Recorded in Warsaw on the 30th & 31th of October 2002
in the Polish Radio’s Witold Lutoslawski Concert Hall
Published by DUX 2002
Michal’s comment on the CD:
"Ikebana" is my personal confession, a declaration of a strong affection for Japan. This feeling of affinity dating back to 1996, has intensified over the years to mature enough to be voiced openly, and now became the main driving force of all my activities in Japan.
What the music seeks to convey here are - in essence - the scenic and emotional beauty of the life I had encountered in Japan: the charm and dignity of bonsai trees, the unique scent of freshly brewed tea, the graceful harmony of koto, the warmth of Japanese people, the distinctive style of civilization in which traditional culture is continuously blended into the modern… When I catch a glimpse of "kimono" in the corners of my eyes, in the bustling streets of Japanese cities, I see them with such respect. The sightings of traditional ceremonies and traditional lifestyles inspire awe: here, time flows slowly, so far away from cutting-edge technologies and the image of microchips, and this allows my soul to acquire peace in the busy modern society.
"Past" and "Present" in Japanese culture merge to form a unity - and this unity is what lies beyond the surface of popular hits as well as folk songs as the basic "inspiration". In my composition too - albeit hidden in the form of artistic disguise - the potentially conflicting elements of Past and Present, as well as the seemingly opposing concepts of folk songs and modern hits, form the core. The inspiration of the Far East, has been made to appear in an original "Sobkowiak style" - in the form of piano music. Distinctive European colour and Polish background as the foundation, the influences from Japan have only reinforced and accelerated the birth of my authentic style.
1. "Toryanse" - Nursery rhyme
2. "What I live for" from the TV drama "Friday's lovers" - Yukiyo Nakamura
3. "Kojo-no tsuki" - Rentaro Taki
4. "Never end" - Tetsuya Komuro
5. "Nanatsu-no ko" - Nagase Motoi
6. "Akatombo" - Kosaku Yamada
7. "Tsunami" - Keisuke Kuwata
8. "Yurikago-no uta" - Shin Kusakawa
9. "First love" - Hikaru Utada
10. "Ikebana" - Michal Sobkowiak
All arranged by Michal Sobkowiak