The Folk Music of Krk

The Croatian island of Krk has some of the oddest folk music in the world. I first heard it on a collection of field recordings made by Alan Lomax in the 50s and I thought it must be some kind of joke. The good people of Krk harmonise their jaunty tunes - played on a type of shawm or oboe - with abrasive parallel lines. Take a listen and you'll see what I mean. It's like a bunch of bemushroomed pixies getting the keys to the music cupboard.

Give it some time, however, and the strange becomes a little bit more familiar. I wouldn't go so far as to call it a pleasant listen, but then, hand on heart, who can say that of Serialism or Free Jazz? But the music does have a kind of otherworldly intensity that I find oddly beguiling. I might not want to listen to it every day but I'm very glad it exists. 


  1. Demon-chasing music. Give it 10 years and it'll be massive in the village halls of the South Hams...



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