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Teofilovic Brothers: Songs Belong to Those Who Sing Them Better

By Published: February 26, 2013
AAJ: Do you think there is an innovation when interpreting other people's songs?

Ratko Teofilovic: That is a good question. Everything in this world is advancing and developing. In sports, people advance constantly and they do things faster and more efficiently. In the same way, the singing also moves forward. There are ways in which one can surpass what other people have been doing and we are absolutely aware of that. That is why we do things differently in comparison to how certain singers used to sing their songs. These songs were never sung in duet. While in Macedonia, they had the courage to turn to their native instruments, we in Serbia were always following Western types of orchestrations and putting things in a different context. That context is shallow and sweet. The question is, if people were under different influences whether they would have sung differently. Each person is recognizable by his voice. The voice is a person. Each person introduces himself with the voice he possesses.

AAJ: The songs you perform are archaic and not so familiar to the general public. How do you connect these songs to your audiences? In what way do you breathe in new life into these generally unknown songs within your immediate surrounding?

Radiša Teofilovic: Many times we were asked whether we are keepers of a tradition. I don't like that question. I find it absurd. What does it mean? Does tradition have anything to do with arts? Is it something you can or you cannot step out of? The music and the language constantly change. Imagine what it was like when the first radio receiver appeared in a certain community ages ago. It certainly changed the way those people thought, the way they perceived the sound as such. There aren't any more people in the villages that can sing authentically. That doesn't exist. I have heard many times, people trying to sing like that, and they just ruin the songs. Today we live differently compared to the past. We live now, in the present, and that certainly brings different influences that people don't even think about. This subject is so wide, every answer given begs another question, or several. The tradition can happen at any time. Even Vidarica can one day be a tradition.

Selected Discography

Braca Teofilovici and Miroslav Tadic, Vidarica(Nine Winds Records, 2012)
Teofilovic Brothers, Winds of Dawn (One Records, 2009)
Teofilovic Brothers¸Belgrade live (Marsalis Music, 2003)

Teofilovic Brothers, Dream Keepers (One Records, 1998)

Photo Credit

Courtesy of Teofilovic Brothers

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