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The Saintbox

About the event

Three extraordinary musical personalities, three divergent paths, three distinct forms of expression. What happens when three dynamic, yet very different personalities let their creative energies flow at close quarters? The answer seems to be: The Saintbox happens. They are: Gaba Kulka - über-talented vocalist and multi-instrumentalist; Olo Walicki - jazz composer, double-bass player and pioneer of yass, Poland's distinctly home-grown fusion sound; Maciej Szupica - prolific multi-media artist and collaborator of bands D4D and Gypsy Pill. In Saintbox, they unite their multi-faceted talents and creativity in an audio-visual project unlike anything else on the scene today.

To call Saintbox a band, would be not to do them justice. They are a multi-media spectacle, for whom visuals, choreography and stage design rank up there with the music. Initially, Saintbox was supposed to be a one-off performance at the 2010 Jazz Jantar festival in Gdańsk. But following the audience's enthusiastic reaction and the artists' discovery of their electric chemistry onstage, their collaboration became much more than an ephemeral event. The Saintbox have been developing material as a trio ever since, resulting in their debut album release in March 2012. Even without the visual components, the album's compositions are rich in atmosphere. This is music to lose yourself in. Sometimes ominous, sometimes humorous, the music is replete with sounds that hint at 70s' jazz, folk, rock and dream pop. This album could well be the backdrop to a surrealist's fantasy - the soundtrack to an imagined film whose scenes and sequences play out in the mind and, reimagined with each subsequent listen, perpetually open up onto new voyages through different stories. The range of styles, ambiences, and shades of meaning in Saintbox's compositions can surprise, intrigue, and mesmerize. Gaba Kulka not only sings across vocal genres - she does so in several languages, including English, French, German, and Latin - at times giving the album the feel of an enigmatic tower of Babel. The singer has previously shown her range with other bands and projects, but in Saintbox she seems to have embarked on an endeavor that finally gives her vocals their full due. Yet the album is only a hint of what we can expect from Saintbox's live performance. Sound and image, lighting and music, tension and ambience are all part of a spectacle of elaborate shadow play in which the trio are sometimes half-hidden behind screens, at other times are projected onto them. A Saintbox show is not only a concert, not only an audio-visual spectacle, but something more akin to a participatory theatrical experience that affects all the senses and brings audiences along on a journey through fantasies, fears, and dreams.

In the artists' own words, 'TheSaintbox is about compositions inspired by the concept of the sacred, by the rituals of various religious traditions, understood as rites of passage and as experiences that change the perceptions of participants. The Saintbox is also a game in which the audience are participants. It is a play on the conventions of stage performance uniting sight and sound. It is a way of seeing how the artist's presence changes perceptions of art and a way of exploring the boundary between performer and audience. The Saintbox conceals things that audiences expect to see and reveals those they do not. We want to galvanize the audience's attention, taking them on a voyage through the inner structures of music, uncovering successive layers, creating a performance that can be a truly unique experience, transforming the way we watch and listen'.

The Saintbox are a truly unique element in Poland's musical landscape. Gaba Kulka, Olo Walicki and Maciej Szupica venture into uncharted territory, abounding in possibilities to explore sound, image, and everything in between. Theater, film, performance, concert - this is The Saintbox.

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