I published a short essay about it in Polish: http://strefapiosenki.pl/aktualnosci/it ... -oleszczuk
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.
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martali
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Re: New tribute album by Marcin Styczeń (Poland)

Postby martali » Sun Nov 26, 2017 3:55 pm

Apolinary wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 2:14 pm
Unfortunately these versions have very little common with Leonard Cohen's message and I don't know if you want to advertise them here.

There are some fine translations among them, but they are picked to make just a christian song album. At last three of them (Going Home, It Seemed the Better Way and You Want It Darker) are not translations, but alterations to fit translator's vision and mission. Cohen seem to be a devoted christian there. All the depth of his songs was changed to devotion act and the lines which didn't fit were just overwritten.



And the worst of all:
A million candles burning
for the help that never came

in Polish version of Marcin Styczeń means exactly:
Your light shines,
you know it well.


I fully second your comments Apolinary,
I'm very sad and devastated of what has been done with the last words of our beloved Master. :(

The only message of this CD is exclusively Catholic content, so great selling on the Polish market today.

This is really a crack, but light has quite another meaning in this case!

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Re: New tribute album by Marcin Styczeń (Poland)

Postby Mirek » Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:25 pm

Let me start with a few positive words. Marcin Styczen has a nice, cohenesque voice, and his singing is really good.
But... as everybody knows - we have to go deeper, because in case of Leonard the words matter the most.
I agree with Apolinary and martali - these translations are not really translations. LC's deep meaning is filtered - and what we finally get? Just some christian residue.
Some of you know that I am a chemist and science freak. Let me put it this way: in quantum physics there is a phenomenon called entanglement. Almost every LC song carries such an entangled message, when we consider his fascination with judaism, christianity (especially Jesus) and zen. So when we try to get rid of two of three - almost none is left. The entanglement vanishes and, in fact, only some dust is left.
So, what we finally get is definitely not Cohen translated into Polish, but Styczen's interpretation of carefully cherry picked Cohen thoughts.
As martali said: Catholic songs sell well nowadays in Poland. But Cohen's message is much more complex. It's much deeper. Cohen argues with G*d, just like many Jews do (remember Fiddler on the Roof?). Styczen does not argue - he just gives in.

A few years ago we had a very good album by Michał Łanuszka with several songs translated by Michał Kuźmiński. Those translations were almost perfect, much, much better than those by Styczen. I'll try to persuade Michał to translate at least some songs from "You want it darker".
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martali
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Re: New tribute album by Marcin Styczeń (Poland)

Postby martali » Wed Nov 29, 2017 2:27 pm

:!:
Thank you Mirek, you have expressed my thoughts and feelings exactly.
Mirek wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:25 pm

So, what we finally get is definitely not Cohen translated into Polish, but Styczen's interpretation of carefully cherry picked Cohen thoughts.
Keeping in mind Master's words:

"Oh chosen love, Oh frozen love
Oh tangle of matter and ghost
Oh darling of angels, demons and saints
And the whole broken-hearted host
Gentle this soul"

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