Karolina Cicha and Sw@da – concert in Brussels

Multi-instrumentalist Karolina Cicha and Podlaskie music producer Sw@da gave a concert in Brussels whose theme revolved around the “XYLO Worlds: industry, economy and medicine based on natural resources” scientific conference, organized by the XYLOPOLIS Centre for Wood Art and Science, East Poland House in Brussels, the Brussels Office of the National Centre for Research and Development and the Podlaskie Marshal’s Office.

The artists had previously been involved with the XYLOPOLIS project. During the preparations for the presentation of Poland and the Podlaskie Voivodship to 2020 EXPO in Dubai, they composed the piece “Xylopolis”, which was a musical interpretation of the idea.

The song also resonated at the concert in Brussels. In Cicha and Sw@da’s song, Xylopolis is “that place we seek”, a safe haven of the future, which the artists hope for. “Over a couple of months, the context of the song has changed dramatically,” says Cicha. “Originally, the song was about a vision, a place that is supposed to provide humanity with a climate-safe future. Today it is difficult not to read the lyrics of Xylopolis outside of the context of changes brought about with the outbreak of the war in Ukraine.” The “place we seek”, the safe haven from the song is not somewhere “beyond the woods”, but is here, close, sometimes in our homes, where refugees can find shelter.

Sw@da, Patrycja Betley, Karolina Cicha

Another song by the duo which strongly reflects the public perceptions after the outbreak of the war is “Cherry Orchard”, written in the musical language of longing for a home lost. Now Cicha and Sw@da use this language to add a hopeful, encouraging perspective on multicultural youth and nature. Inspired by Podlaskie.

There is forest magic, unlimited and unrestricted dance energy” said Sw@da, who wanted his listeners to feel the impulse to move as he created this track. “I searched for measures to do this in most unexpected places ,” he says. “Violins and dulcimers are not necessarily the first instruments that come to mind when we think of smashing dance grooves.”

Both Karolina Cicha and Sw@da are unconventional artists, drawing from various cultural inspirations. Karolina’s identifying feature is her original technique of playing several instruments at the same time. She has won numerous awards; in 2015 she was an official selection at WOMEX – the world’s largest music event. Her music was featured at dozens of festivals in Europe, Asia and America. Sw@da is a producer and promoter of music from the borderline of folk, bass electronics and hip hop. No wonder the musicians joined forces in a joint project, and were nominated for Poland’s most prestigious music award, the Fryderyk. Their 2023 album SAD made it to the finals in the “Album of the Year, Music of the Roots” category.

The concert in Brussels was organised by XYLOPOLIS Centre for Wood Art and Science, the East Poland House in Brussels and the Podlaskie Marshal’s Office.


East Poland House in Brussels