Macedonia, country with very rich cultural and historical tradition, a mixture of various nations and cultures, country rich with music and folklore. DD Synthesis is one of the very rare ensembles that are managing to present Macedonian folklore music on a very authentically and original way. Macedonian traditional music abounds in unique specifics concerning the melody, harmony, rhythm, interpretation, and instruments. All these very important components are preserved and presented in the DD Synthesis’ music. The aim of the group, apart from the music, is also preservation of the authentic specifics of the Macedonian music folklore. Thus, the synthesis includes the old – authentic, where the roots are, and the new, – new way of living in modern society. Synthesis of kaval, zurla, gajda, drums, with the modern piano, keyboard instruments, and rustic way of singing (typical interpretation of the Macedonian way). Synthesis of the past, present and the future.
On April 16th, 1998 in the Universal Hall in Skopje, Macedonia, the concert of DD Synthesis was held, which was worth seeing and talking about. It was really very special event. On this concert they were presenting their already published music, and some new material as well.
Dragan Dautovski is the person who has established the group, he is the composer of the DD Synthesis music, arrangements, and the leader of the group, too. We will talk with him not about DD Synthesis only, but about the importance of this kind of music for the Macedonian music culture as well.
BLESOK: What was the idea for establishing such an ensemble i.e. group?
DD: The idea for establishing a group with this kind of structure was mine. After the work with Mile Kolarovski, traditional Macedonian instruments orchestra, after the work with group Anastasia and all that music that was presented in the movie “Before the rain”, I had to find the most convenient way to continue with all that work. Restoration of the traditional folk instruments, preservation of the Macedonian folklore… all that was my inspiration and somehow I became aware that I have to gather the group that will continue with Macedonian musical tradition, of course in new frames, with something that will distinguish the group from the others, adding new form of the traditional Macedonian music; and at the same time the group that will follow all the streams and all the new waves, bearing the signs of today’s life.
BLESOK: Why SYNTHESIS?
DD: The name comes from the concept – to make synthesis among Macedonian folklore and the world music trends (pop, jazz, and others…). I am trying to do the music in a way in which the traditional Macedonian song will have the primary position. All of the material that I am using for the music is based on the Macedonian folklore with its specifics and characteristics.
BLESOK: What is actually special or characteristic for the DD Synthesis’ music?
DD: Everything that is typical for this land, for this country’s and people’s folklore, so:
– The songs of DD SYNTHESIS are sung in Macedonian alone, it means they are sung as they are originally written.
– We use instruments that are unique for this country, like gajda, zurla, kaval, tambura, and various types of drums.
– The rhythm, the melody, and the harmonies are also based on the Macedonian traditional music.
– After all that we’ve said, to the fundament, to the basis, classical and modern instruments like the piano, keyboard instruments are added… Which together make the music language of DD Synthesis.
– Very interesting is the singing alone, the way the songs are interpreted. The girls are singing in the old traditional way, typical for this region that is called “rustic” or “nasal” singing.
– Very important characteristic is that in the DD Synthesis’ music are used motives, or melodies, or music, if you prefer, from all the parts of Macedonia. That means trough the songs of the group, the complete folklore of our country can be seen.
BLESOK: Who are the people that the group DD SYNTHESIS consists of?
DD: The group is big, we are 8 members and each of us plays several instruments, for example, I, Dragan Dautovski play gajda, kaval, zurla, tambura.
Radoslav Šutevski – drums
Aneta Šulankovska – voice
Biljana Ristevska – voice
Mirjana Joševska – voice
Goce Uzunski – drums
Marijan Jovanovski – tambura and guitar
Vančo Jovčev – piano and other keyboard instruments
BLESOK: DD Synthesis is a very well known not only for the Macedonian audience; in which countries have you already performed?
DD: It is normal that our music is well known here for the Macedonian audiences because that is the music that each of us bears inside, the music with which we have grown, it is a part of our history, our tradition and our life. However, I am glad that we had opportunities to present that music in many countries. DD Synthesis has been performing on EUROSONG – ethno festival organized by the Television and Broadcasting European Union in Hungary, as a representative of the Macedonian National Television, on the Festival in Kerms in Austria organized by BBC, in Slovenia, in many cities in Macedonia, Ohrid Summer Festival, Skopje Summer Festival etc.
BLESOK: Is there any concert or performance that made the “special impression” or is your “favorite one”?
DD: All the concerts are dear to me. It is very difficult to differentiate which one is a kind of a special event because each one has something that is very special and something that makes it unique. But, above all, I will say it is maybe the concert in Slovenia (on the Festival “Druga Godba” held in Ljubljana ’97) on the first place, than the concert on TRNFEST, and I can not forget to mention the concert in Kerms, Austria.
BLESOK: On the April 16th, 1998 in the Universal Hall – concert of DD Synthesis. What are your impressions from this concert?
DD: It was a “special” concert because of many things. In my opinion the audience is of great importance. All our concerts mentioned above were well accepted, the audience was fantastic, and we are always trying to establish good communication with them. That was the case with the concert in Skopje. I am very happy because I could see that Skopje has wonderful audience, great listeners, refined musical taste and criterion for the quality. There was positive energy and very good communication with Macedonian audience. We have performed some of the “old” compositions and some of the new pieces that we are preparing as a music material for the new CD. The audience was excellent, they have accepted our music wonderfully, and the both sides were content.
BLESOK: DD Synthesis has already released one CD, which has a great success according to the numbers of the copies sold, not only in Macedonia but in some other countries as well. When is your new CD to come out?
DD: You already know about our CD and I think that we don’t need to talk about that. The Skopje Jazz Festival produced it and it is true that it is selling well on the market. At this moment I am working on the completion of the materials for the new CD. There were some compositions that will be recorded for the new CD that we have performed at the last concert in Skopje. Still, for the new CD we need more music materials and lot of work. I hope that we will have the new (second) CD till the end of this year 1998.
BLESOK: Which are the future plans of DD Synthesis?
DD: We are working on a very interesting international project at the moment. That is a theater performance that we are working in collaboration with Slovenian, Macedonian, Croatian and English producers. The performance is called “CEZAR”, and DD Synthesis will make all the music. There are many concerts and performances planned for the future. We are going first to Portorož– Slovenia, than Italy, Germany (our concert is included in the very famous ethno festival, and they have started with advertising and introducing our performance, and we are very glad about that), than USA, France, Brazil, and Japan. That will be all for now and we will see about the future.