Having left Suleczyno, we drove to Gdynia, where in the heat of the afternoon we played on an outdoor stage set in the middle of a rose garden, as part of the Promenade music festival. En route, we had picked up a borrowed acoustic bass. A miscommunication about the address, as well as traffic delays, caused us arrive late the venue. However, our gracious hosts were calm and accommodating, fed us coffee and cakes, executed our sound check in record time and hosted the event with warmth and charm, presenting us with roses at the end. It was a gorgeous afternoon, bees were buzzing throughout the rose garden, and many of the patrons were dressed in formal wear, donning top hats and patriotic Polish colours. Following our performance we drove into Gdansk into the heart of the city where St. Dominic's fair was well underway, and where we eventually found, after much circling, the apartment we were to stay in for the next three nights. With the apartment as our base, we spent the following three days recording at Custom 34 Studio, working with the extraordinarily talented Martin Kowalczyk as our sound engineer. In between takes, the string quartet was busy rehearsing for its performance of tango music on one of the outdoor stages at the fair (now in its 757th year!).

We managed to record 3 octet, 3 string quartet and 2 jazz quartet pieces in the time we had, and we were delighted to have a chance to capture the energy of the group on tour. We also took a day off for sightseeing, and Joanna decided we should all go to Hell! Hel turned out to be a beautiful peninsula with white sandy beaches, extending far into the Baltic Sea! To get to Hel, one has to take (so appropriately!) a ferry through the historic Gdansk shipyards. Unfortunately, it was a pretty chilly day when we went, but luckily for us, it didn't freeze over!! :) 

(by Ronda Metszies)