Zespół Piosenki Naiwnej from Szczecin is composed of soloists with mental disabilities and accompanying musicians. They perform their own compositions to poetry using the rhythms of bossa nova and country folk.
The ensemble has its roots in the Szczecin-based community of the international movement “Faith and Light”, founded by Jean Vanier. It gathers persons with mental disabilities, their families and friends. The violinist Marek Dorożyński pioneered the first joint music events.
The ensemble performs in public since 2005. “After the first concert our soloists, Iwona and Grażyna, asked when the next performance will take place,” recalls the author of most of the songs, Arkadiusz Więcko. “It was by then clear that there is no way we can stop at this point.”
The ensemble is founded on relations of friendship. Most of the musicians have known one another for over two decades. The songs, then, are selected, arranged and divided between the members of the ensemble so that each can be noticed on the stage and feel comfortable with a particular piece. The unique relations that join the musicians on the stage and out of the limelight have an impact on the public. The encounter of “power” and “weakness” on the stage triggers a huge charge of good vibrations.
Zespół Piosenki Naiwnej has recorded 5 records, including two completely autonomous ones. The ensemble has taken part in numerous concerts, e.g. in the Szczecin Castle with Elżbieta Adamiak, Jacek Kleyff and Elżbieta Wojnowska. The ensemble works under the auspices of the Foundation Dom Rodzinny w Łysogórkach dla Upośledzonych Umysłowo Sierot pod wezwaniem Dzieciątka Jezus (The Child Jesus Family House in Łysogórki for Orphans with Mental Disabilities; www.fundacja-dom-rodzinny.org.pl).
The soloists’ personalities are very different. This is what Arkadiusz Więcko says about them:
Iwonka Dzik is a seasoned soloist with a delicate voice that often quavers with emotion. Her singing is heartrending. Each time she sings the same song differently, but each time it is very genuine; there is no calculation or ingratiation here.
Ola Jokusz is different. She wants to sing “beautifully”, the way she sees star singers do. She is aware of the mistakes she makes. Ola can sing music hits in a karaoke mode.
Grażynka Rosik is a born actress. Even though she can read well and remembers words easily, she is not always faithful to the melody line. She can also add a line or two on her own initiative. During rehearsals, not to waste time, she knits one more, possibly a hundredth, mini-bag.
Krzysztof Garbarski plays the mouth organ in a unique way, swinging his body as he does so, gingerly blowing air into the instrument. He cannot tell the time and verbal communication with him is difficult. He often prays to be able to play during the next concert.
Mateusz Chamera joined the group quite recently. He take pleasure in his quiet presence in the ensemble. He enjoys the ambience of the performances and his own playing the drum.