Archive: Transart 16

Cantus With Cleansing for Seven Guslari


Vecchia stazione a valle Panorama

39040 Alpe di Siusi


Eugene Ostashevksy, Boris Filanovsky


Cantus With Cleansing For Seven Guslari


Boris Filanovsky > Cantus With Cleansing For Seven Guslari (2016) > 45'
Eugene Ostashevsky > Texts
Vladmir Djurišić > Artistic Director
The Gusliars (Montenegro)


Cantus With Cleansing For Seven Guslari by Russian composer Boris Filanovsky is inspired by the tradition of the Guslari, epic narrators of an oral tradition with roots in 17th century Balkan folk tradition. This musical form remains alive and very popular in Balkan countries. Although Guslari song is traditionally sung by solo performers, Filanovsky unites the soloists to create an ensemble in which they interact and compete with one another, giving the performance new formal tension and strength. In another startling deviation from tradition, the songs have been translated into English, radically changing the sound and musical identity of the performance. The concert will take place in the old station downhill from Panorama in a new garage. Be prepared for surprises!

The Gusla is a single-stringed folk instrument derived from the Byzantine lyre.

Composer Boris Filanovsky on his work:

“I had no wish to exploit Guslari like Western composers do with non-Western performers. I don't use melody, melic poetry, microtonal modus, or any other musical parameter, that could result in ’contemporary’ or ’ethnic’ or cross-genre music. Instead, I deal with the figure of Guslar, trying to redefine the identity of the whole genre, to portray it – of course, falsely, like a virus which follows from inside the host it devours. This approach seems to be very risky for a Western composer, as it tends either to discard or to surrender to the tradition. But if successful (as I hope), it might help to achieve formal purity, continuity and directness of expression.”


A Transart production in collaboration with Klangspuren Schwaz
With the support of the Berliner Kunstprogramm of DAAD
Thanks to