At long last, the Serbian-Scottish collaboration between talented filmmaker Milos Itic and myself is available to view here. We would both welcome your feedback and comments and please do take the time to read on if you are interested in the genesis of this project.
Approximately one year ago in the Franconian town of Bayreuth I performed a garden concert, which in actual fact due to the inclement weather descended into a one part garden concert/one part house concert if you will. At the conclusion of the concert, following my kind provision of a double encore at the request of my wonderful and enthusiastic audience, as is customary for the independent musician I made my way to my merchandise stall and began to mingle with the audience, fielding questions about the music and the life as a troubadour.
Later on, as the crowds began to dissipate leaving only the performer, organisers and those with a more hardened approach to late night drinking, a young Serbian filmmaker introduced himself to me, and we struck up a conversation. Initially bonding over the sporting topics of association football and an impassioned debate over whether Novak Djokovic or Andy Murray were the better tennis player (sooner Andy returns to full fitness to end that debate the better!) as the night wore on the conversation turned to two topics about which we both had far more passion for than sport, film and music.
We discovered that we both had a shared love of the outlaw country movement and the ingenious songwriting of Townes van Zandt (whose biography I happened to be reading at the time), Guy Clark and Blaze Foley. The conversation moved effortlessly through German cinema, the history of Scottish filmmaking and Serbian music, the latter of course leading me to enquire about the Serbian music scene. Milos also showed a keen interest and willingness to learn about the vagaries of Scotland’s national drink, whisky, a favourite subject of mine, which of course, regular readers of this blog will already know.
When we parted very late that evening we did so with a firm commitment that we should meet up again in the future and that I should come to Serbia, a country I had long wished to visit. Milos had really enjoyed the concert and my songs, and a few days later when I had a rest day in Northern Germany I had the opportunity to view his work the admiration was mutual. I contacted Milos and floated the idea of working together on a music video if/when I could make it to Serbia.
Due to both our hectic schedules, with both of us working all over Europe, although Milos was just as keen to make a video as I was, we both knew that 2017 would not be possible, and that it would need to wait until early 2018. Serendipitous it certainly was, but with my having four days off on an early March tour of Germany and with exceptionally cheap flights from Bavaria to Milos’s home city of Nis on those exact dates we both seized the moment, I by booking the flights and Milos by arranging a couple of small, intimate, acoustic shows in Nis for me.
Suffice to say, I shall not dwell here on how inspiring my Serbian travels were (will save that for another time!), only to mention that it afforded us the chance to shoot the video (all locations for the video were in Milos’s home city of Nis), as well as for Milos to give me a serious chess lesson (will save that embarrassing anecdote for another time too!). A few months later and we are both happy to share with you the final video for the song ‘Vulnerable Man’, born out of a chance encounter after a Bayreuth concert.
The artistic life is a beautiful, unexpected and commoving one.
Slainte agus taing dha Milos