may 7, 2016.
We set up a play- and recording-space in a ground floor room of the Lazaropole Lambeski house. Jovan had asked us to be 'rhythmic' and as un-electronic as possible, preferably mainly play by hitting things :-) ... The only tools I had brought were my malfunctioning dictaphones and a couple of cassettes. Also Rébus travelled light. So as a matter of fact, we did not have much choice. The tambour and the two mechanical toys that I had bought in Skopje before we came up to Lazaropole were chosen in the spirit of Jovan's assignment, in praise of slowness.
Our threesome - Jovan, Rébus and myself - was complemented by drummer/percussionist Bojan Zhungulov (Жунгулов Бојан) from Skopje, who joined our outside and inside sonic adventures in Lazaropole with a snare drum and a selection of cymbals.
Some sort of an impression of our varied free play & 'speculation', with 'meaning', goal nor intention, during this Kreativen Vikend can be gathered from the short video clips that were shot by Rébus. The following assemblage alternates a few inside fragments filmed on Friday October 23rd and Saturday October 24th, with outdoor shots; from the human operated metereological station, just a short climb uphill from the back of the Lambeski house; picturing one of the free roaming horses on the outskirts of the village, stubbornly refusing to ring his or her bell; busily zigzagging ants; smoking mountains; and a flock of birds.
Next is the 'directed (rhythmicized) minimal random' walk of a small bell on one of Bojan's cymbals, hit by Jovan and filmed some time in the evening of Sunday October 25th by Rébus, who baptized this particular instant of our doings "first steps in κύμβαλον theory"...
On Saturday afternoon Jovan took us to one of the few other Lazaropole houses that had real people in them, the Cuposki family. Jana Maneva Cuposka, a painter and professor of design at the Skopje art school, and her husband, writer and film maker Atanas Cuposki. A little later we were joint by another couple of artistic Lazaropole dwellers, singer and bass player Maja Kapsarova and her husband (I think) and had a great time playing around the family table with the Cuposki kid's sounding toys and downing some decent shots of rakija, which, in its many different guises and especially the home brew ones, had little trouble imposing itself as our favorite local beverage. The popular Скопско beer - not too bad though sadly nowadays owned and skewed - in order to conform to 'a more global consumer's taste" - by Heineken, obviously can not but be pale in comparison.
We invited all of them over to the Lambeski house that evening, to participate there in the 21st of our unPublic events, in praise of slowness.
Earlier that same Saturday we played inside on the outside, a short walk from the Lambeski house, in a large hall (a former stable, I guess) that used to be part of a big fromagerie, a cheese maker's workshop. The chees maker actually still was making his cheese there, but these days only using a far smaller part of the place. But indeed, other than playing, we also bought a lot of cheese.
The fromagerie was facing a steep mountain, that rose up like a wall, reflecting the sounds that were made in the meadows in front of it, cut in two by a little meandering stream.
There we followed up on Rébus's inspired vision to try, as he called it, "a very concrete experiment in acoustics", and play with the, highly locative, echoing answers of the mountain wall. What we - and our recording tools - actually heard/captured, strongly varied from place tot place.
The following recording was made on Sunday October 25th, in a hole in the ground several meters away from the spot where Bojan was hitting his snare drum. You will not only hear the mountain's answers, but also - surprisingly loud - the stridulations of the many insects that were witness to the experiment.
On Monday October 26th we left Lazaropole, back to Skopje. There, in the evening, we still found time to make a flash visit to the independent arts and performance venue Кyлa (Kula).
We were given an impromptu performance by two musicians that happened to be at the Kula at the moment of our visit (one of the two also an ethno(?)musicologist) of a popular traditional song from the region, on the oud and a tar-like instrument. You can hear/see the full piece as it was played for us that evening towards the end of Rébus's video doc of our Macedonian trip.
Only a little later that same evening we had the immense pleasure to be the guests of Тома Димовски's Kanal 103 Ексспериментална Музнка show, transmitting live from the wonderfully vintage studios of the MPT - Македонска радио телевизија (Macedonian Radio Television), the public broadcasting organization of the Republic of Macedonia.
During the show (between 10 pm and midnight), we did two short interviews with Тома and two - acoustic - live sessions, without headphones, and only a vague idea what the microphone would hear. Below is our contribution to that day's Тома Димовски show on Kanal 103, complete and unabridged. It has Bojan Zungulov on drums, Emmanuel Rébus on dictaphones and little electronics and me using dictaphones, percussion things and iPad apps.
Many thanks Тома Димовски for making this possible, and being by far the best radio host that we ever had.
Immediately after the show, Jovan, Rébus and I jumped on a night bus.
[ previous: Statues, Lenin, Dogs & Ruins ]
[ -- to be continued -- ]
tags: Kreativen Vikend, Macedonia, Serbia
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