Thursday, February 21, 2013

Music Thursday - Living A Dream - Zvonka Obajdin

I've known Zvonka for about as long as she is publicly a musician or maybe a wee bit longer. I know her as a wife, mother, banker, divorcee, girlfriend, mathematician, child, best friend and aspiring "singer-songwritter in constant search of people to cooperate with, both on my songs or somebody else's." She plays guitar and piano and she does it mostly performing her own materials. Beside solo work she has a band called SVEMIR (Universe).

I wrote about her before - when we were both re&considering our dreams and their place in the world - and I am constantly drawn to her work even though I incessantly tell her: "This is not my cup of tea."

Actually, it is exactly the cup of tea I'm intimately familiar with. But let's not tell her that.

Rather, let's have her present herself to us on this fine Thursday.

DF: You’re actively pursuing your music interest in the last few years – when you’re all grown up and real adult – and you’re doing it writing your own music and lyrics with no small success. How did this priority switch come about?

Zvonka:  Well, although a bit late, I finally grew up and decided to live my life instead of somebody else’s. I do not know how to put it better but... that it took a long, long time for me to accept to be – me.
It was very odd and pretty scary to be 35 and tell somebody all of the sudden – anybody, even to myself – “I am a musician”, and not to have anything behind that notion except maybe 2-3 recent song drafts and rudimentary knowledge of playing the guitar. Not to have almost anything behind me except that and a feeling that this is what I really would like to do all my life, whatever may happen. Also it was scary listening to people say that I’m “throwing away everything I have worked so hard to create” –career, companions, life habits - but of course, nothing was thrown away that wasn’t already redundant. It is hard to remember that feeling or to describe it well because in this 5-6 years my life changed so much, in so many ways, that remembering it feels like a "past lives" séance [laughs].
I’d like to say one more thing about that. I could not have done it, release the album and have so many successful performances and great band [!!] and everything if supportive people were not by my side at that time. Friendship and support are things that count and I am grateful to everyone who gave me their support.

DF: You learned to play the piano as a child and you never played it until now. What was it like - hiding music inside you for such a long time?
Zvonka:  It was like keeping your head below the surface until you run out of air.
It was all documented in a blog I wrote for years (about 4, most intensely from 2006. to 2010.) and I removed it from the web and archived it for personal use [smiles], and maybe, with one future release some of those scriptures will re-surface [winks]. 
DF: As much as I know you I know you are vastly tolerant person but also Obersturmführer in work process itself - how is it working with musicians as opposed to working with bankers and businessmen? Is this yin to your yang, does it create versatility in your day, or does it frustrate you a bit sometimes?

Zvonka: Working with musicians is EXCELLENT! People who really love music are hard-working, diligent people. I do not know many people who present as archetypal  decadent R’n’R stars. Most of people I work with are very committed to music; they work, practice, get on time to rehearsals, try hard, are enthusiastic, passionate, good-willed… that’s what it looks like when you love it, right? [smiles] Man, you should see us rehearsing – some times we work for 4 hours with no pause and it catches us unprepared that we have to leave so other band can use the rehearsing space – we could play and work more. [smiles]
I did work with some people that, although talented, were also uninterested in real work or absent in some way… but that people usually gave up on themselves before I could even give them up. As a rule, people propelled by passion do everything and make time for everything, even if they are not naturally organized or systematic.
I’m a big believer in synergy and stuff like that, I love playing with lot of people, I love exchanging ideas and mixing energies, I love when we have guests on stage and above all else I love and appreciate what I get from other people, what they give me through their playing with me or when they participate in some way.
I have to say that in current band lineup you just cannot tell who’s the most diligent one – everyone is willing to participate to the fullest and they do not mind hard work. Similar climate exists during co-operations with different bands.

If I would have to compare it with my day job (IT & banking), I could say that music people are even more trustworthy and more industrious – because their work is one of love, what you cannot always say for this other segment. Some are just “working it off” and that’s the part that frustrates me the most.

DF: Album SVEMIR was released in 2012. and is still highly praised, but – after the love audience showered you with during every performance of “Ne sjećam se kiše” how did it happen that it wasn’t on the album?
Zvonka: Well, there were some conceptual and technical issues at the time but both album and Ne Sjećam Se Kiše single are available for download form our bandcamp page.

DF: You have played A LOT lately – both you and The Band – and you’re getting more and more relaxed and finely tuned as a team. There's already bunch of videos uploaded to Youtube. What are your plans for 2013.?

Zvonka: In the nearest future there will be SVEMIR at Brazil on 08Mar2013 and at 30Mar2013 at Spunk/Prostor Do but we intend to apply to every-each-one million festivals in the region during spring and summer and we’re also going to play in clubs both in Zagreb and around and we’ve already started negotiating that [smiles]. Great thing about this band is that we can play in many different spaces and in different acoustic and electric setups. We – four of us - can fill up any classical band stage, but on the other hand we can use a bit of electricity and have electric guitar and bass plugged in and I can play acoustic guitar and Matko can just use shakers, tambourine or bongos – and we can play our whole repertoire like that. We can also play in smaller number, if someone is sick or something, just three or two of us and I can play solo, just like real old-school singer-songwriter [smiles]. That’s what I call Band!

And that's what I call beautifully fulfilled person on the fast track to become extremely accomplished musician - so, hear her sing some more, come to their concerts, notice and adore!

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