Jazzman livens up statues with his ‘sousaphone’ in 100-km per day charity ride for dogs
An award-winning jazz player is cycling across Poland to raise money for neglected animals by taking photos of his trusty brass instrument wrapped around statues.
Beginning in Warsaw and making his way to Gdańsk, along the way composer and musician Piotr Wróbel has been keeping his eye out for statues, which he then brings to life by putting his sousaphone - a tuba-like instrument - around their shoulders and taking photos.
He then performs some music before posting the photos on a dedicated Facebook and Instagram page with a brief biography of the person depicted by each statue alongside an amusing short fictional story about the statue’s relationship with Sousaphones.
Wróbel said: “In this way I liven up the everyday scenery, even if only for a moment and I look at the reactions of people observing.
“It’s good to see surprise and the genuine interest of people who for example live in the vicinity of the statue, who pass it every day without emotion, don’t pay any attention to it, until suddenly, they look at it differently because an unusual instrument has been hung on it, one on which, in the next moment, somebody who arrived by bike, starts to play.
“The statues come to life and people come to life”.
Best-known for being part of the contemporary jazz band Młynarski-Masecki, the musician said he came up with the idea for the ‘Sousaphones for Statues’ (Suzafony na pomniki) idea during Poland’s first lockdown last year.
He said: “I thought to myself that you can’t give in to despair, that although I am not allowed to perform, work, meet with my friends, I have to be active. And I came up with the initiative.”
He added: [The instrument] is unique because its constructed in such a way that it can hang on its own from a musician’s shoulders.
“Its this feature that I use during my journey through Poland. ”
Now in its second year, last year he raised nearly 4,000 PLN for Poland’s oldest horse shelter ‘Tara’, Wróbel has so far stopped off at statues in Warsaw, Płock, Toruń, Bydgoszcz, Sopot and is soon to reach Gdańsk, the end-goal of a journey which has seen him travelling nearly 100km a day.
So far he has managed to raise just over 2,000 PLN for dogs under the care of the animal ambulance (‘Pogotowie dla Zwierząt’) who are suffering with cancer or other diseases, have been injured in traffic accidents or mistreated by their owners.