The female vocal group Grunik from Ostravice on the Moravian-Silesian frontier focuses on authentic interpretation of local folk material. It was founded in 1981 by Vera Sejvlova (1919-2004) as a children´s ensemble exclusively. Back in 1949 she started to collect folk songs and dances n the mountainous region of the Beskids on the border with Slovakia that was a blank spot on the map at the time. Between 1949 and 1968 she was employed on the editorial staff of the Ostrava branch of Czechoslovak Radio. The turbulent period in the late 1960s, however, connected with the beginning of “normalization,” brought a radical change in Vera Sejvlova´s dynamic productiveness. She was forbidden to engage in any kind of cultural activity at all, and in 1972, as part of the political purges, she was forced to leave the Radio. Even though she had been expressly banned from any cultural activities, she did however find sympathy with the head of the school in Ostravice, and there in 1981 she founded the Grunik children’s ensemble. The founding members eventually outgrew their children’s dance slippers, and there emerged a parallel “big” Grunik for grown-ups. Both ensembles rehearse and perform until today, often accompanied by Muzika Vojtek cymbalon ensemble from Ostrava. Grunik has become known for its rendering of folk songs on the soundtrack of Zelary (the album’s producer is Petr Ostrouchov who had authored the music to the film) and also for its contribution to the orchestral album of Iva Bitova, “Zvon” (The Bell, 2012). The raw, authentic interpretation of the folk songs, free of all arrangements and adjustments, creates a powerful, unforgettable experience.
The partners of Animal Music to which goes
our big thank-you!