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Audience Award TerraFolk winners of the Audience Award

ListenTerrafolk (Slovenia)

Winners of the Audience Award

Song : Kolo
Album : Jumper of Love
Visit :

Slovenia isn't well a known country, but the growing reputation of this entertaining young band has at least put it on the world music map. They've achieved that largely through tireless gigging since their virtually spontaneous formation at a music festival in 1999.

'I think that the basis of our success is our concerts,' says violinist Bojan Cvetrežnik, who joined clarinet/whistle player Boštjan Gombac and guitarist Danijel Cerne at that fateful gig. 'We are still much better on the stage than on the recordings, and that's why we have always full clubs where we play. They really love our concerts.'

No surprise then that both the albums they've released to date have been recorded at live performances. The line-up is extended on their most recent CD Pulover Ljubezni (Jumper Of Love) by the addition of double bass player Žiga Golob. The players' diverse backgrounds in jazz, classical and even alternative rock is reflected in an eccentric repertoire which they tear through with the virtuosity of seasoned musicians, spiced with a bawdy sense of humour. And the proximity of such varied musical neighbours as Austria, Italy, Romania, Hungary and the Balkan states is not lost on them: 'We have very very different influences here in Slovenia. Maybe that's one reason why we play so different music,' Bojan explains, while also admitting: 'We just play the music we like.'

What they like to play is a mind bogglingly eclectic assortment that includes folk styles as diverse as Klezmer, Gypsy, Irish, Slovenian and even Mexican music, but also extends to pop, rock and classical. One medley manages to include Bach, Led Zeppelin and a Donegal reel.

Purists may baulk at idea of so many roots musics being played by musicians born outside the traditions they are interpreting, but Terra Folk's sincerity and affection for the styles they present is beyond question: 'You don't have to be Jewish to play Klezmer music. You don't have to be a Gypsy to play Gypsy music. Maybe we can't play in the same authentic way, I don't know, but this music is so interesting that it can be played also with other knowledge than just from the real roots. We all love music which is real, authentic, but we don't want to copy the authentic way. We play always with our education, with our knowledge, and what we know about music.'

Jon Lusk 2003

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