Tara Fuki: Motyle

The Bearable Lightness of Butterflies

Listening Post 321. Virtually all Western music comes from the same 12-note scale, so maybe it shouldn’t be remarkable that Tara Fuki— Dorota Barová and Andrea Konstankiewicz—accomplishes so much with two voices and two cellos. Across 20 years and six albums, however, fans and critics alike have expressed amazement and delight at their versatility. On Motyle (Butterflies) they are as agile as ever, blending classical, jazz and Central European folk-pop strains, and still capable of surprise. They enrich their sound through bracing contradictions, often pairing melancholy vocals with instruments that pull toward hope, sometimes with one cello bowed and the other plucked. One novelty that would have been unremarkable when they began their career: Though both women are Czech—having met at the Ostrava Conservatory—they typically sing in Polish, preferring what they call its “sonic softness,” but with this collection their musical instincts led them to three songs (out of 10) in their native language. The pinnacle of Tara Fuki’s magic is the exquisite ambiguity of their lyrics, playing with imperfectly defined romantic contradictions: fragility and strength, pregnant silences, intimacy without comprehension, paralysis and change. Their wistful-buoyant balance stands out in Kdyby (If the Heart…), a meditation on the anatomical instrument responsible for love (video 1). Kim jestem (Who I Am, video 2) is a game of don’t-ask hide and seek, recognizable to every couple yet nonetheless inspired; while Rano (Morning, video 3) suggests a sudden nocturnal insight followed by a clean break. The title track approaches the thin line between transparency and confusion at the album’s core with the perfect metaphor: A butterfly—beautiful, colorful, delicate and able to float on air (video 4). Speaking prose to poetry, bringing clarity to enigma, Konstankiewicz describes Motyle as “a mosaic of relationship stages and forms of love, a seismography of the heart.” Well played. (Indies Scope)

Tara Fuki: Motyle / Butterflies
Dorota Barová: Cello, vocals, elctronics
Andrea Konstankiewicz: Cello, vocals

Guest artist
Miloš Dvořáček: Drums, kalimba

 

Kdyby – If the heart 
Lyrics: Tomáš Tajchner / Music: Tara Fuki

(From the Czech lyrics)
What would happen if the heart was only an empty shadow? 
What would happen if it hid love behind a veil? 
What would happen if the heart was just a simple machine? 
What would happen if there was less in the two of us? 

Then our inner time would stop 
The silence would cover all the world 
There wouldn’t be a way back 

 

Kim jestem- Who I Am
Lyrics & music: Tara Fuki

(From the Polish lyrics)
Don’t ask me about the things that you don’t want to know 
Don’t ask me about what happened to us last night 
Don’t ask me about what I wanted and what I got 
We don’t need those words 
Better to ask me who I am 

Rano/ Morning 
Lyrics & music: Tara Fuki

(From the Polish lyrics)
Lying next to you in the morning /My body is looking at me 
Am I dreaming or not?/I don’t really know what happened 
Was it me or my heart that wanted to carry that sin? 
I’m not here anymore/ Forget about me 
It’s not for the first time that I am in love 

I got up and cleaned everything/This night has quickly changed 
So many years and what happened then/Was it you or your heart that wanted to carry that sin? 
I’m not here anymore 

Forgotten moments 
I’m not here 
Wish you all the best 
Still loving my life 

 

Motyle / Butterflies 
Lyrics & music: Tara Fuki

(From the Polish lyrics)
It’s only me, watching you by the window 
It’s only me, rocking on, not able to hear you 
It’s only you, blocking my view 
It’s only you who can’t see me 
and to know if these are the good or bad times 

It’s only the wind – trembling on the window 
It’s only the bird – rocking on and laughing 
It’s only the rain- blocking my view 
It’s only you- who keeps telling me: 
I’m afraid of new days 

Open the doors for a while 
Butterflies sleeping on the windows 
The sun knows that you don’t want to hide yourself 

 


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