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Slavic Grooves & Meditations

Originally written as duos, has been revised for both quintet and trio.

Slavic Grooves & Meditations for Quintet
Carla Thackrah, flute;
Robert Harris, viola;
Romano Crivici, piano;
Elsen Price, bass;
Jess Ciampa, percussion

Slavic Grooves Quintet LIVE at Phoenix Central Park, Sydney, 2020.

These three movements are from a set of works titled Slavic Grooves and Meditations. They were written during the time my Serbian/Hungarian/Ukrainian mother began her long and gradual unravelling of self through dementia, with some of them being based on various Balkan songs she sang to me.  Towards the end, the only way we communicated was by holding hands and singing them together, even when she no longer recognised me. We shared a lot in those days; not surprisingly I had not much choice but to ponder on the meaning of it all.


Suspended attempts to capture something of the limbo world she inhabited at the end. Lutko Moja (a children's song she used to sing) translates to 'doll of mine'; Ide Vreme is 'goes the time'.


How fortunate I am to have had the opportunity to work with the wonderful musicians here, (Carla Thackrah; flute, Robert Harris; viola, Elsen Price; bass, Jess Ciampa; perc and vibes) as they performed not only my written scores, but, through their creative improvisations, added their own soul to these meditations.


 And thanks be to Judith Neilsen herself, who made this completion possible via her profoundly generous support of culture, soul, and the human heart.                                                                                               Romano Crivici, 1st Oct, 2020

Slavic Grooves Quintet Live at 505, Sydney 2015

Carla Thackrah, flute;
Robert Harris, viola;
Romano Crivici, piano;
Alex Henery, bass;
Jess Ciampa, percussion
Excerpts from all movements
Huppa Huppa

Review:   "Often the most interesting artists are able to reinvent themselves, Picasso being the ultimate example. Having carved a career as a composer and violinist leading the Elektra String Quartet, Romano Crivici has now returned to his first instrument, piano, and formed a new ensemble playing compositions that draw on his Slavic heritage to varying degrees..."


John Shand, Sydney Morning Herald 2015

1. Again & Again   10:30

2. Huppa Huppa   19:00

3. Lutke Moja (Doll of Mine)  12:10 

4. Ide Vreme (Goes the Time)   15:30

5. Suspended   12:15

6. Oh Yavore  10:10

Ranging from high energy, ‘up-your-beat’ rhythms, to spacious lyrical melodicism, Slavic Grooves and Meditations is a large-scale set of works three years in the making.


This offering explores and expresses something of the life affirming struggle of composer Romano Crivici’s coming to terms with his Balkan roots and musical influences.


A mix of Slavic rhythms, jazz, improvisation and contemporary art music, this is music to fire up and melt your multi-cultural soul. 

Originally composed for flute (Carla Thackrah - Tango Paradiso, ex Australian Opera Orchestra), viola (Robert Harris - Principal Viola; Canberra Symphony and freelance soloist) and performed to rapturous European audiences in 2014, Slavic Grooves have now expanded and evolved into their rightful sound and symphonic proportions with the addition of piano (Romano Crivici himself), bass (Alex Henery - Principal Bass; -SSO, London, etc) and percussion (Jess Ciampa - Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and Monsieur Camembert).

Coming together in this combination for the very first time, witness these masters of many genres enjoy sharing and exploring this unique new world-music project.

Lutka Moja  (oh doll of mine)


7 Mvts for flute, violin & viola    53:00

Carla Thackrah, flute;
Robert Harris, viola;
Romano Crivici, violin;

ISMN: 979-0-720090-34-4

In Motion, Entwined

1. At Peace   9:00

2. In Motion, Entwined  10:00

3. Seed (Oj Javore)  ~ 8:45

4. Suspended  ~ 6:45

5. Lutko Moja (oh doll of mine) 5:45

6. Ide Vreme (Goes the Time) 5:30

7. Oppa Oppa  9:00

This is the second incarnation of Slavic Grooves and Meditations, a re-working of a set of ideas I originally wrote in duo form for Carla and myself. Having organised a small tour in Europe for the Elektra Collektive (violin and viola) playing my Reflections on Life, Death, and Transience in 2014, what better way to create more variety, both in form and colour in the program than to add viola to the Slav Duos.


This allowed, of course, for many more possibilities than that afforded by duo, so, they are now quite different from the original duos, as well as some new movements altogether. Tempted as I am to say that the next incarnation (for quintet) is the 'final' version, they are all complete, and dare I say perfect in their own unique ways,

Given that some of the original "Duo" movements were conceived, and performed with, percussion, these 'Trios' will actually end up as "Quartets", (when I get around to it) with the inclusion of percussion. As a concession to the straighter classical world, they can however be played quite effectively, without, (that is if you want to present a limp, boring as shit 'classical' trio concert....... yawn, fidget......... discretely check your mobile in your lap..... yawn.... polite clap.............

Sunday 24th September, 2017 London

Slavic Grooves & Meditations for Duo
5 Duos for violin & flute
ISMN: 979-0-720090-40-5

1. At Peace   9:00

2. In Motion, Entwined  7:00

3. Seed (Oj Javore)  ~ 5:45

4. Suspended  ~ 5:00

5. Goes the Time (Ide Vreme) 5:30


Goes the Time

One movement of the Slavic Grooves Duos performed on New Years Eve, at the Woodford Folk Festival in 2013/14

Carla Thackrah, flute; Romano Crivici, violin, with special guest Michael Askill, percussion.

A pretty noisy recording, not the best visuals (and apologies to Michael, whose head was covered by the music stand!), but it does give a bit of an idea of what the piece itself was like!


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