Fighting oblivion with gusle

Musical ear of a contemporary man, even that born in Montenegro, is not accustomed to the sharp, the dramatic sound of our national instrument. Perhaps because the times are not as dramatic as they used to be? Or even because of  a variety of instruments we have today that produce more melodic and pleasant sounds?

But for every Montenegrin, gusle remain to be a sacred instrument. It’s no coincidence that its sales price is so high: Gusle is not a wall decoration, or a souvenir, and it should never become that. Nonetheless, gusle kept our history from oblivion till the appearance of those who replaced the oral tradition with a written word.

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Bar – the city where the olive trees tell their stories…

“It’s been a long time, but I still remember it well…” an old olive tree begins its story,”when there was not so many people around me, not so many curious tourists, only a hardworking hand here and there, one of which gave me life…”

“I’ve been told  you are 2,240 years old. Is that right?”I ask.

“Well,ladies are not to be asked about their age, especially when they’re as old as I am. But let’s say it’s true. I think some Greek planted me, I would say so by the sound of his name. It was a long time ago. I remember a lot, but I have also forgotten a lot.”

“You said well, you remember all the ups and downs of this region, all the touching stories … Can you share some of them with me?”

“I would be glad to. I’m not in a hurry anyway.”

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