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Maciek Hrybowicz - Maciek Hrybowicz Newsletter Interview

28 Oct 2020 // An interview by Shade

Maciek is a New Zealand guitarist born in Poland. After spending much of his life in London he moved to New Zealand where he lives with his wife. He currently composes and records his own music, produces records for Kiwi artists, plays live music in and around Aotearoa and has performed at several jazz and blues music festivals. He answered the following questions for Muzic.net.nz:

How did you become involved in music?

I grew up living in communist Poland, where there was never much of anything, let alone contemporary musical instruments. My dad worked on a cruise liner and one trip brought me back an electric guitar from his travels overseas. As you can imagine for an 11-year-old it was awesome. An electric guitar in those times was a rarity in Poland and a real catalyst for me to play.

What NZ bands and musicians would you like to tour with, and why?

I think I would have to say Dixon Nacy, who is probably the best world-class New Zealand guitarist i have come across. I would enjoy learning from his vast palate of musical knowledge and ideas. 

Which one of your songs are you most proud of, and why?

Kawhia Hot Water from my album AWA. It is an extended composition, in 3 parts and I struggled with it for a long time but then it just clicked! I think it expresses the immense beauty of New Zealand coastal waters and in particular Kawhia, with the ocean waves on one side and the mountains on the other and a long sandy expanse. New Zealand is breath-taking for me and really inspiring.

How would you describe your music to someone who hasn't heard it before?

My music changes over time. My roots would be blues and jazz, however I would describe my last album AWA, as music for a film yet to be made. Essentially I had complete pictures or impressions, in my head and wrote music which attempted to visualise them. I think the album is very filmic.

What can we expect to see from you in the next year?

At the moment I’m working on songs which are a little more rooted in blues. I’m looking forward to next year when I get time to more fully develop them. I’m doing a lot of production work at the moment for other artists but in 2021 I would like to bring the focus back to composing and recording.

What NZ bands and musicians would you like to see more of, and why?

It is a hard call, but if I had to choose then Nick Granville, Rodger Fox and Looking for Alaska. I saw the Nick Granville Trio at the Tauranga Jazz Festival a few years ago and I love his guitar playing and would love to see him again soon. I have heard lots of music by the Roger Fox Big Band but am yet to see him live so he’s on my list. More locally, it would have to be Looking for Alaska, they are my favourite local Hamilton band,  they have great songs and are great live.

What local albums have you been listening to recently?

It’s difficult to talk about albums really because people intend to produce tracks but I love Fall Into You by Looking for Alaska and they are releasing an album shortly Light and Shadow which I’m looking forward to hearing. My friend, guitarist and composer, Reece Gilan who goes under the name of Rogue John Doe, released an EP last year Idyll Wild which is always on one of my playlists.

What is your favourite NZ venue, and why?

That would have to be Nivara Lounge in Hamilton, it looks and feels like a Parisian Jazz club. 

Have you got any tips for dealing with nerves before a gig?

Prepare yourself fully, knowing your music inside out should give you confidence. That way you can treat performing as an exciting adventure!

Where do you get your inspiration to create music from?

It was easy when I came to NZ 6 years ago, as it’s natural beauty hit me in the face and it was hard not to be inspired and creative. 

What can you never leave home without?

I always have a plectrum on me.


About Maciek Hrybowicz

Maciek is a New Zealand guitarist born in Poland. After spending much of his life in London he moved to New Zealand where he lives with his wife. He currently composes and records his own music, produces records for Kiwi artists, plays live music in and around Aotearoa and has performed at several jazz and blues music festivals.

Maciek’s performance at the Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival led to this 2015 quote from Sam Edwards of Waikato Times: “…delivering a virtuoso and musically informed lesson in guitar”. More recently, in 2020, a review by Mike Alexander (www.muzic.net.nz) described Maciek as having “…a technique and style that’s evocative but understated” with his recent single , Mr Ponsonby having “precise and fluid guitar lines… and a woozy solo that never overplays itself and smooth shifts in time signatures.“

Maciek’s solo album AWA, inspired by the beauty of his adopted home Aotearoa New Zealand and indigenous M?ori culture, will awaken your senses and become your soundtrack for Aotearoa New Zealand.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Maciek Hrybowicz


Year: 2019
Type: Album

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