News / Arts & Entertainment

Polish Ensemble Conducts 'Four-by-Four' Orchestra

Polish Ensemble Conducts 'Four-by-Four' Orchestra i
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September 27, 2013
A square maple table that contains a small orchestra would appear at first an impossibility. But at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, one such orchestra performed for several days recently. VOA's Bernard Shusman provides the musical details.
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Bernard Shusman
— A square maple table that contains a small orchestra would appear at first an impossibility.  But at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, one such orchestra performed for several days recently.  

The sounds, from a music video, are by the Polish ensemble Karbido.   

Polish ensemble Karbido's instrument looks like a traditional table made of maple planks.  But it's complex, outfitted with interior microphones, hidden strings and flutes, plus four talented artists and their audio technician.
 
Michal Litwiniec, one of the tableists, says the table contains mysteries.

“We have some kind of bass guitar which has two strings, some kind of guitar and some kind of sitar and some kind of Australian didgeridoo which is situated here....And there are also flutes in the legs, some hidden strings under the table," said Litwiniec.

The group created this table in 2006 for a Polish music festival following a beer-fueled brainstorming session.

"We had a lot of ideas in our head.  Actually everybody had his own idea how to construct it.  But, finally, I get the solution that we will construct it as an African instrument, which is called Balafin or Marimba," said Litwiniec.

Each member of Karbido is an accomplished musician, playing with other bands and as soloists.  But their true love, as can be seen in their music video, is The Table.

Next up for Karbido after Brooklyn - a return to Poland for a series of concerts in the homeland.     

Production assistance by Daniela Schrier.

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