…or: the Art of Loving and Caring, Ennobling and Exalting of the Spirit of the abundant Macedonian Music Language
#10 The circle is closed. The revealing of “Ritmistica” completes the trilogy of our singing legend Vanja Lazarova. We say trilogy for the simple reason that in a relatively short period of time (1998-2000) three publications were signed with the name of this great national authentic singer. Initially, Macedonian Radio Television, within the framework of its edition “Macedonian Folk Anthology”, presented 14 Macedonian folk songs documented in the last couple of decades and sang by Mrs Lazarova in the accompaniment of the National Orchestra of MRTV, trio of shepherd’s pipes and the bagpipe solo player, the great artist and teacher Pece Atanasovski. Then followed the album “Macedonian #9Traditional Love Songs” (publication of the most respectful independent Macedonian publication label “Third Ear”) where in camera form, “the authentic and the natural”, “the sophisticated and by sensibility contemporary” singing of our auntie Vanja in the “outlandish heights of the artistic estheticism” (as it will be noticed by the ethno-musicologist and spouse Dushko Dimitrovski) was followed by the instrumentalists – soloists, great masters of their vocation: Blagoja Deskovski – the violin, Stojance Kostovski – the shepherd’s pipe, Hisret Sait – the canon, Dragi Mitrev – the clarinet and Zlatko Origjanski – the tambour, producer of the material whose passion and moving artistic credo was the search for the authentic Macedonian sound.
#8 And if both sound frescoes displayed the authentic, out-of-series representation of the powerful creative soul of Vanja Lazarova, the current publication of “Ritmistica” (“Third Ear 2000”) is an incredibly bold and necessary stepping out into the future which only the greatest creators would dare do. Namely, in nearly 40 minutes of playing time, not for the first time the unique velvet voice will be found in a sound surroundings different only by form and not by essence. Just for a reminding, the cooperation and the marvelous friendship of Lazarova with the members of the group ANASTASIA marked the entire last decade, and was inspiringly and futuristically crowned in 1994 with the songs “Girl White, Red” (“Devojče belo, crveno”) and “I was Born with Torments” (“So maki sum se rodila”) recorded for the music needs of the cult movie by Milčo Mančevski “Before the Rain”.
#6 Accordingly, from the introductory “Hey, Tenant, Stranger” (“Kirajdžiče, jabandžiče”) in which there are sprawled the deeply emotional guitar solos of Vlatko Stefanovski, through the ambience voyage of “Ah, I’ve Passed Woods” (“Ah, minav gora”) where Zlatko Origjanski builds an electronic symphony with features from Macedonian music; “Down There Water Started Flowing” (“Tamu le dolu voda mi doteče”) in which Miroslav Tadic successfully interlaces the sensibility of the traditional Macedonian music with flamenco-guitar passages (seemingly non-joinable, but…); the trip-hoppic “ Hey Stojne, Kocani Girl” (“Stojne bre mome Kočansko”) as a true indicator that #4 Kiril composed one more immensely “sticky” hit one will find difficult to resist (it is not by chance that a video clip for this song has been made); “The Sun Set” (“Slaga se sl’nce da zajde”), in which KISMET infuse so much energy and transpose the #5traditional sound into the severity of the technologically self-destructive oncoming century, all the way to “Katerina, Gentle Lamb” (“Katerino, krotko jagne”) where Risto Vrtev (ARHANGEL) goes deep in the cellars of his own soul and from there puts layer upon layer of emotions so characteristic of our music language throughout time and space… we are involved in the magic named OUR MUSIC, our light and ecstasy, where the vocal is the crucial timeless joining element that captivates and caresses, that retells our story of existence and tenacity of survival.
#7 This set is followed by two more songs (“Jovka Kumanovka Strolled” (“Prošeta se Jovka Kumanovka”) and “Grandma, They Speak Much Nice of Him” (“Mnogu mi go falat babo”)) in which Vanja Lazarova solely through her unparalleled voice draws us into the gates that erase all fences and limits, and the album is finally rounded up by an audio background of the video clip from the action “Buy Macedonian Products” signed by Origjanski.
All in all, after the publication of Rhythmicity many things will not be the same. Simply, this pinnacle creation does not leave even a minute space for the “newcomers” and the incapable ones (who, indeed, have multiplied lately) for their “experiment with the traditional sound”. It is to be believed that we will be spared from their “semi– products” that are not worth mentioning, let alone worth analysing. Eventually, the art – Macedonian music language, can only be preserved by understanding of its core and not in the least by a voiceless trendy coquetting. Once and for good.