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Sutari Performs “Kupalnocka”

See the trio perform live on KEXP,

November 10, 2016

KEXP presents Sutari performing “Kupalnocka” live at Jazz Club Fantom during the OFF Festival in Katowice, Poland. Recorded Aug. 6, 2015.

There is much to agree about when it comes to Sutari — the intricacy of their compositions, the appeal of their stage presence, the aptness of their found instruments and the relevance today of the traditional songs they play. Even their name implies accord. “Sutarti”, the Lithuanian word that lends the Polish trio their name, means “in concordance” and is at the root of the female-centric polyphonic folk tradition, sutartinės, from which they draw avant interpretations. While concordance can mean being of one opinion, in the case of Sutari, it’s also being of one voice, as the vocals and instrumentation of Zofia Barańska, Katarzyna Kapela, and Barbara Songin interweave to the point of becoming indistinguishable.

Likewise, their use of traditional lyrics in a modern presentation blends the past with the present. Concurrence, though, can also imply several things happening at once, just as the delightful interplay within Sutari’s music weaves a braid of harmony and tension, reminding us that things are different now but also the same. The modern women of Sutari have much in accord with those whose elder voices they first heard resonating within the kitchen, and to celebrate them today, they bring part of the kitchen to the stage. You won’t need much convincing to realize that they are one of the most unique groups you’ve heard in a long time.

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