Project that explores musical roots of Maika Makovski, CarMenKa, wins second Teresa Rebull award

The multi-faceted singer songwriter presents a music project that explores her Macedonian, Majorcan and Andalusian origins.

The multi-faceted singer songwriter presents a music project that explores her Macedonian, Majorcan and Andalusian origins.

The work will make its début performance at the forthcoming Fira Mediterrània and will make a pre-début at Connexions Festival, organised by one of the project's sponsors.

CarMenKa, a project by the Majorcan singer songwriter Maika Makovski, is the winner of the second Teresa Rebull Award for the best music production inspired by traditional folk culture. The Generalitat (Regional Government) of Catalonia, in collaboration with l’Espai Marfà, Girona City Council and the Gironès Casa de la Música Foundation, spearheads the award. Makovski won the award with a work that explores her Macedonian, Andalusian and Majorcan origins through music, transformed into a unique, intense and festive onstage fusion. The award consists of five thousand euros worth of funding from the Generalitat's Culture Department and a creative residency at the Gironès Casa de la Música Foundation by l'Espai Marfà. The show arising from this award, also financed by the Connexions Festival, will make its première at the twentieth Fira Mediterrània Manresa that will take place from 5 to 8 October.

Influence of Grandmothers Menka and Carmen

In 2014, Maika Makovski went on a trip to Macedonia, her father's homeland, which had a great emotional and cultural impact on her and which subsequently prompted a deep-rooted interest in Macedonian and Balkanise music culture in general; CarMenKa is born of this artistic fusion. Maika Makovski buscant arrels is the result of the artist coming face to face with a recently discovered Balkanise soundscape and its fusion with the traditional music of her childhood; it is also influenced by her mother's Andalusian roots and her musical memories from the Balearic Islands, where she lived until becoming an adult. CarMenKa seeks to unite both of her grandmothers' songs - Grandma Carmen from Herrera in Seville and Grandma Menka from Bukovo in Macedonia. She does this through folk songs from these different cultures, by reinterpreting traditional songs from these territories and by composing new songs that fuse the different cultures.

To give this musical fusion a focus and take it in the right direction, Maika Makovski asked Aleix Puig — coordinator of the four-person band Brossa — to put together a versatile ensemble. She envisioned a band that would do justice to the Macedonian, Majorcan and Andalusian folk styles that would be able to rise to the punk inspired energy that best characterises the singer songwriter, guitarist and pianist and her musical approach. The band is comprised of experienced national musicians and experts specially chosen for the occasion from the world of Macedonian and Andalusian folk music. The musicians who will accompany Makovski and Puig on-stage include Jovan Milosevski (Flamenco guitar, tambura and vocals), Vangel Makovski (accordion, wind instruments and kaval), Stevce Stojkovski (zurla gajda and kaval) and Jose López (double bass).


The panel of judges for the award consists of five prestigious figures: Quim Manyós, manager of the Fonoteca of Traditional Catalan Music from the Directorate-General of Traditional Culture, Associations and Cultural Initiatives; Jordi Planagumà, network coordinator of Cases de la Música; Aniol Casadevall, coordinator of l’Espai Marfà; the musician Manu Sabaté; and David Ibáñez, artistic director of Fira Mediterrània. During the selection process, the judges positively evaluated CarMenKa's discourse and artistic quality, the connection of various Mediterranean folk cultures and the project's potential reach. It was selected from a total number of twenty-seven proposals.

Creation of the Award

Last year, the Generalitat's Culture Department and Fira Mediterrània rolled out a new initiative — the creation of the Teresa Rebull Award — to support music projects inspired by traditional folk culture at grass-roots level. The award contributes to the funding of the production process, with the arrangements, management, staging and more. The funding for the award culminates in a live performance of the music project.

Supporting artists' creativity, the award pays tribute to the influential career of Teresa Rebull who was a singer, painter and relentless activist of Catalan culture, feminism and Anti-Francoism. She died in April 2015. Throughout her 95 years, Rebull played a prominent role in a countless number of political and cultural initiatives.

Càntut, winner of the award in its first year

Carles Belda and Carles Sanjosé (lead singer of Sanjosex) were the forerunners of last year's award winning project. Entitled Belda & Sanjosex presenten Càntut, the project offers a contemporary vision of songs that were sung by our grandparents' generation, also the inspiration for the new festival Càntut in Cassà de la Selva. Signed to the label Bankrobber, the project won the Enderrock Award 2017 for the best folk album, and it has been performed at many concerts, not only in Catalonia, but also throughout other Catalan-speaking areas.

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