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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 89 | volume XVI | March-April, 2013



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                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 89March-April, 2013
Sound Reviews

I started with The Beatles and Had to Carry on its Musical Path

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Tina Ivanova

Documentaries on pop and rock stars such as The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, or the opera diva Maria Callas, or the composers Igor Stravinsky, Richard Wagner and Benjamin Britten, are only a small part of the great British director, Tony Palmer’s (1941)’s rich opus. We met up with Mr. Palmer in Skopje, a few months back, sitting down for a long coffee stretch at the MKC Restaurant; the reason behind his visit was a rather significant cameo in Igor Ivanov’s newest film, The Piano Room. Tony Palmer proved himself quite the warm and affectionate character, a rather gifted interlocutor who would not stop chatting up about the great musical artists he was fortunate to befriend during his work, full of inspiration, wisdom, as well as courage.

Mr. Palmer, it is truly unusual to hear that one of the world’s most pristine musical documentary filmmakers will step on the other side of the camera, taking the role of an actor, right here in Macedonia. To begin with, have you had any other contact with our country prior to this?
    Indeed I have. I hold a bond with Macedonia for over 50 years now. And it’s through a record I received in 1961. It is a recording of traditional Macedonian music; however, the names of the performers now escape me. Nonetheless, it is a recording of wonderful musical rhythms I listened to over and over again. The LP wore out, but I was able to transfer it digitally. On another note, I first came to Skopje 30 years ago, as a tourist. And then there is the film I made a few years back. Namely, it is a portrait of the famous Greek composer Vangelis, who spoke of the roots of his inspiration, which got me intrigued. He said that he found his inspiration in old Greek music, as he termed it, certainly not of the ‘bouzouki’ variety, but much older, from a place they call ‘Greek Macedonia’, or rather here. I am familiar with the political issues your country has with Greece; yet in a way, I can freely say that I’ve always been partial to this sound, this Byzantine sound, if I can describe it as such.

Before we move onto questions about your career as a musical documentary filmmaker, I’d like to ask you about your acting experience. Looking at the list of acting and directing names you’ve had






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