In the summer of 2010, the members of C2 group of the third EuroMed festival met for the first time in Budapest. Bojana Nikolic, Bogusz Wekka, Mihaly Gyorgy, Mohammed Antar and Tuur Florizoone came from different cultures to share their musical thoughts. Each of them was keen on contributing to a universal type of music, a genre that combines elements from their original musical cultures to form a new musical image. They carried musical ideas in their minds, yet none of them sought an exact reproduction of the originals. Thanks to their sincere devotion to their work, the result came as if they were a real band, and their concerts in Budapest, Belgrade and Katowice were very successful. No sooner they had got back home than they received suggestions to continue their work together. The band members chose the name Taram, and they were later joined by Oriol Gonzalez who was himself an important addition to the band and, with the advent of autumn, they recorded their album Salad and gave performances in Budapest and Manresa.
The special flavour of Taram’s music is a result of the members’ understanding and acceptance of the nature of their different musical backgrounds. Their reformatting of the selected compositions to include elements from all their musical traditions enriched and universalised the content of their music. Ilbil, Csi Lav Tu and Istenem lose their typical nature of being simple folkloric tunes belonging to their very traditional cultures and become bases for more universally understandable compositions, sometimes with musical surprises; Al-Khulasa loses its unison feature with the harmonious touch and diverse solos of the band members; To Autumn renounces its original lyrics and gives path to another culture to speak; and Salade Tout becomes a delicious musical meal in which fragments from all these musical elements meet. The peak of the richness and universality of this musical content was manifested in Mustafa/Moj Dragane, a legitimate new born piece resulting from the members’ musical intercourse, a composition in which the musical identities milted completely into each other and lost their independent cultural properties.
This could not have been possible unless each of the members was ready for a temporary mental and cultural shift to support the original background. This shift eliminated the importance of the spoken language, the well-known characteristics of the musical instruments, and the strictness of some traditional forms. Bojana, thus, sings in different styles and languages despite her Balkan musical Background, at the same time, Tuur keeps on changing his playing styles throughout the album to compete with the tunes; Mohammed revolts against the simplicity of his instrument and presents it in a more contemporary manner, whereas Mihaly borrows some of the most suitable oriental musical characteristics and mixes them with his original style; Oriol manipulates his different Pizzicato and Arco techniques to fortify the content, and Bogusz polishes all this with his tricky rhythmic touches. The title Salad is, therefore, an appropriate choice which clearly demonstrates Taram’s musical content.
The album contains seven tracks, all of them are reformatted and rearranged by Taram and they come in the following order:
1. To Autumn, composed by Tuur Florizoone with new lyrics by Bojana Nikolic. A song to Autumn that inspired Bojana to write a lyrical romantic message in her mother tongue.
2. Bilbil, originally a traditional song from Mitohija in which a nightingale informs a lover about the marriage of his beloved. The lover, however, instead of mourning this marriage, decided to go to her wedding.
3. Al-Khulasa, a medley which consists of Mohammed Antar’s Hijaz Andalusiyya and Hijaz Sabahiyya in which the music for Omar El-Khayyam’s 99th quatrain is included. For Antar, it is the spirit of his experiment with Taram.
4. Mustafa/Moj Dragane, another medley consisting of a main melody and fractions of other melodies by Tuur Florizoone and Mohammed Antar as well as fragments of Serbian traditional songs and lyrics selected by Bojana Nikolic. This piece is the central outcome and the core of the band’s cooperation.
5. Salade Tout, composed by Tuur Florizoone. A typical western musical piece, yet, with its western melody, the typical middle eastern, Balkan and Jazzy solos and the Bosnian lyrics, it became a real Salad.
6. Csi Lav Tu, originally a gypsy song from Romania which means “Would you marry me”, yet it is reformatted so much so that its original corpse becomes only a basis for a wider musical image.
7. Istenem, originally a Hungarian folkloric song, yet its meditative melody inspired Bojana Nikolic with new lyrics reflecting her Serbian background, whereas the group experiments with improvisations on the main melody.
Members of Taram
Bojana Nikolić – vocal /Serbia
Mohammed Antar – ney /Egypt
Tuur Florizoone – accordion /Belgium
Mihály György – guitar /Hungary
Oriol Gonzalez – double bass /Spain
Bogusz Wekka – percussion /Poland