Music takes him to his childhood and brings back memories of the past life in Prekmurje
Darko Kržanko, cimbalom player
"Music has been part of my life since childhood. I remember standing next to my father when I was young, watching him carefully and listening while he played the cimbalom," says Darko Kržanko, a cimbalom player who puts his heart and soul in music.
His passion encouraged him to learn how to play the instrument from an early age. The music he plays, or rather creates, is a combination of folk songs from the Prekmurje region and other parts of Slovenia, as well as Hungarian songs, religious songs and other pieces. He particularly likes songs from Prekmurje and religious songs, which he plays most often – either by himself or in a duet with cello player Valerija Šömen.
Darko says his calling, which fulfils him when he plays this special instrument, takes him back to childhood with sounds that make him happy, joyful and playful. For him, music rekindles the memories of what life used to be in the region.
After all, the Hungarian composer Zoltán Kodály once said: "Everyone loves the music which they became accustomed to in their early childhood."
We asked Darko to describe his village in a few words, and to tell us what connects him to the Pannonian plain and why he decided to stay here. Here is his answer:
"Moravske Toplice and the village of Fokovci, where I live, are part of the Prekmurje region. Here, the plains start to rise towards the rolling hills of Goričko. Nature, cultural and religious sites, architecture, culinary specialities and music – the Prekmurje offers a great variety of life both for us who live here and for the visitors."
It is therefore not surprising to hear his thoughts about the secret of his creativity and the source of his enthusiasm.
"Cimbalom as an instrument is part of the Prekmurje region and its folk music. Its shape and structure remind both of a table and of the fields. I say "table" because it is the basic shape of the cimbalom, and the fields because the metal strings stretched across its top in straight lines look like cultivated fields of the Prekmurje plains. In contrast to ordinary tables and fields which provide "daily bread", the cimbalom "table", and particularly "the fields", over which the musician moves the two beaters like a "farmer with his tools", provide food for the heart and soul."
The sound brings back the memories and nostalgia, reminds of the region's diversity, and portrays its history and the life of the local people.
A special message to all visitors of the beautiful Prekmurje
"Prekmurje is a gem; everyone who sees or finds it is amazed at its natural beauty."