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SIAE awards for learning and knowledge promotion 2000

Awards to groups for outstanding achievements in lifelong learning 

The Trutamora Slovenica Ensemble from Ljubljana


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Continuing the folk music tradition

In the Slovenian Lifelong Learning Week 2000 one of the SIAE awards will be presented to the trio Trutamora Slovenica thus giving them recognition for their twenty-year involvement in research, pedagogical and concert work related to the vocal-instrumental folk music of Slovenia. The trio is being conducted by Dr Mira Omerzel Terlep, an ethno-musician who is especially devoted to the research of the influence of sound on living beings. Since the very beginning of her reinvigoration of the Slovenian folk music heritage she has been accompanied by her husband Matija Terlep. Twelve years ago the singer and instrumentalist Mojka Žagar joined them. Together they give their share to the ethno-musicological knowledge of Slovenian cultural heritage and identity.

The name (trutamora) this group has chosen is, like the music they play, taken from folk traditions. It is the name for a pentagramic star symbol which our ancestors drew on the ends of cradles so that new born babies would be protected against harm (illness, death or evil powers). The group's goal is to pass on original folk music to the youngest generations while they are literally still in their cradles "so that with a knowledge of their own traditions they can save themselves from the torment of a chaotic search for their own identity."

The trio has been acting as ‘curators of folk music'. Based on archival and field records they have been reinterpreting Slovenian folk music of past centuries. Their work relies on continuous learning related to the making of original folk instruments and playing them - a knowledge which was given over to them by the last still living players. Mira and Matej have visited Slovenian provinces and have listened to their genuine singers and musicians. They collected original, often quite damaged instruments, repaired them or made sure that they were reconstructed authentically. After having gained the skill to perform with these instruments in field all three became masters in playing the dulcimer, the cimbalon, the Jew's harp and the singing saw (see attached photography). However they have not ceased seeking for new techniques and fashions of folk singing - from monophony to five-part singing ‘na strko', not to forget the quite unusual guttural singing. With a series of concert commentaries and records the trio wishes to offer the listener a sound passage through the regions of Slovenia, these draughty parts where cultures meet.




 
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