Dominik Wania: Lonely Shadows - LP 180g Vinyl

ECM Records

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ECM 2686
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ECM 2686
18.9.2020 in Germany
Dominik Wania
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After critically-acclaimed ECM recordings with the Maciej Obara Quartet (Unloved, Three Crowns), Polish pianist Dominik Wania delivers a solo album recorded in November 2019 in Lugano. Wania’s sensitivity to touch, tone and texture is informed by his classical background. But he also has the in-the-moment instincts of a great improviser, acutely focused on the unfolding details of the music in the responsive interior of the Auditorio Stelio Molo studio. The balancing of influences from both disciplines makes Dominik Wania one of the most distinctive players of his generation. Lonely Shadows is a testimony to his creative originality as well as a significant addition to ECM’s celebrated line of solo piano recordings. Produced by Manfred Eicher.



A1 Lonely Shadows 5:59
A2 New Life Experience 3:50
A3 Melting Spirit 3:47
A4 Towards The Light 6:27
A5 Relativity 3:36
B1 Liquid Fluid 4:29
B2 Think Twice 3:35
B3 AG76 6:13
B4 Subjective Objectivity 2:33
B5 Indifferent Attitude 2:20
B6 All What Remains 5:56


Lonely Shadows is the first ECM solo album from Dominik Wania, a musician of striking originality. The Polish pianist’s sensitivity to touch, tone and texture is informed by his classical background, but he also has instincts of a great improviser, acutely focused on the unfolding details of the music in the moment, with an inherent sense for structure. The balancing of influences from both disciplines makes him one of the most distinctive players of his generation and Lonely Shadows is a testimony to his creativity and a significant addition to ECM’s celebrated line of solo piano recordings. Lonely Shadows follows two critically acclaimed albums – Unloved and Three Crowns – in which Wania has been heard as a member of the Maciej Obara Quartet. It was during the recording of Unloved, three years ago, that the idea of the present album was first raised.
Dominik Wania: “A solo album is a major step for a pianist’s artistic development. It was special for me that Manfred Eicher and ECM proposed it. I felt from the beginning that it would include fully improvised music.” In his approach to improvisation on this album, he notes, sound itself sets the direction for the development of material, and for expression and emotion: “I didn’t want to prepare anything in advance. No forms or melodic sketches or harmonic layers. I was fully dependent on the creative process of playing here and now.” At the same time, the music of Lonely Shadows reflects the aesthetic influence of composers Wania admires and has studied closely, “including Satie, Weber, Scriabin, Prokofiev and especially Ravel and Messiaen.”
 In Lugano’s Auditorio Stelio Molo, he was “inspired, too, by this particular piano, its colour, and by the brilliant room acoustics.” Associative titles for the individual pieces were added retrospectively. The piece “AG76”, for instance, is named after a painting by Polish artist Zdzisław Beksiński, which hangs in the Historical Museum of Dominik’s hometown, and perhaps shares with it a kind of shimmering vibrancy.
Dominik Wania was born in 1981 in Sanok in Southern Poland’s Podkarpacie region, and started playing piano when he was three years old. He subsequently studied in Kraków and graduated from its Academy of Music in 2005. Jazz was also a presence in his life from an early age and in 2006 he won a scholarship to study it at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where his teachers included Danilo Perez, Jerry Bergonzi, Ran Blake and George Garzone. His debut recording as a leader, Ravel, released in 2013, used Maurice Ravel’s Miroirs as its inspirational starting point, and he has gone on to shape a creative space for himself as a classically trained player who has found fulfilment and artistic focus in improvised music. He continues to play in many contexts, recently collaborating with Polish composer Zbigniew Preisner on Melodies of My Youth, a project featuring Wania’s piano and the voice of Lisa Gerrard.
Dominik Wania has performed with numerous Polish and international jazz musicians including Tomasz Stanko, Lee Konitz, Dave Liebman Zbigniew Namysłowski, Piotr Wojtasik, Grzegorz Nagórski, Janusz Muniak, Bronisław Suchanek, Zbigniew Wegehaupt, Marcus Miller, Joey Baron, Jon Fält, Eddie Henderson, Anders Jormin, Nguyen Le, Gary Thomas, Marilyn Mazur, Eric Marienthal, and many more.

Lonely Shadows was recorded in Lugano’s Auditorio Stelio Molo RSI in November 2019, and produced by Manfred Eicher.

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  • 5
    The essence of Manfred Eicher

    Posted by Vick on 10th May 2022

    There are many wonderful solo piano works in ECM. There have been a lot of them recently, such as Keith and Chick in the old days, but this work has attracted me the most in recent decades. Where were such attractive people buried? I think the essence of Manfred Eicher is to invite people like this to create such wonderful works. If you use Aicher's magic, the sound of ECM is born. I don't need a way to grasp whether this is jazz-like or not. It doesn't matter if you're swinging or not. The melody is also novel, the harmony is daring to jump out of the space to the point where it is stunning, and the touch of the piano is strong and sharp, and beautiful. It's just so beautiful that you don't need to talk about what's going on. Recently, Americans, Craig Taybourne and Aaron Parks have also produced solo piano works from the same ECM, and they are all attractive, but I felt that this work was so wonderful that it awakened my eyes. That's why I'm caught by Aicher's magic, and I just bought ECM works.