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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 90 | volume XVI | May-June, 2013



                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 90May-June, 2013
Sound Reviews

An Epic Journey with OFF-Fest

p. 1
Tina Ivanova

Another OFF-Fest edition is over. Another epic journey through some old, to us known or unknown stories, told in the spirit of the contemporary music times. The festival, which started 12 years ago with an idea to present the so-called “world music” has not only fortified its concept, but it has also shown its strong mirror reflection. A lot of audience, maybe more than ever, excellent programme, relaxed atmosphere, lots of applause, happy faces and debates in the hallways, are the elements that distinguished this OFF-Fest, which took place from 1-6 June at various locations (Macedonian Opera and Ballet, Universal Hall, Frosina cinema).
    Of course, there was also the feeling of fresh air, the same feeling that we have in the autumn when the Skopje Jazz Festival is on, or any other cultural event, the feeling that drags you from the cruel, banal and pragmatic political and social reality which occupies us and pressures us, without us even wanting it, in a second.
    The festival started with the concert of the great Indian sitar player Anoushka Shankar, also known as the daughter of the legendary Ravi Shankar. The applause and ovations of the Macedonian audience would not let her leave the stage. Shankar and her band made of real virtuosos thrilled the audience at the Universal Hall presenting the very interesting album “Traveller” – a piece that combines within itself the Indian classical music, the raga, with the Spanish flamenco, full with innovations and performing experiments born from the creative spirit of the musicians.

The OFF-Fest opening took place in a nice atmosphere. Without any particular glamour, red carpet or political VIPs. What was the most important was that the top artist Anoushka Shankar came to the Balkans for the first time, just as her father, the distinguished Indian musician Ravi Shankar did when he performed at the “Ohrid Summer” in 1977, placing Macedonia as first on his concert agenda for these areas.
    The concert started with a performance of the traditional Indian raga which was announced by Anoushka herself, and she did the same thing later in the concert, telling about the path of the music to which she was being dedicated at the moment. That was the story of the Roma who had moved from India to Andalusia, actually about the flamenco which had come from the most populated country filled with for us exotic colours and fragrance, just as the

"Blesok" editions 01-93 are also available at CEEOL web site.

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