Belo Platno Ensemble – White Linen Ensemble

Belo Platno Ensemble – White Linen Ensemble

Belo platno” – White Linen Ensemble has been for a certain time dedicated to performance and maintenance of the Serbian traditional music. The ‘Belo Platno’ Music Group – White Linen Ensemble has been established in Belgrade in 1997 with commitment and efforts of people assembled by love towards the folk and traditional art and the common need to configure traditional songs and dances in artistic way while simultaneously preserving its origin, style and the basic characteristics. Players of Belo Platno – White Linen Ensemble got their first instruments from Dragoslav Pavle Aksentijevic, the famous Serbian Orthodox vocalist and the icon-painter. Later on, members of Belo Platno – White Linen Ensemble started to manufacture instruments by themselves, tough by their first members. Constant need for new string instruments led them to the idea of accomplishment of the special kind of tambourine, that would fit the music they have performed. Belo Platno – White Linen Ensemble members have succeeded in manufacturing their first pair of tambourines made of pumpkin, what had created the specific sound after which they have been recognized among numerous folk ensembles that appeared on the music scene of Serbia. Belo Platno – White Linen Ensemble had its first evening performance in Belgrade in December 1998, when they were named Iskon Group. Belo Platno Music Group – the White Linen Ensemble has performed numerous soloist and collective concerts in Serbia and abroad.

Belo Platno Ensemble – White Linen Ensemble members usually emphasize when the music performed by the „Belo platno” – White Linen Ensemble is considered, that origins of their art is to be traced in the Byzantine church music, to which majority of members are devoted. The basic feature of „Belo platno” – White Linen Ensemble performance is the Balkan modal style, characteristic women vocals and playing on traditional instruments. Distinctive artistic style performed by „Belo platno” – White Linen Ensemble has been created by persistent mission of collection of the sound records, while almost all songs are sung in local dialects. Majority of songs performed by „Belo platno” – White Linen Ensemble come from the areas that nowadays include Kosovo and Metohija, south and south-east Serbia and Macedonia. There was a strong connection between those areas whose common characteristics are sound and style, which is unique for this geographical area by its peculiarities.

„Belo platno” – White Linen Ensemble has released its solist CD with songs from Kosovo and Metohija and the South Serbia, while they took part in performance of three CDs released in 2002 – „Srbija – Sounds global 2″, as well as the project „Podignimo Stupove” – ‘Rise Saint George Pillars – Rise Ourselves’ in 2003 and with 2 songs on the CD by the name „Serbian ethno sound” in 2004.

When asked what made them name their Ensemble „Belo platno”, members respond that the white linen itself is common symbol of the Serbian folk songs and art. As the symbol of purity, white linen accompanies the human opus. When born, a man is bent with white linen, when baptized – a man has white linen on his shoulder, when wedded – a man is encircled with white linen, to wear it his whole life, while at its end – it goes along with him. It is the multilayered symbolism of whiteness, which is not regarded only to its appearance, but also represents merits, such are chastity, affability and purity.

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