New Music Tuesday: Rosna by Laboratorium Pieśni

I've been a fan of Laboratorium Pieśni since I stumbled across them thanks to the magic of Facebook a few months ago. Their earthy, gorgeous YouTube videos sucked me in almost as much as the magic of their Eastern European polyphony. They recently released their first full length album entitled "Rosna."

Laboratorium Pieśni is an eight-voice, all-female vocal ensemble focusing on international traditional song practice, particularly from Ukraine, Balkans, Poland, Belarus, Georgia, and Scandinavia. Their specialty is a capella polyphonic song with occasional infusion of folk instrumentation. 

The ensemble are actively engaged in field research, seeking to preserve disappearing folk music by infusing it with fresh life. They say it best on their website, "creating a new space in a traditional song, adding voice improvisations, inspired by sounds of nature, often intuitive, wild and feminine."

My favorite track on the album is easily "Sztoj pa moru" ("Out There on the Sea"), a song from Belarus. The haunting vocals and thoughtful use of percussion make this a particularly compelling track.

At the sea, blue sea
There was a floating flock of white swans
And where did the gray-white eagle come from?
It dispersed the flock around the blue sea
White down rose to heaven,
Gray feathers fell on a green meadow
And who will collect these feathers?
A beautiful girl

Check out their entire album, available for streaming and purchase through Bandcamp.