Blesok no. 57, November-December, 2007
Sound Reviews


Retro-cabaret “Circo Europia”
reflection of the intuition

Toni Dimkov


Musical-stage performance with a creative dimension that surpasses the frames of a simple concert presentation of Goran Trajkoski’s theatre music

Initially envisaged as a theatre presentation of the music composed by Goran Trajkoski for several theatre pieces, “Circo Europia” has transformed into a musical-stage performance with a new creative dimension which surpasses the frames of an all-evening concert. The main focus is put on the live music performance, although the idea will be complemented with a music CD-document (also accessible on internet). The material is based on a theatre music written in the period 2001-2006 for theatre plays staged in several theatres in Macedonia: “Darkness” by Kole Čašule, “Tartuffe” by Moliere, “WTF Started all this” by Dejan Dukovski, “The King Dies” and “Delirium for two” by Eugène Ionesco, “Čomak Iron“ by Trajče Kacarov and others. “The new, 21st century, has copped me in a theatre, in every possible sense. In the theatre, as a working and an artistic environment, producing music for about 15 plays in Macedonia and in the theatre as an social and (geo)politic parody in which my people and my country were involved, against their will”, says Goran Trajkoski, author of the music and the creative concept of the performance. Within the project he uses sampler, has made the selection of textures and appears as a narrator and a vocal soloist. The genre of the music is defined as cabaret-circus retro-style. Following the example of the Brecht-Waill and Morricone-Rotta tandems, it is about a modern style named as Dark Cabaret / Cabaret Noir which was cultivated by several famous groups and authors like Dresden Dolls, Nicky Jane, Katzenjammer Kabarett, Tracy Jill, Revue Noir at the very beginning. “The Circus of Absurd and the Black cabaret of the 21st century is our non-favorable tragicomic reality. Absurd, lies, intrigues, conspiracies, murders and wars are changing as in a movie. Part of them are written by the great maestros of the theatre like Moliere, Brecht, Ionesco, Bihner, and the others by the ‘newly-composed demiurges’ of the ‘big chess table’ and their puppets. Europia's classic. Either as a reflection to this general atmosphere or as result of the intuition, the music created in this period was obsessed with the circus musical esthetics and the Black cabaret of the first half of the 20th century. The nonsense of the Ionesco's “The question mark man” and the Brecht's social cynicism and irony have imposed as a common feature of our modern damnation. Circo Europia is still among us. “Someone might wish to close his eyes and all of this to disappear,” Trajkoski says, searching for the initial moments of his own creative expression.

We have had a chance to see Goran Trajkoski's creations through several different groupings by their contents and the form. His music beginnings are related to the “Affective charge” group which was established at the beginning of the 1980's. Afterwards, several phases followed which follow the currency of the modern music tendency, graded from a local to a global level. After the short period spent in the “Saraceni” group, he established the “Fall of Byzantium” group. It is a period of post-punk influence, a strong music scene in its beginnings in the middle of the 1980's. Some will mark it as a period of creation of the Macedonian new wave. It is interesting to mention that one of the forms which was considered as a confirmation of the values in that particular period was the audience award at the Rock fest in 1984. The renewed “Badmingtons” had a performance at the same festival. Trajkoski played bass with the “Mizar” group for some time. It is the period of the 'second resurrection' as well the publishing of the first album in Macedonian language. A search of his own musical roots followed in the next phase. The “Aporea” project directly touches the essence of the medieval church singing on this territory, an effort to find out the music notebooks of the written and non-written psalms, to reconstruct the influence of Byzantium, not in a territorial but in a spiritual dimension. Unfortunately, there is almost no music record of the above mentioned projects (except for the albums with “Mizar” and several tapes in the realms of the Macedonian radio from the “Fall of Byzantium” period). But, “Aporea” project is a direct predecessor of the “Anastasia” group which has succeeded to enter the global music arena with the soundtrack for “Before the rain” directed by Milčo Mančevski.

How come there is a cabaret retro-style now? „It is about a development of the same idea; I play the same music all the time. The idea is human and, it may sound prosaically, but it is also a self-examination, first of all in our tradition and then in the Balkans, Europe and worldwide. That is how the concentric circles of creativity develop,“ Trajkoski says.

With the “Circo Europia” Trajkoski returns back to the music arena. The textual part of the performance is written by Krum Velkov with the title “Circle of neon stars” (hyper-realistic fragments for the needs of Europia Circus). The visual  moments are additional value to the music and textual part. The scenography, costumes and the poster are produced by Tihomir Spirovski. For the needs of the project, the transformation of the actress Arna Šijak seems to be specific: she is perfect in her role of a vocal soloist. The verses quoted and sung in a sensible manner create a moment which upgrades the retro-style with a subtle atmosphere. Participants in the music-stage performance, except for Arna Šijak (soloist), are Slobodan Kajkut (drums), Marija Gjakovska (violin), Anastasij Jovanov (clarinet), Igor Zotik (keyboards), Igor Vasilev Novogradska (bass). Narrator's voice is Robert Veljanovski. Ivan Jančev (animator), Alen-Hadži Stefanov (sound), Ilija Trčulovski (lights) and Nikola Kimov (incipient) participate in the technical part. Producer of the “Corco Europia” is the Cultural Informative Center from Skopje. The project is implemented in co-production with the Macedonian National Theatre. The next presentation will happen at the national theatre festival “Vojdan Černodrinski” in Prilep, June 2008.

Translated by: Marina Tuneva

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