This post is also available in: Polish
- Polonia, the title of the inspirational new album from Katy Carr, is the Latin name for Poland and this is the realm the artist is celebrating in her music and song. As Katy Carr explains, ‘A strong brave, sovereignty proud of her freedom fighters and warriors who march to bring justice and peace to troubled times.
‘A very desirable artefact,superbly arranged and produced and a fascinating insight into Britain’s relationship with its historical closest ally, and a powerful collection of hugely original songs. ‘ fRoots
‘The Anglo-Polish singer brings a numinous reggae-kujawiak in honour of tank commander General Stanisław Maczek, who after the Second World War pulled pints at the Leamonth Hotel in Edinburgh.’ MOJO Playlist
‘Polonia is charged with romance, historical witness and courage, generating an experience that complements similarly inclined records by British Sea Power or Public Service Broadcasting.’ Q Magazine 4 stars ****
|Catalogue no:||MDL 513|
|Date of Release:||6th November 2015|
Track listing :
- When Charlie met Pola
- Got a Little Bit of Love
- We Can Go dancing
- Jumping with Zo
- Hands of Time
- My Beloved General
- Christine the Great
- The Mathematician
- Mr. Trebus
- Quo Vadis
- Poland Calling Polonia home
- Snow is Falling
- Red Wine
Polonia, the title of the inspirational new album from Katy Carr, is the Latin name for Poland and this is the realm the artist is celebrating in her music and song. As Katy Carr explains, ‘A strong brave, sovereignty proud of her freedom fighters and warriors who march to bring justice and peace to troubled times. Part of Katy Carr’s intention in making Polonia is to promote the longstanding, deep friendship between Britain and Poland, one threatened by present political and social prejudices. In a broader sense Polonia is a response to hate crimes endured by so many immigrants.
The record’s subject matter employs a large cast. This includes: Charlie Chaplin and the actress Pola Negri; the legendary Polish female spy Krystyna Skarbek, who inspired Ian Fleming’s Bond girl Vesper Lynd; the British composer Sir Edward Elgar; the first mathematicians (Polish) who deciphered Enigma in 1938 and Polish 1st Armoured Division General Maczek who was reduced to ‘Barman Stan’ in Edinburgh post WWII.
Polonia takes its title from Sir Edward Elgar’s gesture of devotion and loyalty to his close friend the fellow composer, and later president of Poland, Ignacy Paderewski GBE. Elgar wrote his Polonia piece in 1915, precisely 100 years ago this year, to benefit the Polish Victims Relief Fund: in 1915 Poland had been erased from the map of Europe, a consequence of having been partitioned 120 years previously between her neighbours Russia, Germany and Austria. At the end of World War I Poles were granted their country back.
The stories used to inspire Katy’s songs come from notable moments in Polish history and life – aspects of culture, military and intelligence exploits and incidents, intellectual invention, and science, as well as the loyalty and bravery that were the character traits required to carry them out.
Polonia, Katy Carr’s fifth album, is inspired by an under-developed area of Western historical research: World War II’s Eastern Front and the mighty military force of the free- dom fighters of Poland. Carr’s songs on Polonia explore those very people who during World War II fought not only for an independent Poland but also for the freedom of the West, especially Great Britain: Poland was not only Britain’s only ally for the first two years of the war but her largest military coalition force after the USA at the end of World War II.
Yet in the 1946 Victory Parade in London, every nation was celebrated that fought along- side Britain, except for the Poles, omitted by the new British government so as not to upset Stalin – only the Communist government elected in Moscow to rule Poland was invited.
In the song ‘My Beloved General’ Katy Carr portrays the devastating effects that the 1945 Yalta Conference, which ceded Poland to Soviet influence, had on the Polish World War II freedom fighter heroes. One of these was General Maczek, the subject of ‘My Beloved General’; stripped of his Polish citizenship, he worked in an Edinburgh bar to support his family. Known as ‘Barman Stan’, the humble Maczek was a grand Polish war hero; he had fought valiantly in the Polish Bolshevik War of 1920, helping stop the spread of Bolshevism throughout Europe. The lyrics ‘And we fought altogether for Freedom,’ offer apt words here.
‘I was first inspired to write this song when the late Lord Fraser invited me to perform at a charity to raise money to build a memorial to General Maczek in Edinburgh. From there my fascination grew and I met some of the Polish 1st Armoured Divisiom veterans at the British Embassy in Warsaw. My connection with the Division grew and grew: in December 2014 the veterans appointed me an honorary member.’
Sonic treasures like ‘Christine the Great’ emerge like an aural personification of Polonia. Told from the point of view of a British soldier, Carr pays tribute to Krystyna Skarbek, Winston Churchill’s favourite spy and the inspiration for the character Vesper Lynd in Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale.
Clearly Katy Carr’s inspiration is Poland’s very difficult history. But her music and author- ship is more an act of renaissance rather than requiem. She represents a new generation of light who no longer have to carry the heavy burdens of the past but can translate these ex- treme histories into acts of healing. At the push of a button this generation can change the world and this is what Katy Carr is endeavoring to do.
The excellent musicianship on this album is pronounced. In ‘Polonia’ and ‘Red Wine’ BJ Cole graces us with his pedal steel guitar, adding his unique and distinct quality, providing the music with an added ethereal quality. Steve Beresford gives sonic delight with electric insects on ‘Red Wine’ and a magnetic sounding plane from his electrical wizardry, setting the scene for Carr’s ‘Jumping with Zo’, in which General Elzbieta Zawacka, the only woman to jump with the Cichociemni (Silent and Dark), the Elite Polish Parachute regiment, jumps into the ‘dark sky.’ The tune contains a small hint of the ‘Hejnał,’ a Polish national musical symbol, which is played on a bugle in Krakow town square four times every hour on the hour. Beresford also adds mathematical flavours in a machine-like manner to the song ‘Bomba’ to which Herbaliser‘s Oliver Parfitt also brings vintage keyboard flavours.
In a lighter tone, the reference made to Charlie Chaplin in ‘When Charlie Met Pola’ is delightful – in his book My Trip Abroad (1921) Chaplin wrote that his fiancée Pola Negri was the most beautiful ‘thing’ that he had seen in Europe. Here renowned folk musician Guy Schalom performs the additional spoon playing.
Historically diverse and touching on until recently very controversial subjects, the songs ‘Bomba’ and ‘The Mathematician’ pay homage to those Polish mathematicians who in 1938 first deciphered the Enigma machine ciphers: Bomba was the name of the first Enigma counter-machine, designed by the Polish Cypher Bureau in 1938, by mathematician Marian Rejewski.
Katy Carr’s music and songs on Polonia open us up to a world that largely has been forgot- ten. Yet remains part of living history: Polish veterans of Stalin’s slave trade during WWII inform Katy Carr’s work.
The Polonia songs were written during Katy Carr’s residency at the Polish Institute and the Sikorski Museum in Kensington, London, whilst sitting at the desk of the great Polish Gen- eral Anders. Katy Carr is definitively a leader for the renaissance of Poland: she is no author of requiem. If Polonia and Britannia met again one can only imagine what the exchange would be. Just like Elgar’s Polonia symphony, Katy’s music also has a timeless and epic quality. Musicians BJ Cole, Steve Beresford, Guy Schalom, Oliver Parfitt (Herbaliser), Jez Coad (Simple Minds) and her music producer Nigel of Bermondsey have helped her to create an album that could have been written about any age of Poland, such are its epic truths.
Polonia is set to ignite Katy Carr’s path on fire. Written by Chris Salewicz.
For more information please contact EvansAbove PR on +44 (0) 207 241 5010 // +44 (0)7909901322 Lizzie@evansabovepr.com
Technical information :
All songs written by Katy Carr
Produced and engineered by: Nigel of Bermondsey
Arranged by: Katy Carr & Nigel of Bermondsey
Mixed by: Jez Coad
Mastered by: Chris Cawte
Vocals and Piano: Katy Carr
Bass guitar: Nigel of Bermondsey
Accordion : Anja McCloskey
Drums: Sam M. Kelly
Moog, Hammond, Wurlitzer and keyboards: Oliver Parfitt
Additional male vocals on ‘Polonia’ and ‘Poland Calling Polonia Home’: Nigel of Bermondsey
Spoons, shakers, gaffer tape, tambourines and other percussion: Guy Schalom Pedal steel guitar: BJ Cole
Trombone: George Simmonds
Tuba & trumpet: Paul Tkachenko
Free improvisation on electric insect, wine glass, electronics and toy instruments: Steve Beresford
Sleeve notes: Chris Salewicz
Recording and Engineering at Sugar Cane Studios: Even Fromreide
Artwork and design: Susan Burghart susanburghart.com
Photography: Ben Wright at www.benwrightphotogaphy.co.uk
- Katy Carr’s beautiful, romantic fourth album, ‘Paszport’, is an epic, poetic journey through her past and that of her mother’s nation, Poland. It’s a tight indie-folk record that explores themes of love, refugee status, loss of passport, country, resistance, hope against adversity and patriotism.
Awards and Reviews
- Best Concept Album Independent Music Awards (2014)
- Nomination for Best Artist Songlines Music Awards (2013)
- The Polish Daily People of the Year Award for Culture (2013)
‘One of the most intriguing concept albums of the year’ THE GUARDIAN
‘Tender and brave’ THE OBSERVER
‘Angular, theatrical, Klezmeric. Intriguing.’ THE INDEPENDENT –
‘Never less than immaculate’ SUNDAY TIMES
Mala Little Flower
|Catalogue no:||MDL 414|
|Date of Release:||November 2012|
Track listing :
- Katy Carr meets Kazik Piechowski
- Kommander’s Car
- Mała, Little Flower
- Czarne włosy, zielone oczy
- Red Red Rose
- Dziś do Ciebie przyjść nie mogę
- Travelling to You
- O mój rozmarynie
- Chodźmy, Partyzanci!
Katy Carr’s beautiful, romantic fourth album ‘Paszport’ is an epic, poetic journey through her past and that of her parents’ nation, Poland.
Nominated for the London Music Award 2012, alongside Kate Bush, PJ Harvey and the Arctic Monkeys, and also for The National Lottery Awards 2012 for her Arts Council-funded ‘Escapologist Tour’, British-born songwriter Katy Carr’s heartfelt ‘Paszport’ album tackles areas and issues long considered too politically delicate to mention.
‘Paszport’ begins with a short extract in Polish from Kazik Piechowski, Carr’s main source of inspiration to whom she dedicates her record. Listening to Kazik’s voice, we not only hear a 92-year-old man who made a remarkable escape from Auschwitz in June 1942 – in Commandant Rudolf Hoess’s car dressed in SS uniforms – but also realise that the intergenerational link between Carr and Piechowski is key for the creating of this sensitive liaison. For it is the first time in Kazik’s life that someone has been inspired by his life to create something meaningful for him.
The first song is ‘Kommander’s Car,’ a fierce, pulsating, folk ballad describing Piechowski’s emotions in the last eighty metres of his escape. This song, initially released on Katy Carr’s previous album Coquette, has been remastered, but is crucial to this album as it is the point from which Carr’s current journey into discovering her Polish roots began.
‘Meeting Kazik changed my life. When I met him in 2009 and first played him my song Kommander’s Car, I had no idea that I would be taking this mammoth trip of discovery into my own Polish roots. Kazik’s story is therefore my key to gaining access to my own Polish heritage. Through the film I made with fellow British film maker Hannah Lovell, Kazik and the Kommander’s Car, we met Kazik for the first time. I have learnt through him how Polish people are so cool and fight for what they believe in. I am so very proud to have met Kazik and thank him forever for giving me back my love of Poland and my Polish blood.’
Dedicated to the Polish World War Two experience Carr has drawn on all her musical influences and performances in the British vintage 1920s, 30s, 40s scene and mixed them with hardcore Polish World War Two history topics that have remained silenced since then – due to the Iron Curtain’s rule over Central and Eastern Europe for over 45 years.
‘I am interested in bringing history into the contemporary through the form of song. It is with great pleasure that I have been described as an ambassador for Polish History by the Polish media and I intend to continue this role through my creative work. I want to help inspire people globally to learn all that Polish people and beautiful Poland has to offer.’
The album ‘Paszport’ explores themes of Polish WW2 experience and pays homage to the Polish soldiers and pilots who fought so hard for Poland’s independence only to have their country taken over by the Soviet Union at the end of World War Two – resulting in the mass displacement of Polish refugees across the world. In the song ‘Wojtek’ we catch a glimpse of the mascot of 22nd Artillery Supply Company of the Polish II Corps during WW2: Wojtek was a Syrian brown bear who was made an honorary ‘private’ by the Polish Army, due to their affection for him; later he helped soldiers lift ammunition boxes at The Battle of Monte Cassino, 1944.
‘Red Red Rose’ is a song inspired by the mass transport of 1.8 million Poles to Siberia throughout World War Two : it centres on the theme of a ‘black black train taking my baby away…’ Note the red star on the train in the artwork.
The lyrics of these emotive songs are contained within the CD, printed in a mini-booklet designed by Central Illustration Agency artist Susan Burghart, who is married to a Pole. Carr insisted that Burghart was taken to Warsaw on an inspirational artistic trip to create the artwork on this album, ensuring that inspiration was taken from such archival institutions as Warsaw’s State Ethnographic Museum, and the archives of the London museum, The Polish institute and the Sikorski Museum.
Musicians that have played on ‘Paszport’ come from a wide variety of sources. They include Klezmer cellist Francesca Ter-Berg, who was also Carr’s musical director; classical and gypsy violinist Flora Curzon; and Klezmer, Egyptian and Eastern European percussionist Guy Schalom [Schalom was nominated for Best Group in Songlines World Music Awards 2012 for his Baladi Blues Ensemble]. Wojciech Wentura was hired by Carr to help with her Polish pronunciation and to sing as the Opera singer on ‘Alicja’. And the voices of Polish soldiers from the 22nd artillery company are heard on ‘Wojtek’, whilst the Polish Partisan choir perform on ‘Chodźmy, Partyzanci!’, which translates as Let’s Go, Partisans!
Produced by Nigel of Bermondsey, this is a tight indie record exploring themes of love, refugee status, loss of passport, country, resistance, hope against adversity and patriotism.
‘It’s time the voices of the past were heard. ‘ Katy Carr 2012.
We leave you with a quote from the poem by Jerzy Harasymowicz that is printed in its entirety in the CD booklet:
‘You own a passport therefore you exist.’
Technical information :
All songs written by: Katy Carr except Dziś do Ciebie przyjść nie mogę written in 1943 by Stanisław Magierski (pseudonym “Jacek II”) and O mój rozmarynie a traditional song from Poland
Produced and engineered by:Nigel Of Bermondsey except Kommander’s Car, Produced and engineered by: Nick Crofts
Co-produced by: Katy Carr
Musical director: Francesca Ter-berg
Katy Carr’s Polish pronunciation and vocal coach: Wojciech Wentura
Mixed by: Jez Coad
Mastered by: Chris Cawte
Artwork and design: Susan Burghart www.susanburghart.com
List of musicians except tracks marked*:
Ukulele, piano and keyboards: Katy Carr
Cello: Francesca Ter-berg
*Cello (Kommander’s Car): Jon Cottle
Bass guitar: Nigel of Bermondsey
Additional male vocals on red red rose: Nigel of Bermondsey
Poyk, snare drum, cymbals, wood block and other percussion: Guy Schalom
Tuba, trombone, double bass, whistle: Paul Tkachenko
Violin: Flora Curzon
Opera singer on Alicja, Polish soldiers from the 22nd Artillery sSupply Company on Wojtek and Polish Partisan choir on Chodźmy, partyzanci!: Maciek O’Shea
The BM597 spitfire which features on Motylek was recorded by Katy Carr at Goodwood Festival of Speed, England
- Coquette is Carr’s third album and received glowing music reviews in the UK media upon its release in November 2009, ‘Quite simply it is a masterpiece,’.The themes on Coquette relate to stories from the British, French and Polish World War II experience with songs written in the respective languages.
Awards and Reviews
- In November 2011, Katy Carr’s third album ‘Coquette’ was nominated for the London Music Award 2012 alongside Kate Bush, PJ Harvey, Arctic Monkeys, The Good, the Bad & the Queen, Metromony, Ed Sheeran, Jim Jones Review, The Unthanks and Laura Marling.
- Coquette was listed by Brett Anderson of the English alternative rock band Suede (band) as one of his top ten albums of 2011 alongside The Horrors, Björk,Kate Bush, Bon Iver, Wild Beasts, The Kills and Little Dragon.
‘Carr is a fine example of that much-maligned beast we call Authenticity’ London Music Award nomination (2012)
‘This album is a scrapbook of characters, places and stories from deep inside Carr’s imagination and it has been a mesmerising experience to glimpse into her world. I can’t fault this album. Quite simply it is a masterpiece.’ ***** The Music Critic
‘Quite simply a masterpiece’ ***** MUSIC CRITIC
‘Exquisite, original and lovely.’ **** PSYCHOLOGIES
‘Coquette is an original and fascinating work,’ **** DAILY EXPRESS
Carr’s ‘bald subject matter distances her from the kooky crowd.’**** Q MAGAZINE
‘This is Carr’s most fully-formed music yet.’ **** MOJO
|Catalogue no:||MDL 315|
|Date of Release:||November 2009|
Track listing :
- Star Song
- Berliner Ring
- Erotic Days
- Kommander’s Car
- The White Cliffs
Katy Carr ~ Coquette
After laying bare the richly scandalous, hot-blooded current of the feminine mystique with the primal carnality of Screwing Lies (2001) and wilful sensuality of Passion Play (2003), Katy Carr returns to innocence with the unabashedly romantic Coquette. A concept album set in war-torn Britain in the 1930s and 40s, it’s a tender character-driven exploration of the emotional mêlée of the era, when the barbs of grief and wrenching loss collided with the striking up of feverish romantic encounters, when intense anxiety cloaked the country like an inescapable blackout. Here, a cheeky naiveté mingles with eroticism; spectral voices call out to one another, crossing planes of existence with gilded letters of passionate sorrow; a clifftop suicide is narrowly avoided through the power of song; and the spirit of one courageous woman finds itself embodied in another.
It is said that the only cure for coquetry is the finding of true love. But what happens when that love is taken away, sent to war or simply devoured by the force of its own demons? What happens when the one who was all is suddenly nothing but a collection of memories? Although much derided and often misrepresented in literature, the role of the coquette was an important one in the war years, performing for the troops, and for inspiration Katy needed look no further than the grande dames of frontline entertainment and Hollywood legends of the time. In her own words “the beautiful feminine energy” of Gracie Fields, Katharine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers and others infuses Coquette with a purity of virtue and inner strength. Of course, none of these women were themselves infallible, as the stridently percussive ‘Berliner Ring’ attests. A tribute to Marlene Dietrich, it recounts from an outsider’s perspective her desperation to break out of the confining borders of the East German capital and make her fortune in the wider world. The gentler ‘White Cliffs’ borrows the famous titular lyric from the Vera Lynn classic ‘We’ll Meet Again’ for the climax of a tale in which a hysterical woman intends to hurl herself into the sea in memory of her lost pilot lover, only to rescind at the pivotal moment.
Herself a qualified pilot with a lifelong fascination with all manner of aerial things, Katy Carr weaves her fascinating storysongs from a unique perspective. Born to a Polish mother and English father, early dalliances with her Catholic ancestry were replaced by an obsession with the wonders of flight. An RAF scholarship followed and Katy was soon soaring through the skies and gaining a whole new outlook on the immensity (and, conversely, the triviality) of things. References to flying and celestial matters are rife throughout her compositions and the songs on Coquette explore these themes in the context of war. The string-laden ‘Butterfly’, a woman’s sighing lament for a lover who perished in the wreckage of a Spitfire, conveys a bittersweet longing, a desire to experience the ultimate freedom that can never be fulfilled. Part of the beauty of the song is that we’re kept guessing about whether the story is being recounted several decades in the future, which is where the album begins. The inextricably linked ‘Star Song’ and ‘Sparkle’ finds Katy in the guise of an elderly woman reminiscing on the purest love of her life. And the parallels between the past and present don’t end there.
Tapping into the inherent duality of her English–Polish heritage and the stories of her maternal grandmother, Katy embodies both the liberator and the liberated. In researching the album, she met with a group of Polish war veterans at the Imperial War Museum in London, listening intently to their experiences of the tumult of combat and the anguish of personal sacrifice. The devastating ‘Army’ pays tribute to the men who fell and the families they left behind, inspired by the final scene of ‘Zulu’ where, in the face of certain death at the hands of a misunderstood enemy, Michael Caine experiences a profound compunction for his actions and at having deserted the woman he loves. The chanted reprise is a killer. Later, somewhere in the muddy churned up fields of occupied France, a weeping man is roused into song by a haunting chorus of accordions; he drains his hipflask and staggers to his feet to cry out to his vanished belle ‘Violetta’, gone to the ether. A stunningly theatrical performance sung entirely in French, it’s a sensual adieu to a greatly treasured flower. Sticking with the floral theme, ‘Orchidophile’ brings a different slant to proceedings as a woman sings of a man lost to a war not in the skies or in the trenches but deep within his own tortured mind.
But Coquette is not wholly elegiac. After all, it wouldn’t be a Katy Carr album without a sexual element and the jazzy, sultry ‘Erotic Days’ delivers in spades. “It’s about smelling each other’s fluids,” she explains, revealing that the inspiration for the song came from her discovery of ancient Japanese artworks depicting the female ejaculation. The kind of song that only the most daring frontline coquette might have attempted to thrill her troops, it’s an affectionate glimpse into a more innocent past when the act of intercourse still maintained some degree of mystery. More innocent still is ‘Come By The River’, a sweetly sung ode to true love, while the darker ‘Belladonna’ delves beneath the glitzy extravagance of the showbiz lifestyle. A heartfelt tribute to the bewitching likes of Edith Piaf and Billie Holiday, it takes its name from the Latin name for deadly nightshade, the hallucinogenic extract of which was often used to dilate the pupils of the women before they went on stage.
Ending as it began in the present, the album concludes with ‘Katharine McDowall’, a tribute to a woman from Dumfries who led an extraordinary life. A cowboy in her thirties, she eschewed her aristocratic heritage to live a near hermit-like existence in the Rocky Mountains for nigh on a decade, and later was a regular fixture at events like the Wicker Man Festival, even when confined to a wheelchair in her last years, where Katy first encountered her. A family member commented upon a startling resemblance between Katy and photos of the young Katharine and from that the song was born. To end an album chiefly focused on loss with a song about spiritual rebirth seems only right somehow.
The depth of thought and attention to exquisite detail that has gone into the making of Coquette shines through in every composition. An anachronistic gem, Katy Carr has created a fearlessly dramatic suite of songs with a very British feel that could only have come from such a unique artist.
By Alan Peddar Editor of Wears the Trousers Magazine
TECHNICAL INFO :
All songs written by Katy Carr
‘Coquette’ produced by Nick Crofts
Programming, recording and mixing by Nick Crofts
String arrangements for ‘Orchidophile’ and ‘Violetta’ by Paul Stroud, produced by Stroud & Crofts. String arrangements for ‘Berliner Ring’ and ‘Erotic Days’ Jon Cottle.
Mastered by Chris Cawte
All images copyright Susan Burghart
La Coquette – Rosie Meres
Photography – Carina Frei
Recorded at 20 000 ft amsl
Musicians ‘Katy Carr and The Aviators.’
Katy Carr – vocals, collard & collard upright piano, yamaha baby grand piano, eavestaff pianette ‘minipiano,’ other toys.
Nick Crofts – analogue synths, glockenspiel, fender rhodes, wurlitzer, piano, melodica.
Jon Cottle – cello, electric bass
Sam Carter – acoustic guitar
Anja McCloskey- accordion
Geoffrey Lea – percussion and drums
Gavin Broom – trumpet
The Ivy String Quartet directed by Paul Stroud
First violin Natalee Jeremic,
Second violin Felicity Broome-Skelton,
Viola Ruth Player,
Cello Sarah Westley
- Passion play is a sensuous ten song musing upon the highs and lows of life: namely love, death, drugs, alcohol, sex, ambition and highwaymen. Katy conjures a magical world of cruising sexual predators, interstellar relationships, religious junkies and erotic vampires.
Awards and Reviews
‘Definitely one for the Mercury Music Prize to consider’ SUNDAY TIMES
‘Second album from English dance-folk prodigy’ **** UNCUT
‘This is singery-songwritery fare with a difference. Carr writes ribald songs about sex’n’drugs’n’rock’n’roll… but it’s the screwy leftfield arrangements that really grab you’ ****MOJO
|Album :||Passion Play|
|Catalogue no:||MDL 216|
|Date of Release:||6th November 2015|
Track listing :
- Paper Castle
- Reddle Woman
All songs written and arranged by Katy Carr Produced by Katy Carr Co-produced, engineered by Jeremy Vass Drums recorded by Steve Cooper Photography by Savan mogha Make-up and styling by Ida Akesson Recorded at Maple Street StudIos London W1 Musicians Vocal, Piano, wurlitzer, keyboards : Katy Carr Drums, percussion, moog : Jeremy Vass Guitar, male vocal : David Okuniew Wurlitzer, moog : Oliver Parfitt Double bass : Benjamin Nicholls Dick Turpin : John Hegley Tablas, tanpura : Manjit Singh Rasiya French horn : Isabel Schmitt Violin : Calina De La Mare Cello : Dinah Beamish Trombone : Stuart Bates Electric bass: Craig Gogay
Press release :
Passion Play is a sensuous ten song musing upon the highs and lows of life : namely love, death, drugs, alcohol, sex, ambition and highwaymen. Katy conjures a magical world of cruising sexual predators, interstellar relationships, religious junkies and erotic vampires.
Style wise Passion Play retains he alt-folk mood of debut album ‘Screwing Lies’ whilst introducing electronic elements due to Katy’s growing interest in the dance scene. The work of 4- Hero, A Guy Called Gerald and Micatone (Sonar Kollektiv) have been particularly inspirational.
Outstanding tracks include the Kruder & Dorfmeister influenced ‘Paper Castle’ featuring Olly Parfitt of The Herbaliser, performance poet John Hegley as the infamous highwayman on ‘Turpin’ and ‘Sharkesville’ with Calina De La Mare violinist with the Tindersticks. brass, double bass, cello and violin add depth and light to arrangements. The moog brings a touch of Jean-Jaques perry retro feel to the dance-floor friendly Borderline.
Passion Play is peoples with a menagerie of hot-headed, cold-blooded and starry-eyed characters obsessed with fulfillinf their desires. Not unlike the real world, but with a touch more magic. Katy Carr is committed to bringing trills and folk thrills to the 21st century.
- Evoking both the witchery of early Kate Bush and the nervy strain of PJ Harvey, Screwing Lies is the swarthy, self-produced debut offering from London-based folk singer Katy Carr. It’s quite a find.
‘An accomplished debut album from a fascinating new voice in the acoustic world ‘ TNT
‘Sensual and Sultry’ **** UNCUT
‘Raw, unpredictable debut by English alt-folk star in waiting’ **** Q
For Screwing Lies
Album : Screwing Lies Label: Deluce Recordings Catalogue no: MDL 117 Date of Release: Oct 2001 Track listing :
- Ramble My Rose
- Screwing Lies
- Moscow Child
- Black Widow
- Ramble My Rose
All songs written by Katy Carr
Produced by Katy Carr
Engineered by Jez Larder
Mastered by Martin Giles
Photography by Gina Birch of The Raincoats
Visual concept by Vit Hopley
Digital design by Oskar Vizan
Vocal, piano : Katy Carr
Cello : Shimrit Atad
Guitars, electric bass, drum machine : David Okuniew
Double Bass : John Edwards
Drums : Paul Soden
Concertina, bassoon, flutes : Robert Harbron
Violin : Erik Lieglersschmidt
Violin : Helen Davis
Viola : Brendan Lawless
Katy’s debut album ‘Screwing Lies’ chronicles the madness of sexual relations, from unrequited love to lonely hearts, how it feels to be ‘the cheat’ or ‘the cheated’. Songs of infidelity and murder, transvestism and female insanity sung in a soothing, intoxicating voice.
Impossible to classify. ‘Screwing Lies,’ eclectic influences take the listener on a journey from the repressed Victoriana of the title track to the trip-hop cheekiness of ‘Knickers’. A dark, folk-pop muse, carr believes in the power of stories. Traditional tales are updated ad subverted with voyeuriem taking a front seat. The meaning of each story is elliptical, always in sight yet tanatalisingly just out of reach.
Arrangements are carefully chosen to compliment each song without being overpowering. The sparce rich cello of ‘Black Widow’, the gallic concertina of ‘Screwing Lies’, john Edwards’ double bass that drives ‘Ramble My Rose’ a groove to make Pentangle proud, and ‘Moscow Child’s’ waltztime piano, Eastern European style.
Beautiful on the surface with a delicious dark centre, ‘Screwing Lies’ is an accomplished debut album from a fascinating new voice in the acoustic world. Katy Carr is a welcome anomaly.
Kazik and the Kommander’s Car Film
- Dedicated to the honour of Polish boy scout Kazimierz ‘Kazik’ Piechowski, this DVD commemorates the 70th year anniversary of his escape from Auschwitz in 1942. Songwriter Katy Carr visits Gdansk, Poland to meet Kazimierz ‘Kazik’ Piechowski (b1919) and play him her tribute song “Kommander’s Car”. Through Kazik’s powerful response to the song he shares his memories of the last do-or-die moments of the escape where the impossible became possible. More info www.kazikfilm.com
At noon on June 20th, 1942, a Polish prisoner stole an SS commandant’s car and fled Auschwitz with three others. Kazimierz Piechowski, then 22, was dressed as an officer. Yet hardly anyone outside Poland has known this until now. Katy Carr, a British-Polish songwriter who heard the story on television in Poland two years ago, has written a song about it… Carr’s song recounts the final stretch… Until recently his memories were too searing to share. Hearing Carr’s song, he felt soothed. “It’s my voice,” he said. “I will play it to anybody who will listen.” THE TIMES
‘From the moment that the first note is struck of Katy Carr’s song Kommander’s Car… to the emotional climax that is Kazik’s incredible escape from Auschwitz, one is gripped by this extraordinary short film. A must see.’ DAVID RUSSELL, Coordinator, Tower Hamlets Holocaust Memorial Day
‘KAZIK AND THE KOMMANDER’S CAR is an inspiring story that reaches across generations. The film’s director has perfectly captured Kazik’s predicament and through Katy Carr’s songwriting skills makes the story relevant to today’s audiences.’ PHILIP ILSON, Director of London Short Film Festival London-based singer Katy, who has Polish roots, heard the story and was moved to write music about it. What will strike you perhaps more than the idea of a hugely brave, desperate, creative and daring escape story is how important it is to hear the testimony of a man who has borne witness to the evils of racism and reactionary politics. This is a clear lesson as to why justice and equality must be the cornerstones of civilisation, of why tolerance and love is all that matters as the fundamental building block for societies – and what can happen when this key fact is lost in the murk of power and politics. ‘ 5/5 stars West End Extra ‘Simply structured and hardly edited, Carr and Lovell’s short film may be small in stature but it’s as important and worthy an account of the Holocaust as any.’ Time Out ‘Kazik and the Kommander’s Car’, which has been released to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Kazik’s escape, is documentary making at its most important. It is a testament to the horrors of the Holocaust, and a part of history that we should never forget.’ Pennyblack Music
|DVD :||Kazik and the Kommander’s Car|
|Catalogue no:||MDL 117|
|Date of Release:||Oct 2001|
‘Kazik and The Kommander’s Car’ DVD +
‘Kommander’s Car’ Single + Music Video
Release Date: January 27, 2012
Dedicated to Polish boy scout Kazimierz ‘Kazik’ Piechowski, the DVD, single and music video commemorate the 70th Anniversary of Kazik’s escape from Auschwitz in 1942
Part of 2012’s London Short Film Festival, ‘Kazik And The Kommander’s Car’, directed by Hannah Lovell, produced by Katy Carr and with artwork by Galen Wainwright, is a DVD release like no other. Essentially a short documentary film, the DVD includes the music video and the song dedicated Kazik’s incredible story – with film extras that bring history to life through Kazik’s poignant first-hand account of his escape.
On June 20th 1942, Kazik Piechowski, a Polish boy scout, and three other political prisoners, disguised themselves as SS officers and drove out of Auschwitz, the German Nazi concentration camp, where they had been imprisoned for two years. The car they took was a Steyr 220 that belonged to the SS Kommandant, Rudolf Höss. Upon learning Kazik’s remarkable escape story, British-Polish songwriter Katy Carr, now nominated for the London Music Award 2012, wrote a song to honour it, called ‘Kommander’s Car’. In August 2009 Katy Carr went to Gdansk in Poland with the sole purpose of meeting the very man who inspired her musical composition.
In the film ‘Kazik and the Kommander’s Car’, we witness the songwriter’s first moments with Kazik, then aged 90, and see her play him the tribute song ‘Kommander’s Car’. Through Kazik’s strong and moving response to the song, we have a direct window in to his memory and experience. The song highlights how vital the last terrifying 80 metres were in the escape and the music video is a bold visual interpretation of this final and dramatic moment.
‘So many people have tried to document Auschwitz, but this song and music video are different. They play on the symbols of Auschwitz and the feelings of the escape.
This is something new for the world.’ KAZIK PIECHOWSKI
This DVD is the result of that legendary meeting and is comprised of three cinematic responses: a short documentary, a music video (with animation) and over ninety minutes of film extras featuring interviews with Kazimierz Piechowski. Viewers can discover Kazik Piechowski’s inspirational character and story, his life as a boy scout, and what happened to him after his escape from Auschwitz.