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We prefer not to talk about ourselves. We prefer not to talk about our projects. We hate to brag, although we enjoy the praise. Above all, we prefer playing to talking. Let the master wordsmiths do the talking.
The band Veronica found early fame in its home country in 1993 with their multimedia project Veronica, filmed and later aired by Televizija Slovenija (Slovenian national TV), Kanal A, and the Studio City team at TV Slovenija. At the time, the group included Boštjan Leben on guitar, Matej Oset on keyboards, Mario Barišič on bass guitar, and Franc Podgoršek on drums. With the same lineup, Veronica contributed the music for video text of Televizija Slovenija in 1994. The music was aired on the first and second channel of TV Slovenija until 1997.
In the meantime, Veronica released their début album called “Perspective” with the Helidon label. Seldom does one find in Slovenia a project with virtually no commercial potential, yet with group members willing to invest as much as members of Veronica found worth doing, aided by the company Vecronia.
In the same year, they held a multimedia record presentation at the Ljubljana Festival Hall, and included modernist poetry, expressionist dance, and laser and special light effects in their live performance.
A year later, Veronica was nominated for the Zlati Petelin (“Golden Rooster”) award in the category of the best instrumental music, film scores, and (other) incidental music. In December 1996, the group staged a musical and drama project Veronika & Friderik; then, Oset and Podgoršek headed for the studio. The music on the Natura Naturans record is based on keyboards and percussion. Other instruments added to compositions complete Podgoršek’s minimalist approach to percussion and Oset’s increasingly classical piano playing in a manner closest to rock. Veronica would not be what it is if it did not take on this project with complete disregard for its commercial effects. The Natura Naturans project is costly at first sight. The CD cover is made of two types of select veneers: maple on the front and walnut on the back. Inaugural live performance took place on July 9 at Jazz Lent.
Authors of music on Veronica’s second album are its founding members Matej Oset and Franc Podgoršek. Also featured are guest performances by seasoned and stylistically diverse musicians: Igor Bezget (guitar), Aleš Uratnik (guitar), Cveto Polak (bass guitar), and Aleš Ulaga (bass guitar). Natura Naturans delivers instrumental lounge, or mood, music; yet this is the only common feature with the previous project. In the words of Oset and Podgoršek, the music is based on the idea of symbiosis between nature and music, offering a sonic experience that bridges the gap between urban and natural environment, between the ephemeral and eternal, between the laws of an instant and the timeless rhythms of nature. Thus the choice of wood, the symbol of persistent growth with attributes of beauty, nobility, and longevity.

Brane Piano

 

Neradi govorimo o sebi. Neradi govorimo o svojih projektih. Neradi se hvalimo, čeprav hvala godi. Sploh, pa raje igramo, kot govorimo. Naj raje spregovorijo mojstri pisane besede …
Skupina Veronica je leta 1993 pri nas zaslovela z multimedijskim projektom Veronica, ki so ga posneli in kasneje tudi predvajali Televizija Slovenija, Kanal A in ekipa Studia City na TV SLO. Skupino so takrat sestavljali Boštjan Leben – kitara, Matej Oset – klaviature, Mario Barišič – bas kitara in Franc Podgoršek – bobni. V isti zasedbi je nato Veronica leta 1994 s svojo glasbo opremila teletekst in videostrani Televizije Slovenija. Glasba se je na prvem in drugem programu TV SLO predvajala vse do leta 1997.
Vmes je Veronica leta 1995 pri založbi Helidon izdala prvenec Perspective. Malokdaj je pri nas mogoče naleteti na takorekoč “no commercial potential” projekt, v katerega so člani pripravljeni vložiti toliko, kolikor se je to s pomočjo podjetja Vecronia zdelo vredno storiti članom Veronice.
Istega leta so v ljubljanski festivalni dvorani pripravili multimedijsko promocijo plošče in med igranjem v živo vključili modernistično poezijo, izrazni ples, laserske in posebne svetlobne efekte.
Leto za tem je bila Veronica nominirana za najboljšega izvajalca instrumentalne, filmske in scenske glasbe za nagrado Zlati petelin. Decembra 1996 je v Celju pripravila glasbeno dramski projekt Veronika & Friderik, nato pa sta se Oset in Podgoršek odpravila v studio. Glasba na zgoščenki Natura Naturans je zasnovana na klaviaturah in tolkalih, v skladbah dodani drugi inštrumenti pa v skoraj rokovski maniri dopolnjujejo Podgorškovo že skoraj minimalistično igranje tolkal in Osetov vse bolj klasičen pristop klavirju. Veronica ne bi bila, kar je, če se projekta znova ne bi lotila brez pomisli na zaslužek. Zgoščenka z naslovom Natura Naturans je drag projekt že na pogled. Ovitek zgoščenke je izdelan iz dveh vrst izbranih furnirjev in sicer na prednji strani javor in na zadnji oreh. Glasbo z nje je Veronica prvič v živo predstavila 9. julija na Jazz Lentu.
Avtorja glasbe na drugi zgoščenki Veronice sta ustanovna člana Matej Oset in Franc Podgoršek, k sodelovanju pa sta povabila izkušene in stilsko raznolike glasbenike, Igorja Bezgeta (kitara), Aleša Uratnika (kitara), Cveta Polaka (bas kitara) in Aleša Ulago (bas kitara). Natura Naturans prinaša raspoloženjsko instrumentalno glasbo, vendar je to edina stična točka s prejšnjim projektom. Kot pravita Oset in Podgoršek, temelji glasba na ideji o sožitju narave in glasbe ter ponuja zvočno izkušnjo, ki premošča razkol med urbanim in naravnim okoljem, med mimobežnim in večnim, med zakonitostmi hitrega trenutka in izvenčasnimi ritmi narave. Zato les, zato o lesu, simbolu vztranje rasti z atributi lepote, plemenitosti in dolgovečnosti.

Brane Piano

 

Aquasphera – intertwining perceptions and senses

Multimedia project ambitiously combines the soundscape of the band Veronica, featuring a guest performance by Lado Jakša, with dance expression of the Igen Dance Theatre. A project challenging both technically and in terms of execution treated the invited audience to a cultural experience, as well as to a new quality of sound and image.
The performance was intended for the invited guests who were introduced to the Aquasphera, a water world of infinite possibilities of which only the select ones become our reality. The audience were not merely bystanders; rather, they were the recipients of comprehensive emotional sensations. Through a moment in real time, they entered a single day and eternity at the same time; evanescence and timelessness. Water, too, has memory and tendency to change. It is blighted by human action and thus we are destroying the only world capable of sustaining us. Are we making the right decisions? How can we change them? What will tomorrow be like?
Fans of instrumental experimental music are familiar with the band Veronica founded over 10 years ago. Their key qualities – non-conventional music with targeted meaning – grant them a special place in the Slovenian music scene.
Artist Lado Jakša, photographer and musician who hardly needs an introduction, added a unique visual and musical expression to the Aquasphera project with his comprehensive, all-around impression of the world and nature.
Celje Dance Studio, of which the Igen Dance Theatre is a part, combines educational work, artistic creation, and performance. They have been devoted to modern expressionist dance for 25 years. They have performed across the globe and their excellent shows have won numerous awards at home and abroad.
Technical performance that recreated and represented the force of nature was the work of the project team Triangel consisting of experienced specialists: MK Light Sound with special light and sound effects; Vecronia with stage design; and Allcomb with digital technology and video production.

Urban Centa

Aquasphera – prepletanje zaznav in čutov

Večmedijski projekt ambiciozno združuje glasbeno pokrajino skupine Veronica in glasbenega gosta Lade Jakša s plesnim izrazom Plesnega teatra Igen. Tehnično in izvedbeno zahteven projekt je poleg kulturne izkušnje povabljencem ponudil tudi novo kvaliteto zvoka in slike.
Ogled je bil namenjen povabljenim, ki so imeli možnost spoznati Aquasphero, vodni svet tisočerih neskončnih možnosti, v katerem samo tiste izbrane postanejo naša resničnost. Opazovalci projekta so se prelevili v sprejemnike celostnih čustvenih zaznav. Skozi trenutek v realnem času so vstopili v en sam dan in večnost hkrati, v minljivost in brezčasje. Tudi voda se spominja in spreminja, s svojimi človeškimi posegi jo kazimo in s tem uničujemo edini svet, ki nas je sposoben živeti. So naše odločitve prave? Kako jih lahko spremenimo? Kakšen bo jutrišnji dan?
Ljubitelji instrumentalno eksperimentalne glasbe skupino Veronica dobro poznajo, saj deluje že več kot 10 let. Njeni glavni odliki, nekonvencionalna glasba in usmerjena pomenskost glasbe, jo uvrščata med posebneže v slovenskem glasbenem prostoru.
Umetnik Lado Jakša, fotograf in glasbenik, ki ga verjetno ni potrebno posebej predstavljati, je s svojim vsestranskim dojemanjem sveta in narave projektu Aquasphera dodal svojstveni slikovni in glasbeni izraz.
Studio za ples Celje, v sklopu katerega deluje Plesni teater Igen, povezuje vzgojno in pedagoško delo, umetniško kreacijo in njeno izvedbo. S sodobnim izraznim plesom se ukvarjajo že 25 let. Gostujejo po celem svetu, s svojii izvrstnimi predstavami pa so deležni mnogih domačih in mednarodnih nagrad.
Tehnično izvedbo, ki je poustvarila silo narave, je izvedla projektna skupina Triangel, ki jo sestavljajo izkušeni specialsti: MK Light Sound s posebnimi svetlobnimi in zvočnimi efekti, Vecronia na področju scenografije ter Allcomb z digitalno tehnologijo in videoprodukcijo.

Urban Centa

 

Natura Naturans (review Dr. Music)

Finally an album by a Slovenian group with a world-class sound! This is not to say that the quartet Veronica from Celje sounds like hundreds of thousands of other Anglophone, German, and Romance products of the musical industry, but rather that the quality of the music on Veronica’s new record is equivalent to the musical image of the bands of some standing in global popular music. It is equivalent also because it is entirely unique and difficult to categorize. Perhaps the best and sufficiently loose label would be “experimental musical group”. Nothing is set in stone, anything is possible. Perhaps this is one of the guiding principles in the creation of music that could almost be called sophisticated and perfected; yet this would define borders, and that would be far from the truth. I can thus only mention the excellent instrumentation in this surprisingly multi-layered music in which percussion and keyboards seem to stand out. Every rhythmical pulse is in its right place – yet these places keep changing, eluding any pattern. The keyboards add a sense of freedom as they keep venturing from the lyrical world to a world of indeterminate keys and harmony (as well as other worlds), only to return again. The bass and guitar, also featured, are fused with percussion and keyboards to form an immensely rich musical world with no place for any redundant sound. Understandably – this is instrumental music that everyone has already heard, but in a somewhat different way: Veronica was behind the music heard between 1994 and 1997 as background to video text (which, incidentally, drew more attention than the messages on the screen). Slightly adapted, that music was released on Veronica’s début. The current album is the second record, with support in terms of contents, but with diverse music broken down differently. Nine instruments take us on nine journeys to times and spaces of the listener’s choice. Basic orientation is provided by the titles: Quercus, Tilia, Prunus, Pinus … Names that may seem odd at first, yet they are not. They are the Latin names for genera of trees: oak, lime (linden), plum, and pine. The title of the record also suggests the link to nature, meaning “nature naturing” – or “nature doing what nature does”. Then there are the cover and the graphic design of the CD. The front cover is made of maple veneer; the back cover of walnut. Judging the CD only by the cover, one would expect something different and exceptional. Like the possibility to feel the difference between the ephemeral and the eternal, between the weight of a brief moment and ease of timelessness.

Dario Cortese

Natura Naturans (recenzija dr.Music)

Končno CD plošča slovenske glasbene skupine s svetovnim zvokom! Kar ne pomeni, da se kvartet Veronica iz Celja sliši kot stotisoč drugih angloameriških, germanskih in romanskih proizvodov glasbene industrije, ampak le to, da je glasba na novi plošči Veronice kakovostno enakovredna glasbeni podobi skupin, ki kaj veljajo v svetovni popularni glasbi. Enakovredna tudi zato, ker je povsem samosvoja in jo je težko uvrstiti v katerikoli predalček. Še najboljša oznaka, ki pušča veliko manevrskega prostora je “eksperimentalna glasbena skupina.“ Nič ni določeno, vse je možno. Morda je to eno izmed vodil pri nastajanju glasbe, ki se bi ji skoraj lahko reklo dovršena, ampak s tem bi bile zakoličene meje, kar pa je daleč od resnice. Tako si lahko pomagam le tako, da omenim odlično instrumentalizacijo te presenetljivo večplastne glasbe, v kateri izstopajo predvsem tolkala in klaviature. Vsak ritmični utrip je na svojem mestu, vendar se ta mesta kar naprej spreminjajo… Ni jih mogoče uloviti v nek vzorec. Klaviature pripomorejo k občutku prostosti, saj se kar naprej selijo iz liričnega sveta melodij v svet nedoločenih tonalitet (in še v kakega drugega). Tu sta še bas in kitara, ki se s tolkali in klaviaturami zlijeta v izredno bogat glasbeni svet, v katerem ni prostora za kakršenkoli odvečen zvok. Seveda – to je inštrumentalna glasba, ki jo je vsakdo že slišal, vendar na nekoliko drugačen način: Veronica je stala za glasbo, ki smo med leti 1994 in 1997 slišali kot podlago teleteksta (in ki je večinoma pritegnila bolj, kot pisana sporočila na ekranu). Ta glasba je v nekoliko spremenjeni podobi izšla na prvencu Veronice, pričujoči CD pa je druga plošča z vsebinsko podporo, vendar drugače razdelano in raznoliko glasbo. Devet inštrumentalov pomeni devet potovanj v čase in prostore po izbiri. Osnovno orientacijo dajejo naslovi: Quercus, Tilia, Prunus, Pinus, … Čudna imena, ampak ne: skladbe so naslovljene z latinskimi rodovnimi imeni dreves in zgornja imena se “v prevodu“ glasijo hrast, lipa, sliva in bor. Tudi naslov plošče kaže na povezavo z naravo in pomeni “ustvarjajoča narava“. In potem je tu še ovitek, oz. likovna oprema CD plošče. Prva stran je iz javorjevega furnirja, zadnja iz orehovega. Kdor bi CD sodil samo po tem, bi lahko pričakoval nekaj drugačnega in izjemnega. Denimo možnost občutenja razlike med mimobežnim in večnim, med težo hitrega trenutka in lahkotnostjo izvenčasja.

Dario Cortese