OUR UPCOMING EDITIONS
Edin Karamazov is the Orpheus of the lute. Like the mythical prophet who charmed birds, fish and stones with his playing, Edin has enlivened this ancient instrument with contemporary spirit; he dared to give this traveler from earlier times a voice. Many ancient music instruments such as lute or theorbo exist in the domain of authentic early music performances but they remain ghostly remnants of “other moons and other winds” (to quote Garcia Lorca).
Three composers have written music for this recording: Leo Brouwer, Nikita Koshkin and yours truly included. What is really extraordinary about writing for the lute is that it is inevitable to treat this instrument with surgical gloves and it is indeed very interesting that the approach of every one of us is very different: Leo confronts the past of the lute with the modernist style; Nikita spins a fairy tale around it; I try to reconstruct the instrument in the guise of another alternative aesthetic.
In his text Boola Boola composer Morton Feldman remarks: “If a man teaches composition in a university, how can he not be a composer? He has worked hard, learned his craft. Ergo, he is a composer. A professional. Like a doctor. But there is that doctor that opens you up, does exactly the right thing, closes you up - and you die. He failed to take the chance that might have saved you. Art is a crucial, dangerous operation that we perform on ourselves. Unless we take a chance, we die in art”.
Like the inimitable Stéphane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt duo, Edin Karamazov and Stefan Milenkovic veer over the edge to risk everything they possess including the Apollonian aesthetic of the classical music playing, which is why their performances do not appear interpretations but rather co-creations of the pieces they venture to present.
It is indeed very difficult to say anything about Bach without being trivial. Perhaps the most meaningful personal comment that I could make about Bach would be that I ultimately decided to be a musician because of two reasons: one was a traffic accident in which I almost lost my life when I was a student in Belgrade; the other, listening to Bach’s organ Passacaglia in C minor. It was indeed a great challenge to find anything that would come close to the emotional and intellectual perfection of that music.
Like the great Italian filmmaker Fellini said: ”Music is cruel - it stuffs you with nostalgia and regret and introduces you to the unattainable. Marvelous, but how sad!”.
All photography by Marin Fulgosi ©2014
All album covers artwork by Emil Schumacher