Blesok no. 30, January-February, 2003
Interview with Mizar
They say that everything is already done&played – we don't believe in that!
Q: What the project A Birth of Mizar actually presents? Does that mean just ordinary restoring of the band – or is there something more behind that?
A: Behind the abstinence from the Macedonian music scene in the last few years, we still knew and believe that Mizar left behind itself many undone and unfinished matters and issues. So, we decided to unite again our creative energies in the Star of Hope – Mizar, the phenomenon that left the unerasable imprints onto the Macedonian music scene.
Q: At that time, Mizar existed as one of the most avant-garde phenomena in our national music scene. Where you picture yourself now?
A: If we look at the things now, from this time distance, we cannot overlook the things from some different – and we belive from some more qualitative – perspective. From the present perspective, Mizar, at that time, affirmed some very avant-garde music expression through its music. And how much intuitive or aware we were at that time (we were about twenty years old then), we couldn't see how much our music will influence upon the further development of the Macedonian music sound, and even wider. Anyway, if you see some feature film in your 20's and then again in your 30's – the second time you'll certainly comprehend it much more inwhole and in its full menings.
Q: Can you overcome and upgrade once given concept of the rock'n'roll, Byzantine and traditional Macedonian folklore music mixture you've so successfully interlaced in the past?
A: Mizar wouldn't be what it is if there wasn't this mixture of so different personalities and personal afinities in the band. That was the actual “thing” that defined our band's music temperament. These things that many thought they're unmixable, and so incompatibile, we did mix and interlace in one creative music wholeness. As for example, we did manage to creatively introduce the folklore drums and zurlas into the po[pular rock-expression.
Today, many says that in the music universe – everything is already played and done. We don't believe in that.
Q: Will the re-publishing of the albums and the common sense mean just a new encounter with the audience or it will mean some new creative music announcements and some new materials?
A: We see the re-publishing is only as a confirmation of the permanent values that Mizar left behind. We don't think that any label can stand behind it. We consuder Litium Records as a music publishing house with the most high proffessional standards, and we believe that they will “hold” the responsibility they agreed to take with this Project. The re-published materials coincide with our renewed activity, and we think that it's normal first to approach the audience with this significant historic material.
Q: How certain is the idea of publishing a new studio-album, and when (approximately) will that happen?
A: The very idea for the new album was the actual turnpoint for enterprising the whole this Project, and for our come-back. We plan to finish this Project with the third album and to encircle the Mizar trilogy somewhere at the end of 2003.
Q: At the time, in the 80's and 90's, the Mizar project has more support from some outer media (as Slovenian Helidon Publishing House and some Slovenian media) than the Macedonian ones, and it was so absurd. How do you see this from today's aspect?
A: The desire of the self-informing within the music-audience resulted with the fact that the nedia here didn't have any influence upon the promoting and the success of Mizar.
As first, at our first concert in Skopje (March, 1987) we had 2.000 spectators – that was the most numbered music concert ever remembered in the Macedonian music history until then, and it was without any media support. This fact shows that Macedonian music audience knows what is what, and what it wants.
As second, and what concerns “the Slovenian connection”, is the fact that Macedonia at that time didn't have any conditions or music producers that were able to stand behind that project, and at the same time to preserve the language we sing… Like with the “ajvar” they took from us, remember?
Q: Now, you start in Macedonia under very different circumstances; do you expect that, in this time we live in, the conscienceness for the innerself power and the authentic ethnic Mizar music-code will prevail?
A: Of course, today is very different situation. The support we have is much, much enlarged, and the media support is very important now. But, there is a slight danger (because of the incompetence of some), many things to turn into “ajvar”… It already has happened during our absence from the music scene – because of the incompetence of some “experts”, many things that were only band's achievements, were falsely “adopted” and “appreciated” to some other people for some small and personal goals and interests.
Anyway, if we see at the things from some qualitative perspective, it is a large responsibility not only upon Mizar, but also upon the media. Because the media should competently and accurate inform the public, and Mizar should fulfill the given promise he intended.
That also means that, maybe, the whole story doesn't have to start from here.
We still could wait and see.
Mizar is aware of its qualities and values, and for everything else – the time will show.
Mizar is the band that in the 80's promoted the Macedonian culture in the frames not only of the former Yugoslavia, but even wider, in many countries of Europe. At the same time Mizar had the name as one of the most popular bands in the former Yugoslavia, based on its avant-garde sound image, and built not only upon the – until then – unseen mixture and interlacing of the rock'n'roll, ethnic and traditional folklore sound matrix, but also upon the texts given in Macedonian language: in that time and conditions, that was almost sacrilege.
The first album Mizar (as the band's name) is their first album in the popular (read: rock'n'roll) music ever recorded in Macedonian language. Although disputed by the regime at that time – with a censorship of their songs and banning of their video-clips, with the great support of their audience and fans – the band still manage to reach the top of all of the top-lists in former Yugolsavia.
Mizar, by the way, terminologically is named by “the Star of Hope” – the Star that is believed has the power to unite the Christians and Muslims. The travellers during their journey through the desert, orientated their way by this Star – the Mizar.
The rise of this group leads to their first album – simply called Mizar. It happened in the studio “Tivoli” in Ljubljana, in the autumn 1987. The album appeared at the spring of the 1988. This album was selected as the Best Album in Yugoslavia for that year.
With the multimedia project “Macedonian Streljba”, Mizar united the most of the creative young forces in Macedonia to express themselves through the art and all of its forms – as the theater, film, painting, music…“Macedonian Streljba” was a project that, in some way, open the gates of the new expression form not only in the former Yugoslavia cultural scene (with the later appearance of the Neue Slovenische Kunst), but even wider in Europe. The Project ended with official censorship and blackmailing and oppression upon the participators by the Police and other Intelligence Services of the former Yugoslavia. Most of the actual participators in that project, today are the renomated and well-known cultural personalities and authors in Macedonia and abroad.
The period from 1978-1989, for Mizar was a period of fully promoting its ideas, values and qualities in all fields of culture, participating in the music-forming of the theater, film and exhibions country-wide.
What concerns the music, Mizar fully dedicates uypon the culture of their roots and traditions. At the same time, they were ready for the second album.
Свјат Dreams was the name of this music announcement. It was inspired by the idea for linkage the multiple cultural codes through the interlaced, but single music expression. That was confirmed by the remix (the remake) – as the cover-version – of the Eurythmics’ classic hit Sweet Dreams in a ambiental version with archaic way of the vocals, that translates, through the Byzantine manner of singing, up to an eruptive rock-explosion – symbolically expressing the element that now links all the people – and that element is – the music itself.
The album was officialy published in 1991, in the Eve of the Macedonian Independence and the Referendum, the first free elections in Macedonia, and in the eve of the war that threatened the former Yugoslavia at that time. Soon after that, Mizar quited its work.
All until today.
And in spite of their absence from the music scene, Mizar imprinted the deep traces onto the further development of the Macedonian music expression.
Translated by: Petar Volnarovski