The album covers of the Širom trio feature the works of painter Marko Jakše, a master when it comes to uncovering the space between the known and the unknown, between fantasy and reality, the surreal and the unreal, between what in terms of painting is very personal, modern and simultaneously traditional.
This also applies to the soundscapes the Širom trio is strolling along, dispersing and layering in scores of familiar-sounding expanses that are evocative, shaded in different genres and form the site of a crumbling, scattering and dissolution of the musical nuances of a number of traditions, genres, histories and places. These are always indicated in Širom’s music, present in the sound, melodies, rhythms and bounces, but at the same time veiled by an extraordinary idiosyncratic musical language that is oscillating between a firm structure and fragile openness.
It is through this very space that the trio “appropriates” these traditions, processes and transforms them and infuses their own sound with them, be it through instruments from diverse musical traditions or via instruments that the members transform or invent. The string, wind, percussion and other instruments handled by Samo Kutin, Ana Kravanja and Iztok Koren thus free themselves of their sound constraints to jointly enter a field of intertwined reminiscences that take us into multiple layers of time and space, to a meeting of histories that fuses folk music traditions, melodies of the East and Eastern Europe, the rhythmic traditions of Africa, perhaps even Indonesia, the eclecticism of contemporary neofolk, and the sound and harmonic imagination of contemporary jazz, the systematic nature of minimalism and post-rock and the innovative qualities of contemporary experimental music. All of these sound and pulsate simultaneously. Through Širom they become “imaginary traditions”, unbound and open-sounding and thereby mysteriously elusive.
The trio has been opening up its sound further, it has tailored it in an even more daring and fluid fashion, deepened it in terms of sounds and interpretation, and above all weaved it, through a more pronounced emotional note and depth, into intertwined and winding melodies supported by short melodic motives, occasional intense and rapturous outpours, microtonal pulsations, intoxicating polyrhytms and ethereal voices. On the surface, the compositions are often atmospheric, detached, lyrical, while in their core they are primarily nobly rugged and rough, embellished by a hidden noise, and thereby grounded, tracing music’s lost folkishness.
Širom’s music is a space in which contemporary music sounds like folk music and folk music like contemporary music, a unique soundscape in which the modern is archaic and the archaic is modern.
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