This blog will fall silent for several weeks. I am going on a voyage, to a place called Groznjan, in the Istrian Peninsula of Croatia. It is, I am told, a small, medieval, hilltop village, charming and picturesque, with cobble-stoned streets and old stone houses. Gazing across the hills over the Mirna River, there are vineyards and olive groves and glimpses of the Adriatic Sea glinting in the distance. For centuries, Groznjan was ruled by Venice, and the Italians call it Grisignana. The Slavs and the Austrians wrested control when they could from the Venetians, and little Groznjan flourished with all the attention. Today, there are remains of town walls, ramparts, a renaissance loggia, churches, stone cottages and other Venetian influences that still survive.
After the geopolitical juggling and wrangling of the post-World War II years, Groznjan became part of Yugoslavia, and life bled slowly out of the little village as people deserted it for more prosperous shores. The streets lay silent and forlorn. Then in the 1960s, it had a rebirth - as an artists and musicians colony. The Jeunesses Musicales International Cultural Center was born, and the cobble-stoned streets of Grozjnan have been ringing with the sounds of music ever since, and painters, potters and sculptors grace its homes and many art galleries.
This will be my home for the weeks to come. I will be teaching at an international vocal workshop, and I think I can safely say that the hills of Istria will echo with the sounds of Carnatic Music for the first time in their storied history! For those who are interested, go to this link: http://artsynergy.net
So, farewell, and I will be back next month with many tales to tell, many pictures to share with you.