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Duša Fujary Vás pozýva na fujarovú školu od 13-16.10. 2011

When Bob Rychlik got his first fujara as a gift from his friend Brano Blahovec while visiting Slovakia in the fall of 1999, he couldn’t have imagined that fujara would turn his musical world upside down. Before then he had played mainly stringed fretted instruments (guitar, banjo, mandolin, charango), but since that time, fujara has been at the very center of his musical life, his performances and compositions.

Bob brought the fujara with him back to Maryland, where he has lived with his family since 1984 (after a daring escape from former Czechoslovakia through Yugoslavia and Austria in 1983). Maybe the soft calming tone of the fujara activated or touched something in his soul, nobody knows, but he has been captivated by its voice ever since. Bob taught himself to play the fujara with the help of some recordings and notation, and soon he felt the need to share the beauty of this instrument with others. He started to perform on stage playing only fujara at first, and later also playing other Slovak wind instruments: the “koncovka” (overtone flute), and 6-hole “pistalka”. Between 2001 and 2007 he played fujara at 60 performances presenting to American people the folk poetry and music of Slovakia.

Beginning in 2001 Bob started a fruitful collaboration with the Washington dance ensemble CityDance by composing fujara melody for their solo dance Chinook, and playing live at every performance of the Chinook on many stages. These included such well-known venues as the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., and the Mussorgsky State Opera and Ballet in St. Petersburg, Russia. Bob was nominated for best original music score at 2002 Metro D.C. Awards and later appeared with his fujara in the short film “Chinook”, which premiered in avant-garde theatre in Washington D.C. in 2003.

In the following years Bob expanded his collection of fujaras and other Slovak flutes via repeated visits to friends in Slovakia, including fujarists Jozef Baran, Brano Blahovec and instrument maker and recording artist Dusan Holik. Bob’s performing range has extended from fujara to Slovak koncovka and 6-hole flute, and from Czech and Slovak events and festivals to large folk festivals around Washington D.C., Maryland, Virginia, as well as performances at the Slovak Embassy and in Chicago.

At the same time Bob has started a personal Internet campaign, in English as well as in his native Czech/Slovak languages. On the English site, Bob hopes to expand the interest in and use of fujara among new (“western”) owners of the instrument, encouraging them to treat the fujara as a full-fledged instrument for playing melodies, not only for musical effects as it is often used. On the Czech/Slovak site, Bob hopes to persuade Slovak fujara makers to make better-tuned fujaras, which in turn could be used for broader musical applications in the West.
 

Dusan Holik was the first fujara maker who fully embraced the idea of a well-tuned fujara -as close to the equally tempered scale as possible. In 2006 Bob invited Dusan to his home in Maryland, and after a series of concerts together, they thought the first fujara workshop on American soil. Fourteen participants from seven states and from Canada attended this two-day event in Mt. Airy, Maryland. The event was taped by a Czech TV crew and a Slovak Radio correspondent, and the video/audio were later broadcasted on Czech TV and Slovak radio. Bob’s other campaigns for better fujara making and playing included four appearances at the Czech radio Ostrava show Amulet, and recently also at Slovak radio Bratislava show “Nocna Pyramida”. In 2004 Bob recorded his first CD fujara sampler “Ideas with fujara”, where he explored his own musical ideas of fujara playing original melodies together with other instruments. Since 2004 Bob also moderated the fujara Yahoo group for Czechs and Slovaks “Fujara, fujarka, fujarocka”, of which many fujara makers are members. In 2005 he participated in the largest Slovak fujara festival in Korytarky, where he became the first foreign member of the exclusive fujara guild “Spolok Fujarasov” which granted Bob the title “Special Ambassador of Fujara for Overseas”.

What is in the making? Bob is currently working on his second CD and helping Dusan Holik with advertising more workshops in Slovakia. He has also planned the first fujara workshop in the Czech republic, which will be 9/13 – 9/14/2008 in Roznov pod Radhostem under the name “Setkani s fujarou”.

 

 

 

 

 

Bohuslav Rychlík, Maryland, USA, fujara@gmail.com, (Yahoo Group: fujara-fujarka-fujarôčka)

 

info@dusafujary.sk  ~  e-shop@dusafujary.sk

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