Everyone is getting ready for the 17th Khamoro! The organizers as well as the performers. Among them for instance Goran Tairović, a Roma composer from Serbia. For Khamoro 2015, Goran is preparing the “Black’n’white world” concert.
The visitors can be looking forward towards a merger of classical music with Roma rhythms. Under the baton of this well known Roma composer and his orchestra, Roma opera singers from various parts of the Czech Republic will be performing: the Barthosh siblings and the singer Pavlína Matiová. You surely are in for a treat!
Goran Tairović , the Roma lyrics writer from Serbia: We want to bring a new colour to music
What is Black’n’white world actually about?
I wanted to connect Roma music with the Western music world and thus introduce new values that can change the image of Roma. I am persuaded that the connection of traditional and modern music can be helpful in bringing about “a new Romani language”.
So what can be the audience looking forward to?
Whole the performance will really be “colourful”, each song has something specific, distinguishing it from the other ones. We will see a performance of 9-member orchestra, aiming at introducing a new colour to music. Traditional Roma music will have new arrangements, a new, different style spiced by Western music.
In Serbia, you are a renowned composer. Was it difficult to make the breakthrough?
I come from a traditional Roma music family. My grandfather plays double-bass, my uncle accordion, and my parents are amazing singers. It was not easy to break through, the way there was really difficult. I started with my brother, playing guitar and then singing in local cultural collective. That was during the war in Serbia. Later on, I started performing in different clubs and started creating music. I was rather successful with that and so I began with writing music for other singers. Soon, this became my occupation. Currently I work with my brother, who is a visual artist, on a range of projects as a singer, a composer, a lyrics writer and an arranger.
What exactly are you preparing for the audience of Khamoro? Any surprises?
Bohunka: It will be a mixture of songs and classical music.
Miro: I am not sure if we will be the ones surprising the audience, but surely the musicians that we perform with. These people understand music and have it in their blood. We are very much looking forward to cooperation with them, we are Goran Tairović’s guests. For now I can reveal only that I am going to sing the beautiful old Roma anthem Djelem Djelem.
You regularly perform in the Josef Kajetán Tyl theatre in Pilsen. How did you actually start with singing?
Miro: We are from a Roma family, there was a lot of singing at home, but without professional ambitions. Those came later, when we were growing up at children’s home. Our guardians noticed that we were talented and they were the ones bringing us closer to singing. At school, we used to go to a choir and there we were persuaded to apply to a music school, in which we were successful, and we have also completed the studies.
Black-and-White World – that is the name of another concert of the Khamoro festival that will certainly please not only classical music lovers. This show by a nine-member orchestra lead by a renowned Roma composer Goran Tarjovich from Serbia can be enjoyed at the church of St. Nicolas on May 27. The same concert will introduce also the Bartosh siblings – a Pilsen opera duo, and Pavlina Matiova, an opera singer from Prague. They will perform classical pieces but also their own songs emphasising their Roma identity.
Bohunka: At first I had a different idea, I wanted to sing in musicals. I fell in love with opera only later, at the music school in Bratislava.
Miro: I like opera earlier than my sister, I enjoyed listening to Luciano Pavarotti and Andrea Bocelli. I think that opera is a higher level.
You make your living out of music. What does music give you besides that?
Miro: It is our vocation. We can question if it provides for us better or worse, but to some level it does. Music is fulfilling for us, because through it, we can find ourselves, realize ourselves.
Bohunka: For me, music is freedom, expression of feelings.
What was your biggest success?
Bohunka: For me probably that I was accepted to the school in Bratislava. Currently, I have several performances ahead of me.
Miro: Up until now I worked as a choir master in Pilsen Tyl’s theatre and now I got a contract as a soloist in a choir, which is very precious to me. Besides that, I took part in several singing contests, the most important in Montreal in Canada, where I was among the finalists. That was in 2009.
How is work with Goran Tairović?
Really very good. At the beginning, I was a bit nervous, but I found out that he is a nice person and that we understand each other very well, despite the language barrier. The songs that we will perform at the concert are partially familiar to me, they will be just performed in a bit more modern coat, which I love.
What are you currently working at?
Some years ago, I started creating my own music which I am trying to complete now so it can be performed at my concert on March 25 in the theatre in Korunní. I will be performing together with my sister Jitka Matiová, Funky Brothers, and Miro Bartosh. Currently I perform in the musical Anoinetta The Queen of France in the Hybernia theatre, in the musical Lucie in the Karlín theatre, and in the TV series Weddings in Venice.