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Episode notes

To describe Joanna Duda as simply a pianist doesn't capture the extraordinary dimensions of the music she produces. Whether touching a broken keyboard, using the sound of a rewinding tape machine, or mixing in field recordings, her innate playfulness allows any instrument to blossom - you get a sense that one of her greatest strengths is to listen attentively to whatever she uses. Joanna is also an incredible editor, cutting and mixing with bold and surprising artfulness.

It was a friend of the family who played electric bass in the band Kombi that first caught her attention and before she could even string a sentence together she would sit with a piece of wood pretending it was a bass. Like many of the Rebel Spirits, she is classically trained and has been influenced by both Baroque and minimalism. Part of her heritage is Chopin, of course, but it's also her parents' vinyl collection which included plenty of funk and jazz rock and there is often a groove that emerges in her work. 

Be it leading the duo J=J, which is when she first came to my attention, or her current trio with Michał Bryndal and Max Mucha, on drums and bass, or playing solo, there is an essence which is clearly Duda. Finding her flow with collaborators is always uppermost and she found that recently with French horn player Morris Kliphuis from the Netherlands. Their project Wake the Dead is for electronics, improvisation, and a Baroque ensemble and premiers in October. 

Alongside her love of communication between musicians, she has begun to appreciate a form of creativity that requires her to dig into herself as opposed to reacting to what is coming at her from the outside. Reading, traveling and connecting to nature are part of her current evolution and in this interview, she eloquently describes the ideas that inform her process. 

Music from the episode

‘Grasshopper’ by Joanna Duda Trio from the ‘Fumitsuke’ album 

Further reading Further watching Credits

This episode of Rebel Spirits was hosted by Debra Richards. The show is brought to you by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.

Written and produced by Monika Proba

Edited by Wojciech Oleksiak

Executive production by Move Me Media

Edited by Monika Proba

Design by Dawid Ryski

Scoring & sound design by Monika Proba