Raphael Rogiński born in Frankfurt, composer and performer, cultural animator and student of musical folklore.
He started playing electric guitar at the age of thirteen. Educated in jazz and classical, he also studied musical theory and ethnomusicology.
Since the very beginning of his creative work he has been focusing primarily on improvisation rooted in blues and jazz, as well as on ethnic and folk music. It is the combination of those two paths that best defines his style both in terms of composing and performing. Deeply rooted in the Jewish culture, Rogiński always sought to accommodate it in his art and this search resulted in the conception of two projects which he leads: Shofar and Cukunft.
He also acts as art director of festivals showcasing new Jewish culture – like Tikkun, Varshe or Mizrach – and as consultant for projects featured at them.
Another source of inspiration for Rogiński is the primitive music of America, blues and 1960s rock. Filtered and processed, it can be heard in both his solo and band performances. A deep analysis of techniques employed by classical blues guitarists and the knowledge of instruments of the 1950s and 1960s form the basis of Rogiński’s sound.
Inspired, on the other hand, by American experimental music (Harry Patch, Henry Cowell and others), Rogiński formed the band Spinalonga. Research of European ‘early music’ resulted in the recent release of Rogiński gra Bacha (Rogiński Plays Bach), a collection of Bach’s pieces played on prepared guitars.
Rogiński is also involved in projects stemming from the international new jazz scene. His compositions, improvisations and interpretations are often used as soundtrack for various artistic events – documentaries and animations (e.g. Man Ray, Viking Elling), performing acts (J. Kalina), traditional and multimedia theatre plays ( ), and literature readings (Tadeusz Różewicz, Mieczysław Myśliwski, Mieczysław Abramowicz, Andrzej Stasiuk).
Performing mainly on his own artistic terms, he gives solo concerts and leads various ensembles. Currently, his ongoing musical projects include the aforementioned Shofar, Cukunft and Spinalonga, as well as the trio with Macio Moretti and Marcin Masecki, the duo Sisters with DJ Lenar and solo concerts.
Rogiński played or collaborated with, among others, Kazuchisa Uchichashi, Le Quan Ninh, Noel Akchote, Frederic Blondy, Keith Rowe, Joe Giardullo, Axel Dorner, Thomas Lehn, Andrew Sharpley, John Edwards, John Tilbury, Brigit Ulher, Yale Strom , Tim Daisy, Dave Rempis, Mark Tokar, Mark Sanders, Clayton Thomas, Kris Wenders, Peter Jaquemyn, Wacław Zimpel, Emiter, Macio Moretti, DJ Lenar, Daniel Pigonski, Konstanty Usenko, Jarek Bester, Ireneusz Socha, Vadim O.Pavluk, Ryszard Latecki, Rafal Mazur, Piotr Bukowski, Arszyn, Mikolaj Trzaska, Maria Peszek.
Which was the first record you bought with your own money?
Its been a long time ago, when communism falling down, and peoples buy and sell everything. So with a help of God I both John Lee Hooker LP from 63'. Compilation of his early recordings. I understood, that i don't have way back.
Which was the last record you bought with your own money?
This is really funny, because its John Lee Hooker too. Both in Chicago. "John Lee Hooker Gets Into The Blues" - recording in Nashville.
What was the first solo you learned from a record - and can you still play it?
It was during strong psychedelic period in my life - "1983. A Merman I Should Turn To Be". General this piece changed my life. Show me how much you can take from music and this, that your music can be your independent island.
Which recording of your own (or as a sideman) are you most proud of, and why?
Each one I like. Wovoka "Trees Against The Sky" is new one so I can say, that here I'm very close to 60' which I love. I thing we were, during recording close to stronger emotions in my life. It was something like meditation with old gospel songs, blues. We understood, that we have to be stronger with this idea. Now at concerts you can hear much more factory of trans music, then sophisticated band like from recording. Id love this dual nature of recordings and live music.
What's the difference between playing live and playing in a studio?
In my opinion its only time. I believe, that I have always the same energy. If you have mission you can write on the small paper or drawing big figures on the big fields. Essence should be the same.
What's the difference between a good gig and a bad gig?
I really don't know. Im honest with my music and myself with music. Im medium who give space and flexibility for ghosts. Im not alone. I don't think in this categories. Of course you can play in a bad place, with a crazy management, with fucked up peoples, but I make choices. If you have responsibility you will be save.
What's the difference between a good guitar and a bad guitar?
Good guitar have soul inside. First what i always do with new guitar is sleeping with her. No sex, just to be in duo. I look at her, touch and tell her my secred codes. All guitars are like wild horses. I know musicians with this one, special guitar or musicians who need a herd. Unfortunately at this time you can see, at music stores this all chinese shit guitars without soul. Its very bad for young musicians. Yes, I think its question about soul.
You play electric and acoustic. Do you approach the two differently?
I play electric, but I always copied acoustic instruments. Not only guitar, but ngoni, xalam, rubab.
Do you sound more like yourself on acoustic or electric?
Do you sound like yourself on other people's guitars?
For sure as myself. It wasn't plan. Just happen. Maybe different stories and ghost calling me. For sure you can hear in my music this what I listen, but do do this when you want to understand about what I play.
Wovoka. Mewa Chabiera - Vocal, Raphael Rogiński - Guitars, Ola Rzepka - Organs, Paweł Szpura - Drums
Which living artist would you like to collaborate with?
Phil Cohran, Ooleya Mint Amartichitt (Mauretanian singer),Daniel Higgs, Michael Gira, Leonard Cohen, Sally Man (photographer), Tin Hat, Psarantonis, All musicians from psychodelic period in Africa, James Chance.
What dead artist would you like to have collaborated with?
Howlin' Wolf, John Dowland, Dona Dumitru Siminica (Romanian singer), Elliott Smith, Jack Nitzsche, Kouyaté Sory Kandia, Czesław Niemen, Moondog...
What's your latest project about ?
With my band Wovoka we will play Moondog music and much more trans from Africa so we rebuilt ourself health. In march I start with my new folk band. We play woman traditional music from USA. My compositions mixed with old lyrics. In march too Ill have concerts with jewish-yemeni music. And more and more and more.