Zavod Sploh

Muanis Sinanović: Who am I? Who are we? Who are they? And who are You? You You You?

Liner notes for album Štafelaj (TiTiTi 2022)

Who am I? Who are we? Who are they? And who are You? You You You?

Questions that we have asked throughout history and cannot get to the bottom of. It seems they go beyond language and we only occasionally find the answers: in the whoosh of the wind, the reflection of the sun, late afternoon rain, wrinkles on the face, corners of the mouth. Within a special, instantaneously born combination of saxophone, drums and double bass and the immersed gazes of the musicians caught in the shine of the spotlight. The answer seems to be different each time.  

The Drašler brothers and Jure Boršič have pursued the answer for years. Every time they catch it in the net, it escapes; and, every time, a new answer emerges. It is a search that civilisation renounces – in exchange, it offers surrogates, scenarios that want to abolish any kind of unpredictability. Due to this search, they are Johnnies on the spot. In a conversation with Miha Zadnikar, a great promoter and thinker of free improvisation, I told him that I could see him always retaining humanity, as a representative of any group of people. He smiled and with a benevolent irony summed up my words: a human on the spot. The sound movement of the discussed trio is actually one of the activities that enable us to stand in one spot, as it were, on earth – this or some other. It is not nationalistic slogans and myths or salvational formulas; but movement, rotation, searching, which first even enables one to stand and withstand.  

It is never only about sound. It is also about a sort of humanism. But not as an ideology in which human nature is fully explained, but a humanism that knows that being a human being is precisely not fully learning what it means to be human.  

It is no coincidence that Tisnikar’s painting Muzikanti (Musicians), which is a motif of this album, is unfinished. It remained on the canvas upon the master’s death in a traffic accident. His work also did not manage to come to the bottom of the question of who musicians are, which, seen in a certain way, can be the same as the question of who people are. Who am I? Who are we? Who are they? And who are you…

Musicians lean towards each other, from two sides. It almost seems as if they form a corridor. But the lines are not completely straight; they are in a position to mix among each other. They look like weeping willows leaning towards each other in a violent wind and intertwining their long hair.

The trio, consisting of the Drašler brothers and Jure Boršič – and, this time, joined by Tomislav Vrečar with his poetry and Marina Džukljev behind the black-and-white keys – has always moved on the terrain of the same intensity. It repeats, but with a difference. It expands by imploding. From the macrocosm, it travels to the microcosm, all the way to its frontier, which again spills over into the macrocosm. As if they ground the stars into dust, out of which new stars are composed. In order to move, they stand still; the way they position themselves on stage is also symbolic. The musicians stand one against the other, each on his own and facing all at the same time.    

In this, we cannot overlook a certain crazy wager, a special drive; a striving for a sphere in which life is not whole without that beyond life and where that beyond life does not mean its end. It is a passion characteristic of all the great ventures, the ones that end up in history textbooks and those that take place on the stage of a dusty club and remain only in the unreliable memory of a few visitors. A passion shared by those that tirelessly and therefore masterfully knead colours, words, plays and sound. 
Muanis Sinanović

Translated by: Maja Lovrenov
Artwork: Matej Stupica, Jože Tisnikar / Design: Matej Stupica
Artwork: Matej Stupica, Jože Tisnikar / Design: Matej Stupica

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