Legendfest – writing and performances

legendfest 2011 bannerLegendfest is a three-day festival of myths, legends, folklore and live performances held every year in the small hilltop village of Pićan, in Istria, Croatia. During the festival the village becomes the backdrop for storytellers, children’s workshops, live theatrical shows, local food, arts and crafts and concerts, which draw on the rich traditions and history of Istria. Visitors have the chance to go back in time and experience anything from medieval poetry to ancient myths in the picturesque setting.

Each year the festival has a different theme. I have written and performed at Legendfest since 2011. The theme for 2011 was pirates – and so myself as author, Cyborgix 4E75 as composer and musician, Miki orchestral composer and Jasmina Jazzy as performer, wardrobe and make-up manager, put together the audio/visual piece “Captain Morgan’s Hidden Treasure”. I played the ghost of the Caribbean pirate Captain Morgan (yes, him from the brand of rum) who, as legend says, visited the province of Istria, settled and established the real-life village of Mrgani (meaning the “place of the Morgans”). The myth recalls how he had buried his last stash of gold and treasure nearby. Our 15 minute performance was his story and how he had returned from the spirit world to Istria to uncover the location of his buried treasure after 300 years.

captain morgan martin mayhew

Performing as the ghost of Captain Morgan

Cybergix 4E75

Cyborgix 4E75 – composer, arranger and musician on keyboards

Jasmina Jazzy played the seductive spectre

Jasmina Jazzy played the seductive spectre

In our performance we were joined by Alen Tibljaš – one of Croatia’s most respected drummers, who added some extra drama to the composition. The show was held in the tiny chapel of Sv. Mihovil on the outskirts of the village of Pićan situated at the top of the surrounding cliffs – the perfect location for our dark tale of ghostly pirates and treasure.

Alen Tibljaš pićan

Alen Tibljaš added atmospheric percussion

At the end of the performance, which closed the festival on the last evening, many of the festival’s other performers came and joined us for pirate revelry and choruses of “Fifteen men on a dead man’s chest. Yo, ho, ho and a bottle of rum. Drink and the devil had done for the rest….” The audience thoroughly enjoyed it!

Legendfest 2012 posterThe theme for Legendfest 2012 was witches, wizards and goblins and so we delved into Istria’s rich heritage of myths, legends and folklore and wrote, composed and produced a new concept and performance – “Legend From Istria”. Based upon tales of Istrian gods I played Stribor, son of Svarog – The God of Wind and I narrated the terrible story of good versus evil to take back the land of Istria which had been conquered by the Underworld demons of Bjesomar and Morana played by Cyborgix 4E75 and Jasmina Jazzy.

legendfest 2012 show

Pićan’s tiny chapel of Sv. Mihovil was the perfect setting for our dramatic show

Svarog summoned up the help of Slavic gods Perun – the God of Thunder and Gerovita – The Master of War to defeat the two devils in a final cataclysmic battle scene which would see peace return to the beautiful land of Istria.

legendfest 2012

Our excellent costumes, make up, lasers and dry ice enhanced the performance

Once again we closed the festival programme after midnight on the last day, leaving the audience enthralled.

 

(jasmin): jasmin, jasmine, jasmyn

‘I moj nono je navigal – Brseč i Brsešćina’ – catalogue design

The latest edition in this series. Catalogue and exhibition design about the mariners and sailors who sailed around the world from Brseč in the early 20th century.

This project was produced for Katedra Čakavskog Sabora Općine Mošćenička Draga.

katalog – I moj nono je navigal – Brseč

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Morčić – symbol of Rijeka

Morčić Moretto RijekaThe image of a young, black, servant dressed in fine clothes, wearing a turban, encrusted with gold and jewels, was adopted as the symbol of the city of Rijeka.

Known locally as ‘morčić’ its origins could be dated back to the 17th-18th century and the Venetian ‘moretto’. This was the time when the nobility was obsessed with all things from the Orient and North Africa including Moorish slaves “imported” from Muslim countries. The Venetian nobility would dress-up their pages and servants in fine clothing and jewellery to show off their own wealth and extravagance. In their image various figurines and  jewellery were designed and produced (a style later referred to as ‘Blackamoors’).

This symbol was soon transmitted to Rijeka (Fiume) where similar forms of jewellery were manufactured by local goldsmiths and this soon seeped into tradition among the women of the region, especially in the form of earrings.

Singularly worn earrings also became popular with their sons as well as sailors and fisherman for whom they became talismans and lucky charms. The ‘morčić’ became as symbol of wealth and prosperity and these pieces of jewellery were soon passed down through the generations from mothers to daughters throughout the Rijeka region.

Morčić earring

Morčić earring – image via wikipedia

This tradition reached its peak in the mid-19th century with the establishment of the Gigante & Co. and their production of earrings, brooches, pins and necklaces.

After WWII many goldsmiths of the Rijeka region, who had been producing the now locally renowned pieces of golden jewellery, emigrated and so their skills and knowledge also disappeared. It has only been since the early 1990s that the morčić image and jewellery has been resurrected and adopted as the mascot of the city of Rijeka.

Moričić souvenirs on sale at the Mala Galerija shop in Rijeka

The morčić motif can be seen throughout the city and is widely recognised, and jewellery and souvenirs are once again being produced. During the annual Rijeka Carnival (Riječki Karneval) many participants and dignitaries can be seen dressed as ‘morčići’ reflecting the area’s centuries-old tradition.

How are the Morčić souvenirs made? Watch the video…

Morčić

During the Rijeka Carnival revellers dress as Morčići – pic via Roberta F. wikipedia

The morčić has also made its way into popular music – here’s Neno Belan’s “Rijeka Snova”, featuring scenes of Rijeka and the motif of the city, one of my favourites :)

More information about souvenirs:

http://www.mala-galerija.hr/morcici.html

http://shop.rijeka.hr/product_info.php?products_id=122

http://www.ri-karneval.com.hr

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Eco active holidays on the island of Cres – video

Experience the beauty and heritage of the Croatian islands of Cres and Lošinj.
Recover from the stress of modern life by living a traditional way of life and activities on the islands. Would you like to be islanders for a couple of days and get to know the life of the people who live here? We offer activities such as: shepherding, olive picking, fishing, hiking, walking and dry stone walling, or explore the islands on mountain bikes.

Visit Secrets of Cres / Tajne Cresa: http://www.tajnecresa.com/indexENG.html

Eko-centar Caput Insulae entrance tickets – design

Graphic design of entrance tickets for the interpretation centre at Eko-centar Caput Insulae Beli on the island of Cres. This was a complex piece of design work involving perfing, consecutive security in-line numbering with overall and spot UV lamination.

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Island of Cres tourist poster – graphic design

B2 size poster on behalf of the Eko-centar Caput Insulae Beli on the island of Cres. The poster highlights of the northern area of the island known as Tramuntana. It was posted at tourist points all over the island.

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‘Cresko vam priča o bjeloglavim supovima’ – graphic preparation

From the original black and white pen drawings by artist Roberto Guglielmi and text by author Vesna Radek I prepared this lovely comic strip children’s guide to the life cycle of the Eurasian Griffon (white headed griffon, bjeloglavi sup, Gyps fulvus).

Firstly I had to scan every single original black and white line drawing, clean them and then choose a colour scheme for the whole book which I then used to colourize every part of each image. Next I had to add the speech bubbles using the author’s text. This was a very exhausting and time consuming piece of work. I also translated the original Croatian text into English but this version has not been published yet. The final booklet is a real labour of love.

This project was produced for Eko-centar Caput-Insulae Beli, on the island of Cres –  www.supovi.hr

Here are two pages from the book.

griffon vulture comic stripOne of Roberto Guglielmi’s original black and white pen drawings.

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