How come you started doing what you do today?
Well I guess I have got to start my story at the beginning. I used to work for the Polish television and Polish radio. However, there was increasingly a problem for journalists to report the truth in Poland. After all there is many kinds and versions of the truth. Basically after the “accident” of the Polish president Kadzinski, my hope to have normal work in my field was lost. Many times I brought interesting material to my boss only to see more than 50% of the content censored. So after having worked for the Polish television and radio for more than 20 years, I decided to leave this world behind and became self-employed. So I started my own film equipment company. It was a good time but I could not stand the crazy hours anymore as 24hour days became even for me to be a little bit too much work. I am after all 52 years old now. It’s not such a big deal if you are in your twenties but if you’re my age you should not have to work that much anymore. I have already struggled enough by having four children and gone through a divorce a long time ago and I wanted to rest at least a little bit. So after I finished running my film equipment business I had a little bit of money on the side and my therapist told me that I should do something that I love doing. He told me: you are an inventor, you are constantly building things, so why don’t you turn this hobby of yours into a job? So basically he told me to try and turn my crazy hobby into something I can make money with.
So I started thinking what I could do. I though of survival courses, basking and god knows what. After all street basking has no great reputation in Poland, whereas in England street basking has a long tradition. I, however, play the tuba and the piano. I love Brass bands and marching music and I used to play the tuba in the fire brigade back home. So this thought popped into my mind. A fire tuba. I remembered from back when I was a kid, my father took me to a Salvador Dali exhibition. I don’t know why but in my childhood memory a painting of a fire tuba is linked to this exhibition. Now I know it’s not a fire tuba but a fire giraffe and a tuba somewhere in the sky but in my head the two got mixed up.
Today the fire tuba project is complete and I am hoping to keep making money with it all over Europe. When I started experimenting to build a fire tuba it was at times very unsafe. There was a problem with the old motorcycle ignition I used and it was just a big hassle. But as it stands today it is very safe to handle this beauty.
I have already played in Berlin, Bratislava, Paris and actually in most European capitals. Always for 3-5 days at a time to then moved on. One time I ended up in London for a weekend and immediately loved the friendly atmosphere. The basking system in London is very open to everyone and the audience is the best one in Europe. I usually adapt my tunes to each nation’s heritage to relate better to the audience.
We met Christopher Werkowicz when we walked around London and were completely drawn into his art of basking, as he has the ability to transform big tourist squares into places of magic.