#7 At the very beginning – the pure facts. Time of happening: 15 May – 5 June 2000. Place: Skopje (read: the most picturesque and acoustically the most flexible scenes in town – Kurshumli An and Matka). Participants: Djivan Gasparijan (Armenia), IONA (France), ZUKO 103 (the Netherlands), Ross Dali (Ireland – Greece) and the domestic participants PECE ATANASOVSKI ORCHESTRA, BLA BLA BLA, FOLTIN, and PRECHISTA. Exhibitions: Robert Kalajdzhi – artifacts, Dragoljub Nikolovski – photography, Boris Petrovski – techno canvasses, Richard Miloshevski – graphics. Cancelled: Okaj Temiz (Turkey). Average attendance: about 500 visitors. Number of sold tickets:?! Media promotion: really sound. Festival Organiser: NEW AGE Citizens Association. Future: REALLY CERTAIN!
#6 That’s enough as for the enumeration of facts, which can more or less depict the wished for picture of New Age and World Music Festival, beside the already established SKOPJE JAZZ FESTIVAL and SYNTHESIS – Festival of New Music, one of those events that point to the confirmation that in spite of all we are not and we should not be the last (self)forgotten village on Planet Earth. Material poverty should definitely not in the least imply poverty of spirit! Therefore, for the sake of the wanted next and all the future editions of this Manifestation, I provide the following remarks.
#4 NEW AGE Citizens Association (read: Goran Tanevski and a group of enthusiasts) after their several years’ gorging of the idea of a festival that would not be a slave to the sound stereotypy, eventually realised their dream. We were witnesses of a cleverly meditated programme and a series of concert performances that will remain to be further retold. We heard the great instrumentalist and folk artist of duduk, Gasaprijan and his company; we were flying on the wings of sound together with Dali, PRECHISTA and PECE ATANASOVSKI ORCHESTRA, dancing along with ZUKO 103, BLA BLA BLA, FOLTIN, IONA … Some will probably notice that the offer does not comply with the proclaimed name of the Manifestation (which is generally true), but eventually should we split hairs at the very start of the development of the idea? To top it all, there stands the thought that the festival is likely to have the illness of the artists’ timing. Hence, the festival is drawn over a longer period of time, which can be contra-productive, but if we also take into account the fact that this practice leaves room for self-discovering in a month in which at least formally the (sub)cultural offer is apparent, but actually (UNFORTUNATELLY!!!) more or less as if nothing happens (?!). In this case, despite the existing festival budget (of any kind), one cannot search for (let alone provide) a justification for the cancelling of Okaj Temiz’s concert (those who are familiar with his music can swear it would have been a pinnacle experience). This practice is not at all typical of the good festivals, and presumably the festival organiser is well familiarised with it, and it does not in the least correspond to his declared ambitions.
#5 And if all these remarks are what can be sent to a certain concrete address thus provoking one or another reaction, there remains the painful statement that the nearly a million city of Skopje has not enough critical mass for following of the conditionally named non-commercial events – a fact that sufficiently speaks of the literacy of the most musical nation, as we will usually proudly claim. Even in this case, as innumerous times before, the non-expressed curiosity of the city major faces, the rest of the lovers of art, and the regular cultural consumers, leads to the conclusion that there remains less and less space for the real values. Therefore the signatory to these lines, in his name and in the name of those Mohicans who will keep sticking to their own understanding of things (especially of sound through time), can say that he rejoices as a little child at the enthusiasm and efforts to convey a different sense to the reality in which we live. Hence, he sees the negligence regarding the above-posed question as a dare need that will support him until the next similar or exactly the very same Manifestation. Accordingly, a great welcome to the promoted New Age and World Music Festival!
Translated by: Kristina Zimbakova