Taken from 'I Can Be a Clay Snapper'
tak:til / glitterbeat
Hailing from Slovenia, Širom play vividly textured and (mostly) imagined, instrumental folk musics. Handmade and global instrumentation meets fearless sound exploration.
Slovenia’s miniature, but incredibly diverse landscapes, echo through its distinctive cultural, historic and linguistic traits. When thinking about Širom’s geographical trajectories, as well as their musical ebb and flow, one has to consider the abundance of water that can be found in the individual regions where they come from. Cascading mountain stream lilt, lazy lowland river meandering and the mysteriously vanishing waters of Karst are most certainly inscribed into Samo Kutin’s, Iztok Koren’s and Ana Kravanja’s childhood memories and subsequently, their remarkable musical art.
The band’s emergent sound oscillates between a wide array of acoustic folk sounds and contemporary post rock meditations, often drifting from improvisation to structured composition and then back. It is described by the members themselves as imaginary folk or folk from a parallel universe. “Our music creates emotional landscapes. When I was still painting every day (Ana holds a degree in painting) I was trying to paint my dreams but that didn’t work out,” Ana remembers. “I discovered that by using an abstract image I can draw nearer to what I felt in my dreams. Our music is based on a similar principle.”
According to Samo, the guiding concepts of their music-making are: “To play on acoustic instruments, to work with repetition and a common sound. Each of us can play a simple thing, but the overall result is that a complex thing comes to life. The quality of sound depends on the combination of the instruments and that’s why we modify and prepare instruments or create our own.”
As an avid sound-seeker, Samo began to develop an interest in building instruments out of everyday objects like drawers, computer boxes and other “junk” (as he lovingly calls his creations) as well as re-tooling the ones he brought back from his globetrotting adventures that have included personal encounters with local musicians in India, Morocco, Mali, Greece and elsewhere.
Ana, who also nurtures a very personal relationship with music paraphernalia, adds: “There is a different attitude at play if you make an instrument yourself. It already tells you a story. If you buy it, it takes longer to get to know it, to tame it.”
In the little village of Lesno Brdo, tucked in the rolling hills ten kilometers south of Ljubljana, Ana and Samo organize music performances and festivals on a farm they rent, and divide their time between music making and vegetable farming. A close connection with nature is also important to Iztok who now resides in the capital city. “It’s a sort of a contact with the past but it also has its own life in the present.”
Fearlessly textured sonic landscapes – both linked to and unbound by – the past and present, geography and tradition, the real and imagined. Hypnotic, otherworldly and epic.
Širom’s music moves like the restless waters of their homeland. No matter how hushed or slow it may seem, it is never ever standing still.
Širom are: Iztok Koren – banjo, three string banjo, bass drum, percussion, chimes, balafon, various objects // Ana Kravanja – violin, viola, ribab, cünbüs, balafon, ngoma drum, mizmar, various objects, voice // Samo Kutin – lyre, balafon, one string bass, frame drums, brač, gongoma, mizmar, various objects, voice