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Singing and Sailing in Croatia, 2019

by: Jennifer Richardson on

Did you know there is strong tradition of singing in Croatia?

Well there is and it's a cappella and called Klapa, it's an integral part of life in Croatia, it reminds me of the Pacific Islands and as I was to find out the harmonies are very similar.

As Wikipedia states: The word klapa translates as "a group of friends" and traces its roots to littoral church singing. The motifs in general celebrate love, wine (grapes), country (homeland) and sea. Main elements of the music are harmony and melody, with rhythm very rarely being very important. In 2012 klapa was inscribed in UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

I suggest you slip on your headphones. I filmed this song in the middle of the Diocletian Palace in Split, Croatia on my phone in amongst a crowd but the acoustics in this ancient space are incredible and the harmonies and emotion of this song are sublime. 

Back in 2017 on our first Singing and Sailing trip in Croatia with Stuart Davis we were fortunate to hear a wonderful local 'Klapa' group that really stood out. Apart from singing these gorgeous romantic Dalmatian songs about the life on the islands, this group sang songs from the hinterland that were completely different and recognisably Balkan music as I knew it with nasal sounds. But what really struck me that night was how some songs were so familiar and sounded like the sounds of pacific islander music... I closed my eyes and listened, although the words were Croatian, the sounds transported me to Samoa. That got me chatting with their lead singer and director Mario Markovina.

Mario impressed me greatly with his velvety rich baritone voice and chatting to him I found he has extensive knowledge of music as an ethnomusicologist. Soon after meeting him I was to discover that he is well known and is highly respected amongst many 'klapa groups along the Dalmatian Coast and a true 'maestro', above all, he is a delightful and charming person. It was an obvious choice to invite Mario to teach us some Croatian songs for our Singing and Sailing in 2019. 

Mario had never taught in english and I had never worked with a 'blind' director, so to begin we were both a little curious and anxious, thankfully it fell away quickly and the group all fell in love with him and the music.

In our first session with Mario he had instructed us not to look at the music scores or words and learn by ear... you can see how well that went and can listen to the results (below). Enjoy!

 

 

If you are interested in listening and learning some Klapa singing through a tutorial with Mario contact us. We will have that available.

Singing and Sailing along the Dalmation Coast

by: Jennifer Richardson on

The intrepid traveler goes in search of new adventures to offer my fellow singers as well as cooks.. and I was pleasantly surprised to find some gorgeous a cappella music here.

Check out these local a cappella groups from the Dalmation Coast.

 

I think there will be a Singing and Sailing trip coming up soon with one of our hero choir directors and some local celebrity involvement .. you can tell me what you think of this idea too >>

Food, wine on the Dalmation Coast

by: Jennifer Richardson on

I traveled 30 hours - Sydney - Singapore - London - Zagreb - Split and possied up in a sweet room with a view.  I'm one happy camper!

I'm here for a week long recce to further explore the food, wine, singing and culture of the Dalmation Coast and of this little town before our Sailing and Culture trip departs to other islands on Saturday. I have to say that I am not disappointed.

Recce trips can be fun and it has been easy slipping into a routine here. The day begins with a walk through the old town to the cafe so I get my caffeine hit and take in the atmosphere, I then head off to the markets to buy my food for lunch. Walking through the vibrant market and stopping to buy delicious fresh produce is my kind'a heaven.

 

My favorite little piazza for morning coffee.

Trogir Markets.

 Winding my way back through these gorgeous little alleys is such a delight.

 And again the food... think fresh, think Mediterranean.. Adriatic to be more precise.

 This little town really does it for me with all it's light and shade

Plans for another cooking and culture retreat are nicely brewing.

Contact us know if you wish to know more >>