Slobodan Marković - „The songs of Vlach aoidos” (Serbia)

night of 26/27.07.2008, 12:00 AM [midnight], Rotunda - „Concert of epic songs”

 

WORKSHOPS: Vlach dances – S. Marković, P. Todorović, N. Radulović – 26.07.2008, 4:00 PM, Rotunda

 

Violin virtuoso and Vlach singer. He is one of the last Vlachs in the Balkans and probably the last one living in Serbia, who cultivates rhapsodic tradition. Ballads, epic poems and love songs, sung by Marković with the accompaniament of violin, were passed down through the generations by teachers, called „masters” by Vlachs, specialized in this music genre. Each of them had their own singing technique and their own repertoire. Songs were often improvised; on the request of the listeners there were also new ballads created spontaneously. Epic songs, that don't have any specific, regular metrum, can be very long. However Marković is never performing them the same way twice. Depending on the involvement of the listeners and spectrum of emotions (which are strongly connected to the lyrics), he uses extraordinary ornamentation – he includes to the song kind of weeping, made by „high voice”. He uses similar technique for the love songs (Vlach: „kancik dedor”). Their lyrics are sometimes amazingly subtle and sophisticated in a poetic way, but sometimes playful and blunt. Marković has also in his repertoire great number of dance melodies. Vlach „kola” (dances in circle) are lively and spontaneous, performed often at a dizzying pace.

The art of Vlach aoidos is almost completely unknown, compared for example to epic songs of Montenegro. Ballads of Marković were occasionally documented by Serbian ethnomusicologists and Romanian television. But until this day they were never published in a form of an album.