Guest Author - Barbara Swiech
It is probably very hard to invent a good name for a band. I do not know what made those musicians to go for such a name, but it proved to fit them well! They have been together for ages, still entertaining new generation of Poles who love poetry… who even love to sing the poetry.
Stare Dobre Malzenstwo (what is translated into Polish as Old Good Marriage) is sometimes referred to as SDM (from the first letters of its name). Their songs are not played in the most popular radios of Poland but when they play a concert the concert hall gets full, their music is especially loved by those who wander in the mountains and spend their evenings by the bonfire as well as by those who spend their best years at universities spending their evenings partying at student houses.
Their songs are not simple – especially when it comes to words. They take poems and they turn them into ballades that touch your heart. They formed a band 25 years ago and since then they have been successful in gathering a group of people who searched for music that has deeper meaning. They use poems of couple of Polish poets – the first one that drew their attention was Edward Stachura. He was a tragic poet, born in 1937 in the family of Polish emigrants in France, who committed a suicide in 1979. His poems are deep and sometimes hard to understand. One could not learn about Edwart Stachura at school, but ‘Old Good Marriage’s songs surely made him more popular – especially among nowadays youth.
The band consisted at first of 4 musicians. Krzysztof Myszkowski – the leader of the group – wrote music to most of the songs they present. But with time the other musicians developed their own projects. The band changed a little bit – and they have additional musicians that play concerts with them. But the audience has not changed – it rather grew wider. Their concerts are attended not only by those who were young when the band started its career but also by those who are young at present.
The members of SDM get involved in additional projects such as ‘Bieszczadzkie Anioly’ (Angels from Bieszczady mountains). They gather there mountain-lovers who love so called ‘sung-poetry’. The concerts are full of comments referring to the meaning of life.
Each time I attend iSDM’s concert I get back to their CDs and listen them constantly whole week. I am not sure if their music would be experienced the same way by those who do not speak any Polish, but it is definitely worth trying!