During three months a travel companion search for the melancholic soul in music. They reach out to local musicians and get in dialogue withminority groups. Stories are told and experienced, music is played, landscapes change and many encounters are made. Travel along from home with this blog!
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We pass Toledo. The main city of the autonomous province of Castilla-La Mancha. After the umpteenth tank-drinking-stop, we enter the Autovia del Sur again. A man is hitchhiking. “Adonde vas? Where to?” we ask.
All people with roots in the south who were looking for work, security and happiness in the north. After an often long summer stay, yesterday was the day to say goodbye. It is also called the day of melancholy here.
Perhaps it can be compared to the ripening of Sicilian oranges: experiences ripen in music not just once, but two, three,… countless times. And that is why it is possible that melancholic music, written by an experience of loss or impossible desire, eventually tastes so sweet.
We stay in a towering residential block in a suburb of Sarajevo. The meetings for this day are rescheduled for another day. By the evening, a plan B has been arranged. There would be music! Three violins and a mandolin start their B repertoire. Melodies from Bulgaria, Bosnia, Brazil, Belgium,… pass in review.
We are in Pazin, a small town in the middle of the Croatian peninsula of Istria. A group of local musicians is playing songs from the region but also from far beyond. Some contradictions linger in the air, but nearby, violins and an accordion, wind and fire, thoughts take their course: who are we, where and when…?
A very hot summer evening in Slovenia. A courtyard of a hostel in Ljubljana. There are three musicians. At the very back, 4 security guards stand around, hanging out uninterested and talking a tiny bit too loud. What exactly there is to secure is not entirely clear. But is it ever?
All the good consists of 3. Right through the traffic-free center of Ljubljana, the Ljubljanica flows. The bustling, tourist part on one side, the calmer historic center on the other side of the river. In the center of that center is a beautiful square. Named after France Prešeren a well known romantic poet. To connect his square with the other bank, one built three bridges at just 10 meters apart. Three! Why three? What is the story of these bridges?
Less than 24 hours before departure. Gathering and packing things. Tomorrow at 9.30 am the search starts. A quest for “the source of melancholy”. Melancholy is a feeling; we can agree on that. But what exactly is it?
And where do we find that source?