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Who the hell is Andraž and who does he think he is?
" Do you really want to read about when and where I was born? Is this the information you need to get to know me? I think that you can rely on google for such information.
I don't hide this information. I just find it dull. When I discussed the appropriate format for my biography with the masters of their craft they were unanimous, that this one, which I'm currently sharing with you, is completely inappropriate.
Nevertheless I believe, that the story of my life is not pieced together only by my past, but also with my ambitions and my way of reaching goals. Anyway, let's move to a little more interesting biography. The one that truly shows who I am" - Andraž
Today, on 18.10.2019 I am 31. I have a father, a brother, two grandmothers and a half grandfather whom I see as a grandfather. Other relatives exist as well.
The story of Andraž, who is currently writing this, has probably begun in 2008 with the making of that first song Piccolo (Small), for the unimagined album, which I pompously released a few years later at Ljubljana Nebotičnik. At that time, I was somebody who restlessly wanted to sing. My attempts to be accepted at AGRFT or the Academy of Music had foundered and I was admittedly sad. During the adventure at the gymnasium in Nova Gorica, where I was mainly a menace, I finally started to learn how to sing. The teacher, Vladimir Čadež was my idol. I was a devoted fan of the Slovenian Octet in which he sang. Just like to now deceased Marjan Trček, I was constantly telling him that I wanted to become an opera singer. According to them, I had enough talent to make it happen. To be honest, I probably rushed my Academy enrolment, and tried my luck without the key Slovenian quality – connections and acquaintances. At the time I was a rebel to the system and I was feeling affronted. I was thinking about what to do to stay connected to the music. I sat down, wrote and sang to myself. Nobody can take that away from me, I thought to myself.
I do not know the inspiration behind Piccolo, but it left a mark on my path. Born in Reteče of the Škofja Loka municipality, I started to record my first album. In Italian. The language I was prone to fail now and again in school.
During the making of the first album, I slowly got to know the process of making music and people connected to it. I gratefully remember all who took time for me and came to help me record the aspiring album. Today I happily follow their professional success. During this time I also met Gal Gjurin, who helped me understand copyrights, the purpose of SAZAS, IPF and releasing music. I started to hang out with people who make a living off music. The wish to become a professional musician burned within me throughout.
Previously mentioning the Slovenian Octet reminded me that we too, with a group of friends, formed an ensemble Trio Quartet. This was in 2006, I think. We performed Slovenian folk and written songs. This beautiful and mostly melancholic treasure of my nation I sang with all my heart. I later came to the realization that this was not a priority of the quartet anymore, so I decided to leave and try my best with the song Piccolo. We parted without grudges and I still helped as a substitute. I just did not want to be a part of that project anymore.
Now we can go back to the insecure Andraž and his Piccolo. The departure from the quartet was only a pre-labour contraction. The melody from my beloved Clavinova led me to the emotional rebirth. Canegatto was born and I was not afraid to raise him.
Desire, honesty and boldness I would say now, writing this. These were the caretakers of this story. I was a young father of the idea, who wanted to do anything to become a star in the world of music. “F..ck”. I got to know the world I was so desperately trying to become a part of, but this is a long story. I thought my album was flawless, my team epic and that we prepared its presentation on the highest possible level, if we take in consideration countless levels of Ljubljana Nebotičnik skyscraper. The audience was countless, but the journalist was only one, despite the fact that I invited a bunch. Let it be, I said to myself. After all, I was new and unestablished to the scene. Then the second album happened. The same story. Even higher level of quality. Even higher altitude – Ljubljana Castle! The stage full of divine musicians and theatre performers. Backstage there was a banquet and so much wine to get drunk and fat even from looking at it! Abundance of people, fresh album, different and acceptable performance (it can always be better), but the journalist … one. The same one! I am grateful for his presence. Enough grumbling. There is more to me.
When I was promoting the albums, I experienced media for the first time. This world was completely unknown to me, and there was goddamn nobody to ease me into it. For years, I was being counterproductive because of my lack of knowledge. I still am. Sometimes unintentionally and some unfortunately I have to be. I respect this world and people working in it. It is cruel and I do not hold grudges against anyone. Many people do not understand that. The idea of this world alone is wrong, as far as my understanding is concerned. This is why I persist with my story and until further notice remain in the background. These situations are awkward, when I, out of necessity find myself in this world. Such was the case with the Slovenian Pop Song Festival 2018. I attended this festival along with MMS2019 (Melodies of the Sea and Sun 2019) solely because I gave a promise to that journalist. I realize that there are some, who wish I did not leave my mark there. Especially that failed conductor, who called me about my wishes for the performance. That was something. I told him that I would adapt to everything, because my name had still been fairly unknown, but I still wanted to be a productive part of the festival. My only wish was for him to raise the tempo of the song, because their studio version was too slow. I was not invited to the recording either, despite the fact that I am the author of the song. Nor was Lenart Krečič, who is the author of the arrangement. Anyway, during the rehearsal he sped up the song so much I would not be able to rap to it, let alone sing. “I’ll manage,” I thought to myself. If this means to be professional, I do not want to be a part of that. One would think that things could not get worse but then, during the live performance, the conductor makes a mistake during the countdown. Here I conclude his contribution to my music story.
That's how it is, you know. If you are in the highest places in the worst period for the music, you have to act wisely, not just peacocking around. I am happy that this gentleman is the exception in my experiences with RTV Slovenia. I currently have an honest relationship with everyone and I wish to keep this respect. After all, it is a national media house.
Taking into account the fact that I started to write my music story during the really shitty period for music, (lasting for a good decade already, and I exclude musicians and critics) there is nothing wrong with establishing myself later. I do not recall the exact year of the recession, but during that time the radio stations started abusing people with prize games and dealt ridiculous amounts of money for guessing stupid sounds, instead of dedicating their airtime to good music. Witnessing the musical breadth being slaughtered like that left a horrific mark on my identity. During the crisis, the people obviously listened to these radios every second of their day and were prepared to hear the same idiotic melody or, rather, a rhythm, fifteen times a day for a chance of winning 1000 euros. The complete degradation of music had begun. People waited for the music to stop so they could participate in some fucking jackpot. On the radio people, RADIO! The home address of MUSIC!!!
And so it happened. Financially depressed people listened to the radio to hear all but music. This corporation grew and gained in influence. World-class musicians became beggars who fight for ratings. What a downfall. How CRUEL! The music, which is a decoration to a wonderful soul and a thinking mind, was murdered in front of the public, in the spotlight. And there I was, a little nobody who thought about making a career in music. With practically no music awards, festivals that were being produced between people who resent each other but nevertheless became “kings of their county”. And music, music was at an all-time low. My head hurts just seeing how much space I dedicated to this topic. Even more because I realize that I haven’t written practically nothing about it yet. However, this is a huge part of me. I tried to make a name for myself. I was successful in finding sponsors (for what I’m thankful and I hope they are proud of me), which was an illusion in itself during that time. It was easier to get support if you ran faster than others did. This can be measured. With running, you can brag with numbers. But I was a little singer, who wanted to put music back to the pedestal of art, and art back to the pedestal of quality entertainment. I was frustrated and hurt. Just imagine!
Can you imagine that we were writing songs with brothers in music during the time when the country was thinking about abolishing the ministry of culture?!?? I am not joking, seriously! This was a serious thing and it smelled of war and hurt. The part seriously attached to music was awoken in me. The part that internalized it deeply as one of the integral pillars of my future. I observed how through the years we became less and less capable of listening. How our attention was slipping away. I was observing people in the morning, while sipping on a cup of coffee at a gas station. In the background, there were the same rhythms and the same speakers, day after day, pumped up at 5:30AM like they were high on vodka-Red Bulls at a frat house party. Let me wake up naturally man! This is all a part of me. I observe how we change, how women perceive beauty, how they sell it to them. I observe how men are losing manliness and disguise fragility as bravery.
Music is a universal language and it is not rocket science to notice, that it has influence on people. If affects physical and psychological state. This extreme state of music isolated people to the point that they are seeking comfort in a different extreme – silence. Together with the basic pace of life, constant blabber from the radios forced people to start seeking peace and quiet. Nobody thought that they needed a bit of Chopin and Mozart from time to time. Society has become musically degraded and illiterate. The market for meditation and bio-energies is blooming. I was so hurt by that. I meditate, no harm done. I meditate in silence and with music. This one time I showed somebody the essence of peace (Zamolčane oči), which I recorded together with Matija and Ilja for my second album. After exactly 38 seconds, they pulled out the headphones and told me that the song was depressing. I thought to myself how far we have come in this robotized society. Goddamn. Firstly, when you are listening to music put both of your headphones in. You don’t glance at a beautiful woman with only one eye either, do you? I hope you don’t love with half of your heart as well.
Anyway, I went far in this frustration, which shaped my identity. However, I do not want to go too far. I started to realize the true meaning of vibrations derived from music and as a born writing animal, I brought them to life in written form as well. Today, I understand that the word itself is true magic. The only thing put in mouths and hands. At this point, somehow, Canegatto is born. In the form of A Peculiar Gentleman. This album is a mixture of sound and word. I am careful to what and how I put something in a song. You cannot be reckless with that. Please, inform your friends in this regard if they share my passion. You see, today’s music is just like a wh..re, who is being passed around by rich lobbies in the background, and this is not good. Let them haggle all over the place, but somebody has to take care for its natural beauty and her initial purpose – to decorate the mind and share the ability of understanding. We already know how the world can be, if a certain rhythm or frequency is amplified. It is time to explore forward. Whoever wants to gamble with a current way of doing things, go right ahead. Do not stop anyone. Invite forward. And we can see how are the women nowadays, how are the men, and how is the society. And is music important for achieving this? ABSOLUTELY! What does art, or rather its suppression have to do with it? Everything.
The theatre is nowadays becoming a harbouring place of true emotions. People who studied them still feel them and are capable of giving them back to the spectator. This is why, ladies and gentleman, put theatre on your weekly menu, besides the circus. I beg of you. I started early and am now forever grateful to my father. In my children’s performance Palčki (Dwarves), I played for the first time. I played a nowadays very meaningful role of a jester. When I think back, I realize that am still playing it. There was many of such performances on that village stage (which maintained an enviable level of quality, to be honest). If my path leads me, I will happily return to that stage. The theatre people! Let’s go out and play!
Besides the classical theatre, which I met through my father, Marjan Štrancar, Jože Dolmark and other fathers in art, I found my way to improvisational theatre with the help of Tomaž Lapajne. With the play Odfuk (Clusterfuck), which we had to, due to the false high school morale, retitle it to “3 na 33” (3 to the power of 33), me and my classmates Jaka Šuligoj and Viki Tomašič paved our way towards this always juicy theatrical art. I am still active in this role together with Tomaž and Iglu Theatre. This contributed greatly to my thinking and understanding of collaboration. Yes. This biography is about who I am. And I am this person as well.
After the release of the second album, my engines simply stopped. I was again met with death. I have had already lost my dear friend Andrej Fojkar from the Trio Quartet, whom I dedicated my song Razglašena Pesem (The Dissonant Song) on my first album. Later I also had to bid farewell to Marjan Bevk, whom I take as my directing teacher. After “Gospod Posebne vrste” (A Peculiar Gentleman) life hit me hard. I had to say goodbye to the person closest to my heart. My mother. I will not elaborate on this, since the pain is still too great. I can say that I still haven’t written a song to dedicate it to her. There are things that lose sense if you limit them with words. Music is my filter in this respect. So yes. I am even this person. A person who carries loss.
Even before that, some of my brothers in music left me. There was only talk but no actions. And I was in charge for the talk anyway. I was becoming more and more alone with my desire to make music worth something among the people. These were really difficult times for me. I am happy for improv, I am happy that I have acted in plays and worked at a gas station (which I will not promote, since I received no support from them. Who cares.). I took my time and started to understand life in different ways.
During this time I realized, that I am proud of my relationship with music and literature. I am happy that I was able to meet such great musicians and artists. I would gladly go on an artistic adventure with every single one of them. But with some, with some I still remain a brother.
Today I am a person who is learning about tidiness, attitude towards money and decisiveness. Disorder in my room I understand as a disorder in my head. I treat promises as potential insults. And I started the G-art story. Decisively and with optimism. My verses are currently on vacation and wait until I put the wheels in motion with the people, who will be prepared to work and consequently enjoy in making music with me. I will be demanding and sharp to everyone who will join me. It is clear as day that I will be to myself. This is because I believe that there is a lack of connection between people nowadays. Lack of persistence. I even took some “millennials” under my wing, whom most of the organizers try to keep as far away from them as possible. I believe that we will find common ground. They are the future and I believe in them. But we all will respect the rules.
Do you remember that at the beginning I wrote that all I wanted to do was sing? I was never in my life invited to any music group. All that is left for me is to build alone, from the start.
This is me today. Andraž under the pseudonym Canegatto. An art addict by heart, who expresses himself with the company G-art, Andraž Gartner s.p.. A man who offers evergreen music, improvisational show, Slovenian folk and evergreen music and my verses, my thoughts. From the beginning, I can say that I strive for perfection. From the thought, thinking, idea, concept, to the verse, stanza, song, album, singer, group, outfit, avenue, purpose, to … you.
This is me. A man of numerous faces but only one soul. I cannot fit my whole self in one description. You will find me in all of them together. All already written, all who are just waiting to be written. Welcome, I’m glad we’ve met. And yes, I was born on 3.10.1988 in Kranj. I come from Reteče near Škofja Loka and I’m a proud Slovene!
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