Trio Mario


On and on it winds and draws me far. Night is still, all earthly sounds are dying; Nature lists to God; star speaks to star. M.Lermontov*

There are moments in everyone’s lives, when we just urge to travel far away, leaving day-to-day routines, responsibility, duties, love, and everyday life behind. Having only air of freedom ahead of us, which smells of rain and meadow flowers.

However, road is not only the way an enchanted soul takes. In the history of art, there is a special meaning for the image of road. Road, this ancient image, is a symbol of life journey of a hero, nation, or ethnos.

I guess this idea is exactly the sense of new program for music project Trio Mario. The band had a long way to top stages, it appeared in 2003, and there have been some changes to the original cast. Now trio consists of Ilya Efimov – viola, Marat Zhenetl – bass guitar, and Marian Mario Caldararu – percussion and drums. These people have taken their music compositions, and are carrying them gently, impressively, out of beaten path, into new time and space.

It’s almost according to Bakhtin, how they reach music space harmony. Pastusheskaya (Shepherd song) brings listeners to idyll of Russian fields; you can hear Russian folk lore themes in it, and sound of barabanka (aka pastushnya – percussion instrument of Northern Russia) counts rhythm of time. Viola’s deep velvet sound leads the story enchanting us, and the low, especially monotonous sound of bass guitar brings all the elements together.

The idea of Chronotopos, natural connection of time and space coordinates, will help us to define genre of the band, in away. Let’s call it art-ethno-fusion. Art for creating some art space, ethno for trying different ethnic genres, fusion for mixing them in the presence of the audience.

It is an ambitious and risky experiment to appeal to audience’s imagination in times of “soap” show programs, and manufactured PR-steps instead of music.

Well, these three musicians are established Artists, they have chosen their way, and did it long ago. They wish to take thoughtful and sensitive audience to their music journey. Not because they are such snobs, but because they truly believe in the beginning was the imagination, and only then – the word.

Although, Ilya Efimov’s narrative manner of playing viola makes one remember term from literature, Ich-Erzähler, a storyteller narrating a tale according to his own senses.

Composition Book Look brings in the atmosphere of Wilhelm Hauff’s Fairytale Almanac, Eastern Caravan, due to Marat Zhenetl’s guitar at the beginning, captures our imagination, and we enter the Eastern bazaar on the back of our fantasy camel.

This market is full of smells (coriander and spices), tapping of artisans’ hammers, and clanking of Khan’s warriors’ arm our (Marian Mario Caldararu creates this illusion brilliantly with his percussion).

And here he comes, our storyteller, maybe it is legendary Nasreddin himself joins our caravan missing no beautiful girl on his way. Sweetly deep, enchanting viola’s melody (Ilya Efimov) is like honey to listener’s ears

Surely, such music, rich in colours, allusions, semitones, simply asks audience to become cocreators. Meanwhile, Trio Mario’s carriage, full of sounds, smells, and colours, gives traveler no time to rest after Eastern caravan trip. Trotting and rhythmic ally waving on the way, carriage of music voyagers enters Walachia, or maybe, the Carpathian mountains, lands to South-West and South to the Danube, or even Eastern Carpathian region.

It’s the first time we not only feel road’s theme in the music, but also see it in the name of the composition: Lawashskaya Dorozhnaya (Lawash Road Theme). All three musicians feel free to express themselves; their music is vibrant and bright. They are very successful in showing national character of Balkan melodies with the means of modern instruments (drums, bass guitar).

“Atmospheric authenticity” – that is how we might identify musicians’ style, as well as all compositions of the project. Delicately and exquisitely musicians hint at Balkan, Russian, or Asian (Zherebenok (Colt)) character of the melody (this is ethno), but no one insists on it. We are only given atmosphere (this is fusion), and it depends on us to decide where our imagination brings us (this is art).

Usage of these or those instruments is not determined by “nationality” of this or that composition. For rather Eastern Zherebenok Marian Mario Caldararu uses cajon and ricca, which only adds harmony to Eastern music without ruining its authenticity.

There is one brighter feature of the project: manly charisma of the sound. Evenin Eastern beauties’ theme, we hear the voice of Ich-Erzähler (storyteller), the Man similar to Pushkin’s Don Juan, able to mention narrow foot under widow’s black clothes in just a second, and paint the whole image of beautiful Donna Anna.

In Trio Mario project Woman is always a beautiful image, dance can be only man’s dance (Man’s Dance), and manly is melancholy. These men yearn lacerating women’s he arts by low laments of kaval (Ilya Efimov brilliantly imitates sound of this instrument with his viola in composition Kaval).

Of course, in these circumstances Kolybelka (Lullaby) could only be a knife here (Viggy Messer).

This arts ketch nods to Brecht’s epic theatre, and though it lacks ethnic elements, nonetheless it is utterly atmospheric. Musicians prefer to show us Mecca’s image on some distance, allowing listener to decide if he trusts them, or not.

There are moments in everyone’s lives, when we just urge to travel far away. Road is enchanting, and we can only choose who to share it with.

So, if you decided in your life to travel alongside creative people, you will once wake up to the viola solo, in which all the world melodies collide, and crossing the Bosporus, you will see stars in the sky. And maybe this will be the moment you realize, Life is the Road to Oneself.

Understanding is simple, just follow your imagination awaken by talented people.

Trio Mario’s carriage full of smells, sounds, and colors is already on its way and we still have a chance to buy ticket for it, and become happy.

*Translated by Irina Zheleznova

Author of the publication:


Evelina Killing-Biryukova

Creative director of the eArt GROUP producing centre