Piotr Metz: First, tell me something about the genesis of the word “Surreal” in the name of what you create.

Krystian Jaworz: We were to arrange one song for the music school students together. We lived 80 km from each other and due to lack of time for rehearsals and the distance between us, we ended up working online.

PM: Sounds more like “virtual” than “surreal”.

KJ: Yeah, but it felt a little unreal too. The arrangement got slightly out of hand and became our first piece. It was the beginning of our cooperation and the name “Surreal” stayed with us for good.

PM: I assume your music is largely improvised so it seems like there are two different worlds – playing concerts and working in a recording studio?

KJ: Actually, it’s pretty close, the music is improvised but many things are pre-planned. Magda, who is the master of form, sometimes corrects a small thing and the whole song suddenly becomes different. So, there are moments of improvisation…

PM: More on your part?

KJ: Happens to us both, but I’m more free in intros, I never know what I’ll be playing. The first tone leads me. Of course I have to somehow link the intro to the actual piece, it might sound free, but many things are actually planned.

PM: What have you been up to these days?

KJ: We recorded our debut album and released it in October 2019. We planned to go on a big concert tour in eight cities in Poland and three in the US – New York, Philadelphia, Washington – with a extraordinary guest star David Taylor on the bass trombone! Unfortunately, the tour didn’t take place due to covid pandemic.

PM: A story like many others… But I noticed that the recording engineer of your debut album is a man who can hear, Tadeusz Mieczkowski, which I guess is very important?

KJ: Yes, he was a great help. He was able to pick up such nuances as a little pedal click and others… He was truly professional in this collaboration.

PM: Tell me more about your piano playing story, from the moment you turned it into your way of living.

KJ: I always loved the piano and chords in pop music, I had a grand piano at home too. I went to music school, but I heard: He is too old for piano, he will play the trumpet instead. So I graduated the Academy of Music as a classical trumpet player but I still kept playing the piano in the meantime. And – be careful what you wish for – at some point I had a dental surgery and couldn’t play the trumpet anymore due to some nerve paralysis. So I started studying jazz piano and become a jazz pianist.

PM: How far into the future can you see your work, despite the pandemic? Do you think Surreal Players is your strong point that you don’t want to move away from?
KJ: It is definitely my most personal project and I guess most original too… I think for new music to successfully emerge, it must be new and unique, must have something to evoke interest in the audience. That’s what I enjoy in music too.

PM: I think you have found something to care for. Let the music overcome the pandemic.

KJ: Thank you.

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