“This not accidental meeting results from curiosity, respect, valuing and learning each other, and what is important from a sense of belonging to such a multi-colored, divided but in spite of all shared cultural space, which is the specific part of the Central and Eastern Europe, where artists originated. They share their own stories about what they love, with what they feel a deep connection, not just what they like. The project crosses borders, on the other hand, is a clear manifestation of cross-cultural identity of each of its co-creator. The creative potential of these three prominent individuals, leaders of their own formation, which consciously and fully democratically joined forces, like in mirror reflects the value of cultural diversity, which is the basis to build a music community dialogue. Artists seduce truth and harmony performance. They lending each other their talents, create a new quality which is the result of cooperation. Emotional songs of life carry a reverie, delight and hope referring to the complicated but in many places the common history of the Slavic cultural groups.The combination of these three women’s worlds, which virtuoso buckle fastens unique male element, emerges caring Galician and Carpathian genius loci.”
Joanna Dziadowiec, PhD. Institute of Culture of The Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Foundation Observatory of the Living Culture – Research Network in Warsaw
“S. H. A. Woman Ethno Power
Susanna Jara, Hank Wójciak and Agata Siemaszko reached dazzling effect, and this is their first meeting.
I went to this performance with high hopes and curiosity. What will show three great vocalists – Susanna Jara, Hanka Wójciak (I know her the best becouse I follow her artistic career of victory at the Student Song Festival), and Agata Siemaszko, who hid behind the acronym S.H.A. and the title “Women Ethno Power”? It took only two or three songs and everything was clear; flowing from a combination of their voices power enslaves.
On the darkened, filled in Galicia Jewish Museum’s room their entered singly. singing a capella Mountain, Hucul, Boykos and Slovak songs. This same defined the world of music, what is their passion, in which for years they put the soul, the world in which grow up, which are inscribed in their genes.
Susanna Jara was born in Pochayiv Ukraine, her parents are singers too, for many years living in Poland – she co-created Widymo in Sanok, restoring the old carpathian songs, of this songs she derives usually. Now she lives in Krakow, she graduated Ukrainian philology at the Jagiellonian University. In Krakow Hanka Wójciak settled too. She is laughing, temperamental highlander from Zakopane, this origin hear in her songs all the time. Agata Siemaszko is shaped by Podhale too. She was a part of regional folk group, but in the blood she has Ukrainian element too.
Now they combined their great original voices, their artistry (they had various masters) and sensitivity collided with musical element of Podhale, multicultural Ukrainian, traditions of Roma and Slovak music. So we could heard Polish – including Podhale dialect – language, Ukrainian, Lemko, Romani and Slovak. From all we could feel truth. And sincere emotions. Audience sensed it immediately enthusiastically accepted next songs. I should add something about exceptional cotribution to concert Miroslav Rajt, Slovak virtuoso Hungarian dulcimer whose sound fulfill polyphonic singing ladies. Each of girls brought part of own repertoire – traditional music or created by themselves songs, now enriched with the voices of other singers. How great sounded song “Matulu” Hanka Wójciak, how poignantly “Posij that sia, posij” Lemko creator Petro Murianka, after whose reached Susanna Jara, how much energy was carrying the traditional song of the Russian Gypsies “Nane cocha” because slovak and gypsy songs Agata Siemaszko likes the most. She knows them trought cooperation with Teresa Mirga and Kałe Bała group. In Kałe Bała she met Kuba “Bobas” Wilk music. With him Agata Siemaszko co-created team, they won the Grand Prix and the Special Prize named Czesław Niemen on Polish Radio Folk Festival “New Tradition 2011”. They recorded album “Fire and Water”.
Three great singers, leaders of their own formation, having their concerts, recording own albums; Hanka Wójciak – “Znachorka”, Susanna Jara – “Vesna, wesnoju”. And now they connect forces in intercultural project. “Their meeting results from curiosity, respect, valuing and learning each other. They share their own stories about what they love, with which they feel a deep connection, not just what they like. The project crosses borders, on the other hand, is a clear manifestation of cross-cultural identity of each of its co-creator” – assesses Joanna Dziadowiec, the Cultural Institute of the Jagiellonian University. Dazzling effect. Bul it is their first meeting. I belive, that will be next. Vocalists want to take a part in the XVII Womex Festival, the most famous meeting ethno music artist, which was first time in Poland – in October in Katowice. I wish them it, and I wish them record album, which will include songs that sang today evening.
With age, less and less I fall into raptures. That evening Susanna Jara, Hank Wójciak and Agata Siemaszko, that trio S.H.A., meant that I was hooked. So, to around wonderfull project wasn’t S.H.A, I announce.”
Wacław Krupiński, Dziennki Polski, 11 marca 2017
“S.H.A. is fascinating combination of three unique female voices and temperaments. Susanna Jara, Hanka Wójciak and Agata Siemaszko merged their charisma and brought personal experience from their own formations. Individually, they were awarded in major ethno festivals in Poland. They blend together and create unusual atmosphere. It is a meeting of incredibly diverse Middle-Eastern European cultures. S.H.A. is three voices in seven languages and dialects: Polish, Ukrainian, Slovak, Gypsy, Rusyn and dialects of Highlanders. Traditional and original songs. Singers share passion and inspirations, drawing from their Galician roots. The music of S.H.A. is enriched by Slovak virtuoso of Hungarian dulcimer – Miroslav Rajt. His Gypsy roots along with mastery bring unusual color to vocal arrangements.”
Magdalena Piotrowska, PhD, mastering engineer, http://www.hearcandymastering.com/