masters

BUJAK Marian

1920-2005

musician  – fiddler

 

He was born in Koryciska on June 6th, 1920  and from 1947 onwards he lived in nearby Szydłowiec. He came from a farming family with musical traditions. Both his father and grandfather were musicians. It was from his grandfather – Karol Piasta (1865-1945) that Marian, a boy of seven at the time, learned how to play violin, picked up his repertoire and style. It was with his grandfather that Marian later played at weddings, christenings and village dances. Karol Piasta was able to take private lessons from renowned musicians from Szydłowiec thanks to his mother's connections who was a maid at the court in Koryciska. There were many musicians in Marian's family – his uncle Andrzej Piasta  (who died young) and other cousins also played very well. Marian formed a band with them and they played together for a period of time. Karol gave his violin to his grandson, and he preserved them carefully while using a new, better instrument (his grandfather used bowel strings). After Marian's death his grandfather's violin became a part of a collection in the Museum of Folklore Instruments in Szydłowiec.

When I was only ten, Grandpa used to take me along. I would provide him with  accompaniment.  For smaller weddings and for the bigger ones too. If I was sleepy, Grandpa would leave me, and if the piece was lighter we would play together, if it was a heavier piece, I would only follow. And Grandpa taught me to play in this way.  Karol Piast's band was one of the most respected bands in the region, up until the end of XIXth century.

Marian started to play with harmony even before the War, he played with Wlazło band (among others). In 1955 he formed his own band, with a violin, harmony and drums. In the beginning the band played only at village weddings and dances, then it began receiving invitations for various regional and national celebrations, and finally they were recognised at folklore festivals and competitions. The band received the first prize, Złota Baszta during the biggest Polish Festival odf Traditional Music in Kazimierz Dolny. After receiving this prize, Marian Bujak received a lot more interest and was proclaimed as an “bottomless source” of authentic local melodies from previous generations.

Marian Bujak had a rich repertoire he knew by heart – about 250 melodies, majority of them dance tunes. Many of these melodies were ancient, and he learned them from his grandfather since Marian was lucky enough to play with him, and other experienced musicians,  from the end of 1920s until the beginning of 1940s. Bujak knew about 150 of just dance themes based on mazurkas rhythms. After the War he also learned numerous new melodies, popular at the time, but he used the scoring method to write down notes, which he had learned along the way. Bujak placed emphasis on:  clarity and purity of sound; precise performance order (so called “finishing/completing the tune”);  variations and melody ornamentation; loose, natural phrasing and on accentuating in accordance to dancers' pace. His music was very neat, but it didn't follow the metrum in a strict sense. Before it was the musician who would be at dancer's disposal, nowadays it is the dancer who is at musician's disposal. Marian's son, Miroslav (also a musician – guitarist) would say: When Daddy played, these melodies would flow like Vistula to Gdansk.

Marian Bujak passed on his love for music to his children and grandchildren. On several occasions he led musical workshops organised by Dance Cultural Centre (Dom Tańca) in Szydłowiec and Chlewiska  (2002- 03).

 

 

Awards

1992 – Oskar Kolberg Award

1979 – Festival in Kazimierz Dolny, I prize

 

Discography

2014 – Marian Bujak from Szydłowiec - portrait of the fiddler, In Crudo, second edition (english text include)

2003 – Tabor radomski w Chlewiskach 2002, In Crudo

2002 – Portret muzykanta – Marian Bujak z Szydłowca, In Crudo

1997 – Małopolska Północna, z serii Muzyka źródeł, Polskie Radio RCKL

 

Films

1998 – Stara muzyka, reż. Dariusz Gajewski, TVP2

 

Bibliography

2011 – Maria Baliszewska: Marian Bujak kontra guślarze,  Polish Radio

2010 – Jakub Borysiak, Remigiusz Mazur-Hanaj: Arystokrata skrzypiec, Polish Radio

2003 – Marian Bujak, Ewa Sławińska: Stara muzyka, „Wędrowiec” nr 4

2003 – Maciej Kierzkowski, Warsztaty skrzypcowe Mariana Bujaka, „Wędrowiec” nr 4

1993 – Ewa Dahlig, Monophonie, hétérophonie et poly(?)phonie dans le jeu du violon traditionnel en Pologne, “Cahiers d’ethnomusicologie” nr 6

1990 – Ewa Dahlig: Gra skrzypcowa w Kieleckiem, PWM

Agnieszka Pokropek, Marian Bujak, (biogram www.nagrodakolberga.pl).

Marian Bujak, wikipedia

 

 

Archives

Polskie Radio RCKL, Zbiory Fonograficzne IS PAN, Muzyka Odnaleziona, zbiory In Crudo

 

Only mazurkas he played by heart about 150. Photo: Marian Bujak w swoim domu, Szydłowiec 2000, R. Mazur-Hanaj/In Crudo