Sašo Vollmaier, piano; Tine Grgurevič aka Bowrain
Two of Slovenia’s most prominent pianists in two interconnected solo recitals
I continue. To develop my own sound and expression.
No less intensely than with my previous solo project, "Vollmaier: Kind of Laibach," in which I explored my own limits of volume. This time, I'm venturing into its opposite. The brutal power of silence, the predefined motives and themes and following another impulse all give shape to an unusual sound journey full of tension, as well as beauty and clarity of moment.
I'm leaving the dynamics open. Since I chose and carved out my career as a piano player and composer, I've again found myself in a world that hovers between the past and the future.
Balancing the necessity for self-criticism and the incessant quest for the excellence of the succeeding tone. The piano offers a means of expression, light and darkness. I am well familiar with the effect of sound produced in Gallus Hall, and I am taking on this challenge again soon.
It's a battle. It's passion, life, and yes, a moment that has neither beginning nor end. It disappears when I become aware of it. This moment is replaced by sound, it settles in the hall, in the ear and on other things. And stays.
Performing as a solo pianist on stage is liberating and frightening at the same time. Music comes as magic but is able to stay for ages as a piece of art. It is about confidence and trust - to stand for every transition that happens from imagination through composition and song writing to the final performance. And it is about believing – the pressure and promise of the music to stop the time and mind for just a moment…
The past eighteen months of lockdowns and closures of public life took from me what I thought was my main point of being a musician – performances, concerts, events and audiences - but it also gave me something that changed my perception of me as a piano player and performer. I was forced to stop and to reflect – is that all that is?
During the first lockdown, I was often imagining myself back in the beginning of 2020, when everything looked “normal”. To my last solo concert in Birmingham, and my biggest composed concert with 14 musicians in Ljubljana. I felt lost and alone with too much time and no options to perform on stage, no options to share my work. I was spending endless hours in the studio – I started singing, writing songs - I became more emotional but also political – I was moving from ballads to protests, from loneliness to mass gatherings, I was trying to open up my new horizons in the new dark reality.
It's summer 2021 and everything seems like it went back to normal. The promises are coming back – I receive and accept invitations to perform, even though I fear it a little bit – the truth is I had to adapt and transform to a studio musician. And the Gallus hall is certainly not an intimate studio! It was the hall where I played in my childhood dreams and it will be the place where I will have to go out and translate into music my emotions that filled up my emptiness in the last year…it is where I will have to play as nothing has changed, as everything has changed...