I spend most of my spare time writing music. But that doesn’t mean I don’t admire or listen to what others do. Especially when it is in the ideal balance between quality, creative contribution and sincere devotion.
The way this over 200-year-old indestructible song from 1792 of the Enlightenment era has been transformed stands out from many other versions. Today it is one of the most recognized Christmas songs in Poland (I should know since my wife is of Polish origin).
It’s not a very original idea to play Christmas songs. But the ability to add a new dimension to well-known “worn out” songs is something that have always intrigued me… Can it succeed?
It may easily become another version of a cheap stereotype we are accustomed to; a deceptive trick of musicians who produce machine-like arrangements like serial manufacturers. And that does not interest me at all. Even if I do occasionally play them for friends or family, they don’t interest me as such, but rather a social atmosphere which they help create.
On the other hand, there are situations where such a well-worn piece (played over a thousand times), after undergoing authentic creative transformation may deliver a new, valuable, stand-alone experience from start to finish.
For me, such is the case with the arrangement of the Christmas song God is Being Born by bassist and pianist Wojciech Madajski (especial the harmony of unusual chords), which features one of the familiar voices performing alongside Polish pop super-stars Maryla Rodowicz and Ryszard Rynkowski.
If there was just one last Christmas song which you could afford to listen to this year, I think it’s worth if it was this one.
Isabela Ziolek – vocals, flute / Wojciech Madajski – piano, rhodes, bass, arrangement (from the album “Waiting”)
How I found out about it
I have known Wojtek for about two years. But for various reasons we’ve never had a chance to play together. When he asked me to record a guitar solo to one song, I agreed not knowing what it would be like. I have not heard anything before, and I had no expectations.
My first impression
When I received the first draft to which I was going to record the solo, I felt a shiver run through my body. It was not God, but me feeling that a desire is being born inside me to play something special for this “ordinary” song. Something that would be worth the exceptional magic created by Iza and Wojtek.
What I remember from the recording
Everything happened very quickly. I barely had time to write down the sequence of chords listening to the CD player, when a car stopped in front of the house to get us to the studio on time.We recorded at BMG studio with Bartek Guzowski.
A little confused, I laid a crumpled sheet of paper with hand-written chords on the shelf next to the mix rack when Bartek, with his two-year old son on his knees, pressed the red button counting off the start. I was not sure what the outcome would be, if it was going to be good enough.
If you’d like to share this song, please send a link to this page to your friends or just click any button below… let it fly into the world. Or just write me a message what your impressions are. Whether it was worth your time?
PS: A small gift for you. I asked Wojtek for a permission to share the MP3 of the song. If you wish, you can download it here: