Music Is Like Good Wine


By Ladislav Lesar







   Lojze Slak


Through all these years, Lojze Slak has become the essence of popular folk music and along with the Avsenik Brothers is our most beloved and popular performer. But the Lojze Slak and Fanti s Praprotna Ensemble can't be compared to anybody else. Everything is unique and unrepeatable, like all simple beautiful things that last forever. Lojze Slak:"My greatest gift is really my pleasure in music and the inner drive to play all the time, so my fingers slip to the buttons by themselves and the melodies keep moving around my head constantly. When I could hardly hold the accordion, I secretly took it from uncle Ludvik and played to myself when he was not at home. He was the first folk musician that I knew, when there were neither the Avseniks nor any other similar wonders. But there were Avgust Stanko and Fantje na vasi (The Boys in the Village). When I was twelve, I could pull the bellows pretty well, and at fifteen I was a musician at a wedding. My uncle Ludvig got married and I played his own accordion for him, and that was something quite unique. "First, I must say that the diatonic accordion is a wonderful instrument and needs almost no accompaniment. The bass notes are a chapter in themselves on this accordion, and you only become a real musician when you know how to exploit all these advantages. I started with simple songs like "Na planincah" (In the Mountains) and "Moj očka ima konjička dva" (My Father has Horses Two), but I soon felt the need to play my own music. My first composition was the waltz "Prijeten spomin" (Pleasant Memory) that I played on the very popular show Pokaži, kaj znaš in 1958 and took first place as an accordion soloist." And so now you have been wandering around and playing for a full thirty years. This is the period of mature young manhood. How do you feel, Lojze Slak? Are you satisfied with your success? "What should I say? I'm also happy because I have a good family and a wonderful wife who understands and supports me and is often an inspiration for my music. "The other thing which gives special character and emphasis to the Slak Ensemble is the Fantje s Praprotna group. When I first heard them on Pokažii, kaj znaš, I jumped up and said to my wife, 'That's for me! Those voices were made to accompany my accordion!' That was just about it. We were enthusiastic about each other and so the Lojze Slak Ensemble was formed that you have been watching and listening to for thirty years. "When I look back this way, I can say that I am satisfied. Music has given me a great deal and more. We toured Western Europe several times and had five tours of America, Canada, and Australia. But, you know that song: "Visoko nad oblaki" (High above the Clouds) ... We published forty LP's and cassettes that in thirty years all become gold records so we stopped accepting gold record awards. For our two-millionth record we got a platinum record and for our thirtieth anniversary we are going to receive a diamond record. And now, two more cassettes and CD's are coming out entitled lzbor skozi.30 let (Thirty Years of Selected Hits).




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