We didn’t have much time, but we had a lot of energy
I would like to rationalise less the times that come, and await them with more enthusiasm and positive energy. The challenge of every project that I work on, as before, is to conquer it in a complete creative freedom – says Kiril Džajkovski, our most fruitful authors of film music, in his interview for Blesok
#1 This last week, friends, journalists, actors, film makers… urban people from the city and the country were distributed the complete circulation of the soundtrack of the movie hit Balkankan, which was released by the Prva partizanska produkcija as their own issues. In this way, the director and producer Darko Mitevski and the author of the music Kiril Džajkovski closed another chapter of the successful project story. The latter did not even wait for the album to be heard in the air before getting on the plane to Australia where he is concluding the negotiations on an international project. Typical of Kiril, who does not like to explain things very much, but he only minds his own business. And he does that very skilfully and quality. Therefore, Džajkovski today is not only the one who started with Bastion, the first Macedonian electro-pop band, nor the guy who played the keyboard with Leb i sol, an artist who makes electronic music by smartly reaching for his own genes, part of Aparatchiks, collaborator of Kismet somewhere “down under”, an author of “tailor-made” music valued and sought by top directors… but also a prototype of a modern musician, creative artist who lives in his time and creates music whose power will travel to the future. The correspondence with him went like this:
How does Kiril explain the interest in Baba Zumbula? Did you and Darko Mitrevski, the director of Balkankan and author of the lyrics, expect that it would become a hit?
– To be honest, I did not know what to expect. I only hoped that the audience would like it, especially having in mind that it’s been a while since I made a vocal song of this type. This reaction is really a big and pleasant surprise. And this is all an attractive promotion of Balkankan, which I like very much, because I think that the movie depicts this unusual story in a funny and witty way.
The music gives the movie a special dynamics. At times it even looks like a song “video”.
– Darko and I had the same ideas and the co-operation was smooth. He had a very clear vision and precise instructions about the use of the music in the movie. We didn’t have much time, but we had a lot of energy and determination. And the video dimension, of course comes from the sensibility of Darko as a director and author, and from the movie material itself that is rich in urban dynamics.
Almost at the same time you worked on the music of the movie Golemata voda (Big Water) of Ivo Trajkov. Because these are scripts related to our area, was it a problem for you not to repeat yourself?
– Both movies were released somehow at the same time, but they were worked on at different periods. The end of the post-production, especially with Golemata voda and the time overlap created an illusion that I was working on these movies at the same time. But it is a fact that the time difference between the two projects was almost a year, and the stylistic difference between the two movie stories was such that it caused no problem for me with respect to the freshness and originality in the approach to the music.
Lately, you have co-operated with directors such as Milčo Mančevski, Ivo Trajkov and Darko Mitrevski. It seems that you are the most popular author of movie music in Macedonia. Does that feel good?
– I have to admit that in the last few years I’ve had the possibility to work with the best directors from Macedonia. I feel it as a huge privilege, but also a responsibility. Film music was always attractive to me, and I could for sure move in that direction. I am glad that in a way I was a part of a small renaissance in the film activity in Macedonia and I hope that this trend will continue in near future.
#2 You have signed a dozen of theatre projects with Aleksandar Popovski. You were praised for the plays Bure Barut (Powder Keg), Roberto Zuco, Balkanot ne e mrtov (Balkans Are Not Dead), Divo meso, Dracula… , but the wide audience did not hear much of it. What about this sea of theatre music?
– For some time I have been planning to release a compilation of all of this theatre music, but because I am too busy with other projects I haven’t been able to realize it. Anyway this is something that I will have to do; it’s only a matter of time. We keep on planning new projects with Aco, both theatre and movie. Something will probably take place as early as this year. We are planning to stage the new text of Dejan Dukovski in Slovenia.
What specifically is Džajkovski working on now? Movie music again, international production, or… How far is the completion of the materials for your long announced album? Will there be performances with the audience?
– At the moment I’m mixing the music that should be on the soundtrack of Golemata voda. As far as I know, the movie should start being shown in the cinemas this spring, when the CD with its music will also be officially promoted. After I finish with the final mix of this release, I will continue with the work on the new album material. I would of course like to promote it live. When and how, it’s too early to say. I only know that I like the concept of playing with supporting musicians, like at Skopje Fair several years ago and I would like to have a tour around Macedonia.
If you have in mind the interest in Baba Zumbula, it would be logical to think of a new project with Vlada Divljan, the musician with whom you have co-signed the Aparatchiks project in Australia.
– A new project with Vlada is something we have been talking for years. And I really hope that this year we will at least try to do it. We have had a great co-operation and I think that it is time to make something new, regardless of the label.
Many people are rightly asking themselves why Kiril, Ana Kostovska, Ljubiša Stoisavljević – Kučkar and Mančevski have not decided to re-issue the album of their former band Bastion. Why haven’t you decided without any special pretensions to at least remix those songs? Doesn’t it seem like a good idea or… you simply would not like to mess up with the past?
– It seems that it would be the best that the whole Bastion story remains part of a very beautiful, nostalgic, very creative past. Although I do not discard the possibility of re-issuing, simply as a document of a past time.
Soon another theme of yours will appear at one of the compilations that are released in the world of the big discography business. What is it and how much does this presence help you in promoting at the world music scene?
– There days a theme of the Dust soundtrack should appear in a French compilation of European authors of film music. The remix of the theme Primitivna nauka (Primitive Science) of Bushwaka will be re-released in an English compilation, this time as part of the S4K compilation of the London Distinctive Records company. Because these are compilations for world distribution, the presence of these issues always helps in promoting what I work in broader frames.
#3 Macedonian musical language is very smartly built upon in your work. We live in a time when just anybody jumps to tradition. What does your personal approach depend on?
– Good taste. Everything depends on the approach of the author and his use of the traditional music. There are no other rules.
How do you understand the term modern music and how do you project your own future as a musician – as a serious author of so called “tailor made” music or as a man who wants to enjoy all the freedom when creating?
– The term modern music has become more and more elastic and difficult to define. I would like to rationalise less the times that come, and await them with more enthusiasm and positive energy. The challenge of every project that I work on, as before, is to conquer it in a complete creative freedom.
Translated by: Elizabeta Bakovska