Melita Forstnerič Hajnšek: Planet Carmina
Accompanying one of the best choirs to six continents meant writing our own Lonely Planet or Travelling Planet on those journeys together. Landscapes, real and imaginative, are mixed together, they fuse into an exciting universe, where realistic distances between Spell by Lojze Lebič in the Andes and Drumlca in the largest concert hall in Tokio or Adiemus from the window of the University of Ljubljana and Benedicamus in Spanish Las Huelgas disappear. They are all merging into a densely populated, authentic, unique Planet Carmina. Travelling with Carmina Slovenica brings a different point of view, stepping onto the greatest stages from the backstage, mixing with audiences of all countries, breathing with them, observing the phenomenon in microscopic and telescopic view all at once. It is outward and inward, an oscillation, co-undulation, co-habitation with a delicate seismograph. It is demanding, passionate, euphoric. It is dealing with special laws of the collective which the uninvited cannot and should not ever fully penetrate.This book about conductor and artistic director Karmina Šilec, her original and exploratory approaches to music and theperforming arts, her world-renowned choir, and the vocal theatre Carmina Slovenica, presents an exhilarating chapter in Slovenian artistic music, spanning Slovenia and the world, the global and the local. In 1989, following the death of conductor Branko Rajšter, who had led the choir for twenty-five seasons, Karmina took over the Youth Choir Maribor and turned it into a highly potent work of art which breaks the stereotypes of choralism. (Melita Forsterič Hajnšek)
Capturing the conductor’s and her choir’s home and the world – from Japan to Canada, from Sweden to China, from Australia to the USA, from Argentina to Borneo, from Russia to South Africa … –means dissecting the division between Slovenian and international identities, between the national and the global. It is a story of distances crossed by a renowned Slovenian collective which reaches far beyond the Gallus Hall in the Cankarjev dom Cultural and Congress Centre in Ljubljana and finds its place on the most prestigious stages at the pinnacle of global artistic music.
Carmina Slovenica has performed on every continent and in the most prominent concert venues, as well as in the most prestigious churches and the simplest, abandoned places in both hemispheres. Capturing in a book all of these journeys and landscapes, both creative and physical, constantly undulating, with social and intimate aspects, proved a glorious if arduous mission. And this book is just the first, very subjective and only partial inventory of all the landscapes of the group’s creative world. It came to life with difficulty, respect and numerous doubts, as the life of this unusual team was in full swing, immersed in planning, in constant motion. It would be impossible and improper to halt it, which capturing it in a book form effectively does. There is much left for musicology and music related disciplines to research in this field.
Translated by Irena Duša
Proofreading by Timothy Počar
Published by Carmina Slovenica, 2020
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