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Ptakova – Leaving your comfort zone opens you to new horizons

Sometimes what inspires the most comes from non-obvious connections and new experiences. Ptakova talks about her artistic journey and preparations for the Carbon Silesia Festival, where she intends to present new arrangements of her current songs, as well as unpublished pieces from the upcoming album.

When will you have the opportunity to appear at the Carbon Silesia Festival?

This will be my second time as a festival participant, but my first time as an artist performing there.

And how do you feel about this debut?

First of all, I feel excited. Of course, there is always a bit of stress, but it is part of artistic life. I was very happy to hear about the concert at the Carbon Silesia Festival, especially since it is organized by a great team, and musically it is definitely my direction.

The festival is in a unique place, in the area of ​​Queen Luiza’s Adit in Zabrze, so it is very vibrant with Silesia. There are three different stages with a really juicy line-up, there is an option to visit the museum on the festival grounds, and people! There are great people in Silesia.

What can we expect from your performance?

These will definitely be songs from my second album, which I released last year, i.e. “a cheerful girl with an often sad heart”, but there will also be new arrangements. There will also be songs from my upcoming third album.

Can you tell me the titles of these new songs?

Not yet [laughter]. The songs are currently in the process of mixing, refining and creating. Just like with the second album, they are created mainly in my home studio, although now – which is new and very refreshing for me – some of them are also recorded in the field.

During concerts, we stand on stage together with Paweł Królikowski, who plays synthesizers, double bass and bass guitar. I play keyboards, floor tom, synthesizers, and vocals. We’ve had a lot of rehearsals and we work well together. I’m glad I have a great man next to me. I think we both feel that the time spent in the studio and rehearsal rooms was not wasted.

No wonder, the time invested in work always brings results!

Exactly. I feel like we blend well on stage.

I think that since I released my first album in 2020, I have learned a lot and found myself in it. I’ve worked a lot and changed a lot of things. I started producing myself, listening more to my intuition and exploring new musical areas, which was and is totally refreshing. Along the way, of course – as always in life – I encountered various opinions, suggestions and difficulties. But you know, I’m getting really good feedback now from listeners that they feel the material, that they follow it and are waiting for more. They come to concerts, we talk a lot about music and emotions. It’s very motivating and supportive.

It’s not easy to cope with other opinions, but to have your own space you first have to work a lot in life.

This is what the market is all about – these opinions differ and that’s why we have a multitude of musical styles, each of which is unique.

Correct. Although we have a limited number of sounds, their arrangement and interpretation gives virtually endless possibilities. The exchange of views and the associated exit from the comfort zone teaches a certain distance and opens up new horizons. As an artist, it’s good to let other observers and their opinions into your creative process,  but at the same time don’t get overwhelmed. It is an art of balance that is extremely useful.

It seems that not only in music, but in life in general, openness to other opinions is developing, as long as we do not put these opinions above our perception.

This process is one of life’s main lessons.

Yes of course. It’s not easy to cope with other opinions, but to have your own space you first have to work a lot in life. People have various experiences from the past, which they often do not even realize; the early years of our lives build our beliefs and, consequently, our resistance to this type of confrontation. It’s good to get to it and become aware of these aspects. It’s good to work on yourself!

What do you think about the fact that sensitive artists, particularly subject to these influences, create deep and inspiring works?

I guess we all go through something, but artists have the ability to focus on these emotions and pour them into their work. That’s why it’s worth noticing, admiring and admiring. Everyone actually has a part of an artist in them. The key is to be able to bring it out. Focusing on seemingly trivial things, such as stains on the walls or streaks of light, can provide us with the basis for creating our work. Just like crises in life. I think it’s worth working on creativity and looking for it in yourself.

Sometimes you don’t need much to create an original, good sound. I really appreciate this approach and using my creativity as the main tool.

Were your albums influenced by such strong experiences?

Definitely. My second album, especially, was created at a difficult time for me. The third album is a kind of continuation of my process, in which I understood a lot, but also gained a lot of self-confidence and confidence in my actions. Currently, I am still at the stage of collecting ideas and inspirations for this album. The creative process continues.

I recently received a beautiful gift from a friend – a stylophone. A very simple, yet very versatile instrument that I can connect to a computer or synthesizer and thus obtain very unique sounds. Sometimes you really don’t need much to create something original and unique. I really appreciate this approach and using my creativity as the main tool.

What equipment do you currently use in the studio?

Currently, in my small home studio there are: Prophet REV2, Roland FP10 digital piano, Akai MPK MINI Plus, Stylofon, UA Apollo Twin X, the well-known Shure SM7B microphone, but also Zoom sound recorders, second-hand keyboards, an electric guitar found in the attic, homemade snare drums made from coin bowls and so on and so forth.

We don’t always need expensive equipment to achieve a good effect, but good mixing and mastering are rather necessary.

Of course, it is worth ensuring good quality when recording. Although imperfections also have a lot of charm and sometimes it is not perfection that is the most important.

So once we have good recording equipment and tons of the best cables, we can finally make a decent track on anything that makes sound [laughter].

And this brings us to the eternal challenge of artists, which is to sacrifice in the name of their passion.

Thanks for the conversation and see you on June 15 at the festival!

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