Sounds Of The East

Srdjan Beronja, ARC Music

By:

Mirjana Raić


Serbian World Music Magazine ETNOUMLJE

(ETHNOMIND)






"First and general impression after listening of the album was - raw and truthful. Also, I don’t remember when it was the last time I was listening some particular album which so insists on the atmosphere and impression of the ambient and musical context. Nothing seems polished or arranged in particular, at least it doesn’t seem like that, just pure music.


‘Sounds of the East’ is the second album coming from Srdjan Beronja (the first one was ‘The Sounds of Varanasi’, published in 2014). The album has a goal, at least it is my impression, to assemble the puzzle of Beronja’s musical experience, a valuable one indeed. In 2001, Srđan Beronja leaves his hometown, the city of Novi Sad, and moves to India where he studies and earns formal knowledge in classical Indian tabla. Traveling through India and the Middle East, with the Balkans being the starting point, leads him far away from (particularly in Serbia) the known cultures and musical norms. In this way, actually, the album which we are talking about here is created. During the fifteen years period (from 2001 until 2016), Beronja was documenting various sounds, performing with various musicians, and from this palette he created one intimate “eastern” story made from 18 tracks-movements, which will drag you to even furthermore eastern side of the globe.

Field recordings, as the one where the birds announce the morning (‘Alapana’), or the one where you can hear angry hissing sound of the cobra (‘The Cobra’), and all the other featured tracks and recordings are field recordings (as the author insists: “All tracks are field recordings.” This really touched me personally, because despite the fact that chirping of birds is not some particular phenomenon just because we hear it every day, it is an excellent intermission for anything, particularly for the musical content given by Srdjan Beronja.

If we add the exceptional selection of the featured musicians with whom the author shares audio-space on the disk (violinist Pt. Sukhdev Prasad Mishra or sitarist Pt. Dhruv Nath Mishra, as well as the fellow country musicians as Stefan Sablić and Marina Tošić), you get almost the perfect formula for the music edition which is not only musical, but also ethno-musicological or maybe rather “explorative”, what just adds more to the already-existing value of the album. With all the previous being said, we have to add as well the fact that Srđan Beronja is excellent player of the Indian tabla, darabuka, and also other percussion instruments which have foundation in traditional musical backgrounds. His selection of music and music collaborators on the presented album will bring true excitement to everyone who likes the music with a certain background, to the one who is cosmopolitan, who appreciates the historical value of this album, where the borders are just mere changeable lines, easily erased with eraser. Be prepared for one unexpected cocktail of musical fragrances and colours."



- Mirjana Raić

(Serbian World Music Magazine ETNOUMLJE)

(ETHNOMIND)






  SRPSKI:

"Prvi i generalni utisak nakon preslušavanja diska bio je – sirovo i iskreno. Takođe, ne pamtim kada sam poslednji put slušala neki album na kom se toliko insistira na atmosferi i doživljaju prostora, muzičkom kontekstu. Ništa nije naročito uglancano i uređeno, barem ne deluje tako, samo čista muzika.


Sounds of the East je drugi po redu album Srđana Beronje (prvi, The Sounds of Varanasi, je izašao 2014), koji, kako stičem utisak, ima za cilj da sastavi puzlu Beronjinog muzičkog iskustva, koje je itekako dragoceno. Srđan Beronja 2001. godine napušta Novi Sad i odlazi u Indiju, gde se usavršava i dobija formalno obrazovanje sviranjana indijskoj tabli. Putovanje kroz Indiju i Bliski Istok sa Balkanom kao početnom stanicom od¬velo ga je daleko izvan (naročito nama) poznatih kulturnih i muzičkih normi i tako, u stvari, nasta¬je album o kom je ovom prilikom reč. U toku 15 godina, dakle od 2001 – 2016, Beronja je beležio različite zvukove, svirao sa različitim ljudima i od toga napravio jednu intimnu „istočnu” priču, sastavljenu od 18 numera-stavova, koja će vas, koliko god mislili da ste smešteni na istoku (a ja za sebe, barem, smatram da jesam), odvući na još „istočniju” stranu zemaljske kugle.


Terenski snimci, poput onog na kojem ptice najavljuju jutro („Alapana”), ili onog na kom čujete ljutiti kobrin zvuk („The Cobra”), kao i svi ostali (kako insistira autor: svi snimci su teren¬ski), lično su me ganuli. Jer, bez obzira na to što cvrkut ptica nije nekakav naročit fenomen samo zato što ga čujemo skoro svakog dana, odličan je intermeco za bilo šta, a posebno muzički sadržaj kakav nudi Srđan Beronja. Ukoliko se to sabere sa izuzetnim odabirom muzičara saradnika sa kojima autor deli audio prostor na disku (violinista Sukhdev Prasad Mishra ili sitarista Dhruv Nath Mishra, kao i domaći Stefan Sablić i Marina Tošić), dobijate gotovo savšenu formulu za muzičko izdanje koje nije samo muzičko, već i etnomuzikološko, da ne kažem istraživačko, što je samo dodatak na već postojeću vrednost.


Svemu tome treba dodati činjenicu da je i sam Srđan Beronja vrsni izvođač na indijskoj tabli, tarabuci, ali i na ostalim perkusijama koje imaju uporište u tradicionalnoj muzici. Njegov odabir muzike i saradnika na albumu koji vam se pred¬stavlja doneće pravo uzbuđenje svakom ko uživa u muzici sa pozadinom, ko je kosmopolita, ko ceni istorijsku vrednost ovakvog izdanja i kome su granice samo promenljive linije koje se lako izbrišu gumicom. Spremite se za jedan neočeki¬van koktel muzičkih mirisa i boja."



- Mirjana Raić

 Magazin ETNOUMLJE