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Composer/flutist Damjan Krajacic discusses new album 'Visions'
(Published: March 20, 2015)

Q: What ignited your passion towards music.

A: I was always drawn to music for its immediacy and power. But I think what truly ignited the passion was finding the instrument I can express myself with - the flute. I used to be an electric bass player before, and even though I loved the instrument for its own qualities, only after switching to the flute did I find a true voice, an instrument directly connected to my breath and body.

Flute to me is an instrument that is almost like a voice, but with added abilities of incredible agility, many different colors and sounds, and percussive qualities.

Q: You have mutual affection for jazz and classical music. What are the qualities of those genres that appeal to you the most.

A: I love jazz mostly due to the freedom it allows and demands from composers and players. Jazz in its true nature has to constantly evolve, change, grow. It can never stay still. I love this constant feeling of searching. Jazz comes in many forms and is not very easy to define.

To me, the line between jazz and classical is very thin as far as the listener is concerned. I love jazz that demands you to completely immerse yourself into the music and let go, to truly listen and let yourself be taken on a journey. Classical music is much the same way. It also demands high concentration from both the listener and the players and can be beautiful and disturbing, subtle and intense. The main difference of course is that jazz is mainly improvised and Classical is generally written out.

I lean towards improvisation but I have done things that are more written out and plan to do more of that in the future. So I guess to me they are very similar in a sense.

Q: What is it about playing the flute that ignites your imagination.

A: First thing that comes to mind is air. The air creates the sound but it also changes the sound, bends it, transforms it, and creates magic in it. If you truly are "in the zone," the music suddenly speaks and means something. Once that happens the music generally just comes out and continues if you let it. Flute gives you this power to create magic, both melodically and rhythmically (I love the percussive side of flute playing).

Q: How long have you been recording music. What was your debut album.

A: My first record was released in 2004. It is called In Retrospect, and it is a Latin jazz record with some great musicians on it - Serge Kasimoff on piano, Rigoberto Lopez on bass, Joey De Leon on percussion, and Coky Garcia on drums. The record grooves but also has a bit of the Eastern European influence on it, some lyricism not frequently found on Latin jazz records as well as some odd time signatures.

Q: What are your plans for the future.

A: I am currently starting to compose music for a Latin jazz quintet that will integrate Afro-Cuban, Jazz and Eastern European music, sort of an extension of In Retrospect with flavors of some other projects I have done over the years. I am also trying to make this instrumentation somewhat unique so the band will feature two incredible drummers - Jimmy Branly and Chris Wabich, with Chris playing a modified set and a number of additional instruments, both percussive and melodic and not typical for a Latin jazz quintet. In addition to this project, I am planning to write some more perhaps "classical" music that is written out, for flute and piano and perhaps chamber instrumentation.

More Information: http://www.damjanmusic.com

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