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Maria Pomianowska can play various instruments

Maria Pomianowska is playing as a soloist as well as chamber musician in various musical projects. She cooperate with numbers of folk, jazz, classical ,pop and World Music groups and artists.

She can performe:


- Bilgoray Suka

- Mielec Suka

-Plock Fiddle

-folk bass

-gadulka ( Bulgaria)

-kamancheh (Iran)

-sarangi (India)


-morin-chur (Mongolia)


Bilgoray Suka

Bilgoray Suka -Poland

An instrument reconstructed on the base of Wojciech Gerson’s watercolour from 1895. A box carved out of one piece of cherry wood. It has a shape similar to violin. It has 4 strings. Post Second World War field research enabled to specify the technique used for playing suka- the fingernail technique where the strings are stopped not by pressure but by a side touch of the nail. This technique- as typical of Polish instrumentalists-had been described in the 16th C. by the German theoretician martin Agricola. The fingernail technique of playing was suka’s originality among Polish folk chordophones, but at the same time it became an obstacle insurmountable for musicians. The first copies of the reconstructed instrument found their place in museums. Rebirth of the forgotten tradition became possible only when along with the musical reconstruction of Bilgoray Suka the rich experience of Maria Pomianowska with non-European string instruments such as sarangi, morin-chur etc. was used.

Film about Suka reconstruction

Bilgoray Suka

 In 1992 I heard for the first time about an extinct Polish instrument –suka from Bilgoray.

Thanks to many interesting circumstances I have started to reconstruct the playing technique on suka and to create a repertoire for it, based on the historical documents and oral folk tradition. It was after I had finished studies in the cello class at the Academy of Music and play for some time on knee fiddles from exotic countries around the world. They are usually played with a so-called finger-nail technique. In 1993 I prepared a concert for the Warsaw Academy of Music. It was entitled “Magic of bow”. I wanted to present the wide variety of bow instruments from different world cultures, by playing on them with other musicians. I succeeded in gathering numerous young people, fascinated with Extra-European music, mainly Asia. They were playing European, Indian, Mongolian and Chinese instruments. And it was day before the concert that a bridge in my Mongolian morin-khuur broke. A friend of mine recommended me an exceptional luthier in Warsaw who could help in an emergency. 

It was a crucial meeting. When Andrew Kuczkowsky saw my Asian instrument and I told him how to play on them, the only comment he gave was: “ we have been waiting exactly for that”. At that time Mr. Kuczkowsky and prof. Ewa Dahlig had already reconstructed suka, but only for museum purposes. There was no one, who really mastered the finger-nail technique of playing, which had been forgotten in Poland for almost a century. That is how my story has unexpectedly started to come full circle. Studies in India and other Asian countries turned out to be useful in reviving already extinct Polish tradition of playing suka from Bilgoray and shortly after fiddle from Plock. I willingly picked up the gauntlet. A fascinating time of reconstruction and recreating finger-nail technique of playing started. The 4-string suka has been reconstructed on the base of iconographic sources, since no specimen of the instrument had survived until the modern days. The 6-string fiddle from Plock was excavated in 1985. The layer of soil in which the instrument had been found dated back to the mid of the sixteenth century. It is the only specimen of a Polish sixteenth-century string instrument in existence. The uniqueness of fiddle from Plock can be seen in the form of the bridge, which has two unequal legs, as well as the very primary construction, close to medieval instruments (no fingerboard, no tailpiece).


Plock Fiddle

Plock Fiddle- Poland

A copy of an instrument found by archaeologists in 1985 in Plock. It is estimated to date from the XVI-XVII century. The corpse is made out of one piece of birch wood. It has 4 strings and it is played on with the fingernail technique.







Mielec Suka

Mielec Suka-Poland

Mielec Suka was reconstructed based on a watercolour made by Stanislaw Putiatycki from the the collection of the State Ethnographic Museum in Warsaw.( from middle of XIX century) This instrument is a hybrid of a violin, which was already known at those times and a knee chordophones from the past.

Mielec Suka