Dalibor Jelavić – catalogue

dalibor jelavićTranslation for the 12-page catalogue which accompanied the artist Dalibor Jelavić’s ‘Cornucopia’ exhibition at the Juraj Šporer Arts Pavilion in Opatija, November 2017.

Published by The Croatian Museum of Tourism.
ISBN: 978-953-7601-59-1

Sarah & The Romans interview

WE PRESENT SARAH & THE ROMANS –
a merry group from Rijeka who are winning over the world!

  • 10th October 2017 – Novi List, Rijeka, Croatia. Interview with Ivana Kocijan.

Coming soon from the German publishing house AGR TV Records in Hamburg will be ‘First Date’ the debut album by the Croatian group Sarah & The Romans. To find out how this cooperation came about, what it means to them, what they sing about in their songs, we spoke to band members: Sara Blažić, Goran Troha and Igor Willheim.

Igor: Six months ago we began to send emails and singles to Europe and America, looking for a publisher for our album. Publishing houses from Canada, America, Sweden and Germany were interested. German companies were the most interested in this regard, and over a few months we reached an agreement with one of them, signed a deal and began the production of the album.
Goran: We were not trying to look for a publisher in Croatia because all the material is aimed at the foreign market, the songs are in English, and the music is such that it is more popular abroad than here.

When will the album be published and what can we find on it? Who are your songwriters?
Goran: We have 11 songs on the album. Of those 10 are original compositions, whilst one is a version of an instrumental on the theme of the movie ‘Kekec’ (‘Good Will is The Best’) which we have arranged ourselves. As for the writers, I can say there are many, especially of the lyrics. As the lyrics are in English, we strive that they are written by native speakers. And in this we also have a translator who is following us, Martin Mayhew, an Englishman with a Rijeka address. Who as a translator and musician, has fitted very well into our story. The music and arrangements are written by members of the band.
Igor: The album should be released on 27th October, and in the deal there is also a second album, which we are already working on, all the demo material has been recorded. We are still not sure of the title.

‘First Date’ now available on iTunes and Google Play

What themes do you sing about?
Sara: The themes are love. The name of the album is ‘First Date’, as in romance, but also as in the first encounter of our band with the audience… It can be interpreted in various ways, but always positively and with good intention. The lyrics are always of love, optimistic, which is also the message of the bluegrass music that we play: everything is happy, positive, and even when something bad happens, you forget it, carry on and everything is OK.

Your first single ‘Smoke in The Wind’ from last year was chosen as Bluegrass Song of the Month by the American Akademia Music Awards. What does this acknowledgment mean for you?

Goran: Yes, we sent the song upon the recommendation of one radio DJ from Houston who fell for our music. The song was chosen as song of the month in June in its category. This really did open the door to the music world for us, and with that we gained many contacts. So for example we joined up with a dance troupe from Tennessee who we accompanied for five days in Zagreb, they danced, and we played.
Igor: It was the International Folklore Festival, an excellent experience. The music brought us together and a great collaboration was created and so we will continue to accompany the dance troupe from Tennessee further at European dance festivals. At that time we also got to know a group from Indonesia, amongst whom was Agung who plays the talempong. This is a (audibly) similar instrument to the xylophone and makes a magical tone which so delighted and surprised us that we asked Agung to record something with us, which we then put together in one song. This is the charm of our music, we mix what we like into it. In the same song we also incorporated a flute.
Sara: With that example Igor has described why we think we are original, what our vision is and how we are trying to create a unique sound.

Remind us of when and how the band was formed; who are its members and were you active as such a large group from the beginning?
Goran: The band Sarah & The Romans came into existence in 2014, and currently there are ten members. We have also collaborated with musicians from Ljubljana (Slovenia), some permanent members are from Zagreb. We work in a kind of Rijeka-Zagreb-Ljubljana triangle. We are trying to make our music interesting, original and surprising. One instrument appears in an entire song, a second in two musical sections and then no more. This gives vibrancy, dynamics, and colour to the sound. And for that to function and be interesting, you need to have a little orchestra.

Where do you play the most, where can we listen to you?
Igor: We will have the promotion of the album in Rijeka after it comes out. We perform mainly at festivals.

Where did you record the album?
Goran: The songs were recorded in the Mr Lucky and Just Sound studios in Rijeka and in Metro in Ljubljana. Both the mix and mastering of the songs were finished by Mladen Srića (Rijeka, Croatia), Janez Križaj (Ljubljana, Slovenia) and Eduardo Reynoso Jr. (L.A., California).

You play a unique combination of various genres. What are they?
Goran: We are unique in every case because we don’t repeat or copy traditional bluegrass. What is that in effect? It is our polka and waltzes, our European music, central European folk which is permanently in our ears. Bluegrass is acoustic, there are no electric guitars, no drums, it is full of wooden, warm instruments. The whole concept is very optimistic, positive… Such as we are in spirit, so is our music.

Are you recognised in Croatia?
Sara: Yes, we are recognised, but in small circles. However, again we don’t play traditional bluegrass. It is not for older audiences, we are making music for the younger people. Radio stations are playing our music, we are played a lot abroad, for instance on British stations, and many more in America… One of our songs was in the Top 10 in Missouri.

Was singer Sara Blažić in the band from the beginning?
Igor: Yes, we met during karaoke shows, she made a great impression on us because she had a very interesting voice. Also with her in the band are the singers Nikolina Akmadža and Matea Dujmović who also plays flute on one song.

You are collaborating with the 92-year-old singer Bruno Petrali. Can you tell us something more about that?
Goran: Yes, at the same time with the band we are working on the project Sarah & The Romans feat. Bruno Petrali.
Igor: Petrali is a legend. He is 92 years old, he knows everything about music, everything about sport. We have recorded a duet with him, a version of the song ‘Una sola volta ci si ama’, with his original translation. It was joy to work with Petrali and so we recorded two more songs, a version of ‘Bambina’ by Neno Belan which he translated into Italian and a version of the song ‘Sve moje jeseni su tužne’ (’All My Autumns Are Sad’) by Žarko Petrović, which Petrali sang originally way back in 1957.

Goran: We are also working on a special album with Iva Santini, a young singer-songwriter from Rijeka, who is also the writer of one of the songs on our first album. The album with Iva will be something very innovative, different. Her genre is folk-ethno, and she usually plays the Celtic harp and ukulele.

Members of the band:
Singers: Sara Blažić, Nikolina Akmadža, Matea Dujmović
Violin: Antun Stašić, Nikola Čeran, Mislav Salopek
Mandolin: Roman Tomašković
Banjo: Goran Troha
Dobro, guitar: Boris Luka Luković
Guitar: Zoran Bebe Petrović
Double bass: Domagoj Zubo Zubović
Harmonica: Ivica Dujić
Drums: Suzan Vidović
Booking manager: Igor Willheim

Guests on the album ‘First Date’:
Anja Hrastovšek and Jasna Žitnik, Ivana Marić, Artemija Stanić, RiverBlue (Vedran and Ivana Mlakar), Mirna Škrgatić, Mladen Srića, Nataša Manestar, Damjan Vasiljević, Sempre Allegro Choir Rijeka, Dino Džopa Šemsudin, Vanja Dizdarević, Damjan Grbac, Tilen Stepišnik, Dušan Pjer Ladavac, Uroš Šuljić, Žiga Šercer, Nikola Jovanović, Krešimir Kunda, Klaudio Kolar, Petar Tepšić, Rajko Ergić and Ivan Pjerić Dorčić.

(Translated by Martin Mayhew from the original Croatian article here)

Follow Sarah & The Romans on:
Facebook
Youtube

Buy the album ‘First Date’ on iTunes here.
and Google Play here.

England to India by automobile, via Fiume in 1924

FROM ENGLAND TO INDIA BY AUTOMOBILE
An 8,527-mile Trip Through Ten Countries, from London to Quetta, Requires Five and a Half Months
BY MAJOR F.A.C. FORBES-LEITH

extract: THE FIUME “LIONS” OF ITALY’S POET SOLDIER

Our next stop was at Fiume, the scene of the coup of Gabriele d’Annunzio, Italy’s poet patriot. It is also a fine port, but a mean city in comparison with Trieste. A narrow river separates it from Susak, the Yugoslavian frontier town.

An impressive sight in the city was the great number of apparently idle young men with shock heads of hair fluffed out like a lion’s mane. We thought this must be the latest thing in Fiume masculine styles until an English-speaking friend explained that this is the hall mark of d’Annunzio’s “lions,” who, with him, captured the city.

We were warned not to upset any of them, as they have the reputation of being excessively irascible and a law unto themselves.

After a night in Fiume, we crossed the frontier bridge to Yugoslavia. The incredible change made by those few yards is impossible to imagine – a jump from stagnation and slackness to hurry and bustle.

The only place into which the general energy had not penetrated was the customhouse. We had a letter of introduction to the chief revenue officer, who told us that, as a great favour, they would rush us through the formalities. The “rush” required six hours to deal with our small outfit!

The officials seemed to like our company. As soon as the papers were passed to a fresh clerk, he would come and have a friendly chat with us on European politics, our trip, and, in fact, anything but the business concerned. They were so cheery and genial that we could not take offense; so we smoked endless cigarettes and waited.

Overland from England to India in late 1924 by Major Forbes-Leith. Here seen in Baghdad on 20th August 1924.

EVERY VILLAGE CAFE IN YUGOSLAVIA HAS ITS ORCHESTRA

We were now in a new kingdom, a charming country of delightful, music-loving people. Every little village café has its orchestra of young men playing the guitar and mandolin, and accompanied by a trio or quartette of girl singers. The former stand and play; the latter sit in a row in front and sing national songs from dusk to midnight.

The Croats and Serbs are fine fellows of good physique, very hard workers, great patriots, and among the finest soldiers in the world. Serbia, before the World War, was spoken of as a little Balkan state; now she must be reckoned as a power in Europe.

At Agram (Zagreb), the capital of Croatia, formerly part of the old Austrian Empire, we had a shock that made us rub our eyes. In front of us at the first crossroad, was the embodiment of an English policeman, with helmet, uniform, and baton complete. We heard afterward that the whole police force of the city was modeled and trained on British lines, even uniforms being supplied by outfitters in England.

In atmosphere, architecture, and general plan, Agram is a miniature Vienna. It has a fine opera house, and the architecture is for the most part typically Austrian.

Living is very cheap here for the man who carries either the pound sterling or the dollar.

*******

The trip was made in 1924 and published by The National Geographic Magazine August 1925.

There was even a cameraman on the trip and there exists footage – called ‘Lure of the East’ of some of the trip available here on the British Pathe archives website. And on Vimeo – watch at 1:00 and you’ll see a Zagreb copper: https://vimeo.com/45439980

Thanks to Saša Dmitrović for the source material.

Rijeka Trails – website and brochure translations

Latest website and brochure translation for the tourist boards of Kastav, Klana, Viškovo, Jelenje, Čavle, Kostrena, Bakar, Kraljevica and Rijeka. Full of detailed paths and trails for all ages. It features the distances, difficulties, GPS coordinates, altitudes, walking times, sights and facilities of each route.

website: https://rijekatrails.com/en/
pdf brochure: http://www.visitrijeka.eu/docs/tzrijeka2013HR/documents/194/1.0/Original.pdf

Underground Secrets of Paklenica Centre

A new interpretation-educational centre was opened in 2016 in the former “secret” bunker tunnels in the Paklenica National Park of the Southern Velebit mountain range. It features 2 educational corridors, including exhibitions about the Velebit mountains, the history of the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service, a presentation centre, cafe, souvenir shop, interactive climbing displays and even an artificial climbing wall. Ideal for a family visit and also serious climbers who want to know more.
I provided all the English translations for the centre and the exhibitions in conjunction with Muze d.o.o.

Exhibition corridor – foto NP Paklenica

Interactive display of climbing knots – foto Muze

Presentation centre – foto NP Paklenica

Croatian Mountain Rescue Service display – foto Muze d.o.o.

Layout of Underground Secrets of Paklenica visitor centre.

More info via:
Paklenica National Park
Muze d.o.o.
Croatian Mountain Rescue Service

‘Routes of the Frankopans’ Cultural Route

  I am honoured to have been involved in the exceptional project ‘Putovima Frankopana‘, as the Croatian to English translator. It details the lives, history, stories and influence of this very important aristocratic Croatian family from 12th-17th centuries. It features 17 castles, 3 sacral buildings and a superb visitor centre in Kraljevica.

The route covers Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, including the island of Krk.

The visitor centre is housed in the Frankopan castle at Kraljevica.

All details can be found on the official website here, and via Muze d.o.o.

NEWS: 12.4.2017 The project received 47 million kunas from EU funds, info

 

MMSU 2016 exhibition translations

MMSU montageTwo exhibition guides I translated for MMSU (Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Rijeka). Milan Šober was a well respected photographer from Rijeka and this collection features images from the Rijeka environs in the 1950s – more info about the exhibition here. Ivan Marušić Klif is a modern experimenter in media using kinetic, light and video installations – more info about the exhibition here.

Milan Šober – Crtica iz riječke povijesti (A sketch from Rijeka’s photo-history) ISBN 978-953-8107-07-8
Ivan Marušić Klif – Novi radovi (New Works) ISBN 978-953-8107-10-8

Hrvatska mlada lirika

hrvatska-mlada-lirika-1914A superb new addition to my collection. An original copy from June 1914 of Hrvatska mlada lirika which features work by Ivo Andrić, Vladmir Čerina, Vilko Gabarić, Fran Galović, Karlo Hausler, Zvonko Milković, Stjepan Parmačević, Janko Polić Kamov, Nikola Polić, Augustin Ujević, Milan Vrbanić and Ljubo Wiesner.

Nature – Laboratory of Colours exhibition

priroda - laboratorij bojaThis delightful, informative 56 page catalogue accompanies the ‘Priroda – laboratorij boja’ (‘Nature – the Laboratory of Colours’) exhibition at the Tehnički muzej – Nikola Tesla in Zagreb. The exhibition highlights the traditional use of natural colourants, dyes and limestone in the households of times past in Dalmatian Croatia.

priroda - laboratorij bojaThe exhibition and workshops run from May – September 2016.
Visit the museum’s website and Facebook pages for more info.