Rafał Mazur

Guitar & Electronics

He was born 1971 in Kraków. His involvement with music began in his youth with the cello studies in Krakow. He switched to bass guitar in the late 1980's. Since 2000 he has played an acoustic bass guitar built to his demand. He has developed an advanced and individual approach to his instrument, and to improvisation in general, in which sonority, extended technique and gesture combine effortlessly in performance.

Mazur is the founder of the ImproArt studio of improvisation and co-founder of the Institute of Intuition, studio dedicated to intuitive improvisations in Kraków. He has performed jazz and improvised music in clubs and festivals across Europe as well as in China, South Korea and Japan. Recently he has collaborated with Agustí Fernández, Liudas Mockunas, Martin Küchen, Vasco Trilla Artur Majewski, Peter Ole Jørgensen, Mikołaj Trzaska, Zlatko Kaucic, Lotte Anker, Lisa Ullen, Frederic Blondy, Charlotta Hug, Raymond Strid, Keir Neuringer, François Carrier, Michel Lambert, Barry Guy, Mats Gustafsson, Liudas Mockunas and others.

Mazur's main field of interest and activity is collective and solo free improvisation. He regards Daoism as a strong base for the enrichment of the improviser's attitude. He is founder of Dao of Improvisation – workshop of spontaneous improvisation based on daoistic strategy of action in unexpected situations.

He is also academic philosopher and his main fields are philosophy of improvisation, Chinese daoistic philosophy, Chinese philosophy of art, evolutionary aesthetics and naturalistic philosophy of art. In his dissertation (2017 at Jagiellonian University) he propose the hypothesis about audiocentric ground of Chinese system of thinking and compare the traditional musical/sound practice of Chinese philosophers – wenren, with contemporary sound activities as sound art, soundscapes, sound walks and contemporary sonic philosophy. On the basis of his comparative work Mazur is constructing kind of innovative look on the concept of cognition which is developed by him in the project of listening philosophy and naturalistic concept of music as a vibration system. He is an author of philosophical book „The Great Tone has no sound. Daoist philosophical sound practice in the context of selected trends in contemporary art and philosophy.”, and philosophical fairy tale based on Chinese philosophy „Journey to the Great Mountain.”.

In his work are among others two CD’s with Agustí Fernández (duo and trio with Artur Majewski), LP in duo with Martin Küchen, three CD’s in trio with François Carrier and Michel Lambert, LP Jellyspace with Mikołaj Trzaska and Peter Ole Jørgensen, cooperation with Ramon Lopez, Guillermo Gregorio and Percy Pursglove, trio NOBJECT with Martin Küchen and Vasco Trilla and trio RAN with Albert Cirera and Nicolas Field. He released Cds in most of important free jazz and free improvisation as Clean Feed, No Business Records, Relative Pitch, Fundacja Słuchaj and FMR Records but his main label is Not Two Records.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of creative work as an improviser, on the ground of his artistic and philosophical concepts Mazur prepared solo project – comprovisation (composition for improviser) with electric bass guitar referring to rock music, free improvisation and listening as a cognitive practice called „The Great Tone has no sound – Da Yin Xi Sheng (Laozi – Daodejing)”. In the project Mazur explores the listening as a cognitive practice based on philosophical daoist concept of music joining traditional Chinese and contemporary theories with sound activities and heavy rock vibrations.