Since it’s inception in 2017, Tęskno – a duo of pianist and composer Hania Rani and vocalist and violinist Joanna Longić – has been taking the local scene by storm. „Mi” - their debut album released via PIAS Poland last November has been considered one of the records of the year while the band took their uncompromisingly nostalgic and poetic sound to festival stages and sold-out club shows across the country.
Their music comes from the soundtrack of a melodrama, which has not been filmed yet. After the culmination scene has already passed, there is a time for submerging within emotions it left behind and drowning in them to the very end… So far, there have not been many bands on the Polish music scene, whose name would be so accurately described by what is hidden in composed music. That is the case in Tęskno (Longing in Polish).
Joanna Longić and Hania Rani joined forces for a project which within the minimalism of its creativity hides huge amounts of sensitivity, which evokes, only by gentle mean, a tremendous avalanche of emotions. Under the ethereal coat of mild sounds, the real miracles conceal.
In the sound of the forementioned duo, neoclassicism has merged with a subtle electronic creating a mellow music, where inventive, unobvious lyricism does not leave any room for banality, mawkishness and common schemes. The simplicity of expression allows you to indulge in a nostalgic journey without the slightest resistance.
Joanna Longić, vocalist and violinist, and Hania Rani, pianist and composer, had their first opportunity to collaborate on the recording session organized for the Bemine, a Longić's solo project. The meeting, which took place in one of Warsaw's botanical gardens and during which the artists together created a unique, English-language version of the song "Fastrygi" by Mela Koteluk, turned out to be the beginning of a new, joint venture. After fully admired first recordings and concerts, which were well-reviewed by listeners and critics (evidenced by invitations to perform at such festivals like Open'er and OFF), Tęskno makes another important step in its history. The name of this step was "Mi".
"Mi" has twelve compositions, where electronics has discreetly entered the neoclassical entourage. The sounds of piano and string instruments, as well as analogue sounds of Juno and Prophet synthesizers, accompany the vocals of both artists, resulting in music without sharp edges and angular frames. It is a melancholic utopia in which are marked influences of such musicians, like Nils Frahm and Agnes Obel. The musical layer, built on the organic sound of used instruments, creates an incredible harmony from the first to the last minute of the debut album, giving it an attractive consistency.
The minimalist form of songs is just a game of appearances, which the band plays with listeners - on the songs from "Mi" there are plenty of flavours, for which are responsible not only duo Longić-Rani, but also other instrumentalists invited to the recording sessions (recorded fragments from previous concerts of Tęskno are also included in the album). Musicians in the studio were accompanied by a quintet of Kornelia Grądzka (violin), Paulina Kusa (violin), Zuzanna Stradowska (cello), Mateusz Wasiucionek (viola) and Staszek Czyżewski (double bass). Piotr Wieczorek mixed the album, as well as mastered its production; he is also known for working on Fryderyk award-winning album "Already It Is Dusk" by Dariusz Przybylski. The pictures promoting the album, including the photography on the cover of "Mi", were made by Karolina Konieczna, who collaborates with Tęskno from the beginning of the band's existence. The graphic design was made by Krzysztof Nowak.
The main part of the recording session took place in a unique place - Monochrom studio located in Kotlina Kłodzka. The building, designed from scratch in the shape of the Sudeten barn, stands away from the city noise - in the free space, on the mountainside, amongs meadows and forests. The calmness and closeness of nature around the studio have left its charming mark on “Mi”, the album on which the reception of music is not disturbed at any times. It is worth emphasizing the presence of the sounds of nature surrounding the studio on the recordings.
Joanna Longić and Hania Rani agree that under the cover of minimalism and nostalgia there is a courage and boldness, which is shown by the expressive compositions and contained in them experiments. The album sounding seemingly innocent and blissful is an expression of artistic consciousness and self-confidence, thanks to which Tęskno managed to record an album that is difficult to confuse with any other, which so far appeared on the domestic phonographic market.