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Barbara Zielinska-Van - promo single

Van & Borner - Miracles (promo)

Barbara Zielinska-Van and Sabina Borner both attended the K. Szymanowski Musical Academy in Katowice, Poland.  Barbara’s early compositions were for grand piano and first saw the light of day in the early ‘80’s.  They all had a jazz flavour (jazz is her passion) and in 1983 she took part in jazz workshops in Chodziez and Warsaw.  Her repertoire at that time was mainly based on jazz standards but also included her own compositions.  After that, she was invited to study at the Berklee College Of Music, Boston, USA and serious modern music with electronic elements starts to dominate her musical interests.  Collaboration with Sabina Borner resulted in frequent airplay on Polish radio and commissions for film and television scores.

The two CDs in this review are both promos, thus the monochrome sleeve (the commercial versions are in colour).

Barbara Zielinska-Van (promo single)

Barbara Zielinska-Van (promo single)Consisting of three tracks (Cosmos, Soraya and Secret Garden), the music is very much in the Vangelis/Jean Michel Jarre vein. 

Cosmos could be called a ‘spacescape’ for want of a better term and has elements of Robert John Godfrey sounds as heard on In The Region Of The Summer Stars.

Soraya is a slow affair that initially sounds like the sort of thing that ‘one man and his organ’ might play at the local old folks home, but redeems itself halfway through with the introduction of a jazz style sax keyboard ‘solo’.

Secret Garden is the most ambitious of the three.  Opening with jungle sounds and a spooky chord, cool percussion, tingling synth washes and some tasty acoustic guitar sounds punctuated with pan pipes send the listener on an armchair trip through the rain forests in the relative safety of one’s own abode.

Barbara is accompanied by Dariuz Budkiewcz (bass) and Adam Gromada (pan pipes).

Van & Borner - Miracles (promo)

Van & Borner - Miracles (promo)Miracles is an eight track (plus bonus track) album by the duo but this promo consists of two tracks from the album, Shadow Dancing and Walking In Clouds.

It is June in the UK and we are experiencing our first (and probably last) mini heat wave of 2003 yet I have suddenly been overcome with goose pimples!  And all thanks to Shadow Dancing.  Although the electronic percussion appears safe, the Theremin type synth lead and sustained electric guitar (a combination of Dave Gilmour/The Enid) a third of the way into the track plus all the other weird and wonderful things going on, create a marvellous emotional and spooky atmosphere.

Walking In Clouds has an almost indescribable bass line (imagine a ‘stick’ player with severe Parkinson’s – in a controlled way) providing an effect similar to the rhythm section on The Enid’s Tripping The Light Fantastic.  The cool rhythmic atmosphere is further enhanced with gentle hypnotic vocals at one with the music and ambient keys to match.

Assuming the two tracks are indicative of the style and quality of the album, Miracles should be one terrific CD.  Barbara and Sabina are accompanied on this album by Darek Budkiewicz (bass), Marek Gorlitz (guitars) and Jola Literska (vocals).

(Click on the links below for more information on Barbara, Sabina and their music.

Jem Jedrzejewski

Barbara Zielin´ska-Van

studio nagrań


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