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Travellers biography
Travellers was formed in 2011 by Wojtek Szadkowski, known for his past involvement with such acclaimed bands as Collage, Satellite, and Strawberry Fields. As Wojtek explains, Travellers music is a mixture of prog, ethnic music, the 80's music, a lot of magic and space, and all of this crowned by (lead singer) Robin's fantastic voice....

Wojtek Szadkowski describes the origins of Travellers: I got the idea about forming Travellers by accident. I was checking various ideas which had been recorded throughout the several previous months and it turned out that some of them formed a certain consistent whole. They shared a certain specific mood, a bit ephemeral, a bit ethnic. I gathered them in a separate place and started adding in some ethnic loops. I remembered that, in the first version of one of Strawberry Fields songs, Robin sang in a very high-pitched voice. Her voice was a little bit reminiscent of Enya then... so I thought that it would be a perfect voice for this kind of project. But I had no idea who could play the guitar. I knew that it had to be someone that could feel the vibe of the 80's and of rock classics. I didn't want it to be a typical, obvious, progressive guitar in the vein of Steve Hackett's style - that would destroy all the mood. Incidentally, I met a friend of mine in the street, whom I hadn't seen for many, many years.

I knew Grzesiek from the times of record boot sales. I knew he played something or other, I knew he had some sort of a band. But we hadn't seen each other for some 10-15 years! I told him about Travellers and he wanted to try. He sent me guitar tracks for the song Dreaming. When I heard them, I had no doubt that no one else would fit that mood better than he did. He played perfectly. He chose a perfect sound, he added a new quality to the song and that was exactly what I wanted. We worked on the guitar tracks via the Internet - he would send me his tracks and I would say what was OK and what was to be corrected. Sometimes I would suggest some other solutions but these were merely cosmetic changes. I approved most of the guitar tracks without any changes whatsoever.

Sometimes I would modify a song, the order of particular parts, the beginning after I'd heard the guitars - to make things work better. It was different with the bass tracks. I'm no good at playing the bass but, accidentally, Krzysiek, after hearing the songs, offered that he would play the bass lines on the synthesizer. In this way, the...
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3.79 | 19 ratings
A Journey Into The Sun Within

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 A Journey Into The Sun Within by TRAVELLERS album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.79 | 19 ratings

A Journey Into The Sun Within
Travellers Prog Related

Review by Easy Livin
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

4 stars Magic

In 2009, Satellite and Collage drummer Wojtek Szadkowski embarked on a side project called Strawberry Fields. To date, they have released one album (" Rivers gone dry"), a fine collection of accessible numbers with prog nuances. The singer on that album was a young lady who goes by the professional name of Robin (Marta Kniewska).

Szadkowski has now created another new project while retaining the fine voice of Robin who co-writes the lyrics for several of the songs on this album. While "Rivers gone dry" consisted on nine compact songs, "A journey into the sun within" has 6 long tracks, two of which run to over 11 minutes. It may therefore seem a little strange to say that this album retains more in common with the Strawberry Fields album than it does with the neo-prog of Satellite, but such is the case.

The opening track "Magic", which was also initially the intended title for the album, sets out with Robin's delightful, slightly folk tinged vocals. The intricate arrangement of the track then takes us through a variety of influences, including ethnic rhythms, guitar and synth bursts, and powerful rock sounds. For a first track by a brand new band, this epic piece is both bold and exciting.

On "Letters to God", synth features more prominently, with Grzegorz Leczkowski also adding a fine feedback lead guitar solo. The contrast between the light Lesley Duncan (with hints of Annie Haslam) like vocals of Robin and the heavy instrumental breaks is even starker here, the song benefiting immensely through its carefully considered development. "Dreaming" is the shortest track on the album, yet still runs to around 5 minutes. This and the following "I dream softly" are the the only tracks written by Wojtek Szadkowski alone, Robin contributing the the lyrics on the other four songs. The track is a bit like a rock version of "Falling" (the "Twin peaks" song), indeed the lyrics appear to suggest that may in part have been an inspiration here. The track includes a beautiful distorted guitar solo.

Contrasts are once again the striking feature of "I dream softly", with soft female vocals vying with lead guitar for centre stage. The brooding "I see the light" could be the best track on the album; it certainly finds Robin giving her strongest vocal performance. The lead guitar is excellent here too, reminiscent of the gifted John Mitchell (Arena). The album closes with its longest track, "The sun". This 12˝ minute song takes a deceptively simple upbeat melody and brings it to full fruition. Here, the extended instrumental breaks are more relaxed, giving the track a more progressive feel overall.

While the tracks here are impressively ambitious in terms of arrangement and length, Travellers make it plain that prog is only one of a number of influences on their music. At their heart, the six songs which make up the album are straightforward compositions. What transforms the album though is they way they are developed from those simple beginnings, metamorphosing into highly satisfactory extended pieces. Overall, a pleasingly original album.

Thanks to easy livin for the artist addition.

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