poniedziałek, 2 czerwca 2014

Robert Furi... forever ours (Pangea Magazine June 2014) Translation: Natalia Zaucha

I learned about the dramatic death of Robert “Furi” Furman over the phone, writes Sławek Orwat. The tragic news last November overwhelmed me; I was in Poland at the time. I returned to St. Albans six days later and started to write down my intense thoughts almost right away. It is the most personal article of my entire life. It has been six months since Furi died. Thanks to “Pangea Magazine” the text is printed and can reach out Poles spread all over the world. 

photo: Monika S. Jakubowska

…Like a phantom is human life.
It appears. You want to touch, to grasp, but it disappears? Disappears!
Edward Stachura

Robert was… well, I still have not learned to speak about him in the past tense. I called him two days before his death… He was laughing, as usual, he appeared to have both feet on the ground and one could comfortably go to sleep with the certainty that WOŚP (The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity) in Hull is in good hands. There is Furi “the best man” in charge – the genius organiser, the man with a huge heart and the creator of genius riffs, which I will always keep in my heart for the rest of my life… Furi! If only for a second I was able to hear the hesitation in your voice… something that would make me think and ask! There is no point in speculating, though…

Robert appeared in my consciousness on 27 April in Ravenscourt Art Centre, London. It was also the place where I met him for the very last time. A coincidence? During Frühstücka’s concert in April, Kred appeared out of nowhere. After a brief greeting he informed me that he plays for a British band. “Are you the only Polish member there?” – I asked. “No” – Kred answered – “There is also Furi.” “Who is Furi?” – I asked. How was Furi…

He was a man who, every time he said hello or goodbye, lifted me up off the ground, held me in the air for a little while, and then put me back on the ground. He was a guitarist who came up with one of the catchiest riffs ever. The riff which drove in my mind so heavily that – even though I lack in singing skills – I performed it a cappella in the garden of The Jamm Pub so authentically, that the vocalist of LynchPyn, Justin, spontaneously joined me with the lyrics of “Can You Speak Now?”.

Can you speak now, Furi? Are we never going to know what was beyond your capabilities?! Your damn fantastic personality, which seemed to be as solid as a rock! I am listening to “Rebellion”, which was brought to life by Bogumił in July 2013. I am listening to what you said, interrupted by Kred’s comic asides, which I genuinely adore. Thanks to the crazy idea of the revelry at WOŚP in Hull, almost the entire community of the “London Spring” came to know you.

He was a good and cool-headed person, calm and trustworthy. A very talented man as far as conveying the content and transferring the spoken word to a written one are concerned. Robert inspired trust from the very first contact he made. In the last weeks we were talking almost every day. On the 2 November, in Ravenscourt Art Centre, Furi gave me LynchPyn’s fob and badge. After what happened shortly after that, these things have became relics to me. I left for to Poland on 16 November. Two days later I called Robert from one of the Internet cafes in Poznan, asking him to book a seat on the bus for our Kropka. Furi yelled out all of a sudden, “Monika is just texting me on Facebook about this,” For a moment we were creating a conversational triangle – Furi and myself over the phone, and himself and Kropka on FB. It was my last conversation with Robert. Monika also took part in it, and two days later with the eyes of her poetic soul she saw… “the dawn licking a felt’s hump, on the back, just from the corner – up to the collar, up to the lips frozen in the mid-sentence and got livid in the concealment “Such a sha…”*

On the 8 December, London rock community paid a tribute to Robert Furman with “Furi Forever”, at the concert in The Garage club. Two days esrlier the Gillingham community, where Robert lived and made friends, did the exact same thing. The exceptional quality of these two concerts was not only rooted in the idea of a fundraiser for his family. The most important value, which was created during the process, was the feeling of unity that each and every participant at the event could feel.

We all felt like one, big, rock-and-roll family. Polish babble was mixing with English buzz, and gestures of tenderness, accompanied by tears, became more and more touching to reach its apogee during the performance of LynchPyn.

For me, the most intimate and personal moment of the day happened much earlier. It was the moment when I saw HER, in the room where the musicians stored their instruments. She was there – proud and beautiful like a monument.

She was a part of HIS life. Robert used to say that in LynchPyn he only holds… the GUITAR. As I was heading towards it (her), I could feel goose bumps on my back. I automatically grabbed my camera and… it happened. I realised it after few minutes. The shadow it (she) cast was in the shape of… HEART.

I am not quite sure if I showed the picture to Kred or to Justin first, but I will never forget the expressions on their faces. They were both frozen and stunned by the image they saw… The heart-shaped shadow, which was created by your guitar on this unique Sunday afternoon, will always remain the most meaningful symbol of your presence, FURI… FOREVER!

Sławek Orwat
Polish version of this memory is available here

* This is a fragment of the poem composed by Monika S. Jakubowska at the same moment as Robert was saying his goodbyes. The author herself has not managed to understand this coincidence.

Monika S. Jakubowska
In memory of Robert “Furi” Furman

On a rope plated by a lighter,
Yesterday’s hand
in a something like waltz, swinging on three.

Growing into the grey cover
with a non-fulfilment.
He aced up his sleeve with the rest
- eternal and intractable.
Pulled it by ears
and put it just next to shoes, in the corner.
“Such a shame for the shoes, such a shame!
How THEY carried away! They used to carry!...I was SPEEDING!”

The dawn licking a felt’s hump, on the back,
just from the corner – up to the collar
up to the lips
frozen in the mid-sentence and got livid in the concealment
“Such a sha…”

Gripped the neck
Did not make it for amen

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