The documentary series SONGS OF THE LAND follows the ventures of a young musician scouting for folk music at the original sources in remote corners of the world, while also revealing the people behind the tunes.
In the middle of a break at the shooting of his band’s music video, Miklos Both started showing us little clips of old women singing on his tablet. It sounded nothing like I have heard before and had an immediate effect: everybody came closer and circled Miki’s tablet wondering what this unusual sound might be. Miklos started telling us about his passion of going to musically undiscovered parts of the world with his professional recording equipment and gather authentic folk music. As he was quickly shuffling through his recordings from Iran, Tibet, Kazakhstan and explaining enthusiastically the complexity of polyphonic music, we immediately knew we wanted to go and film it. He told us it is his dream to visit Ukraine and West Russia, as they have a very unique polyphonic music that has very few recordings.
On our first trip to Ukraine we realized how little we knew about the huge country that appears on the news so often, and how fascinating it was - as a matter of fact even traditional music is hugely connected to politics and history. Whilst filming and learning about this culture we have gained perspective on Europe and world history and we would like to share this with the audience of the series. We believe Miklos is an ideal main character to follow, as his passion will guide the audience in this exploration.
His quest to find beautiful music is full of drama: sometimes choirs can’t perform, but sometimes they sing 500-year-old songs that have never been recorded before. And without him, they could become extinct. When making the series it is very important for us to make this music accessible for a wide, younger, European audience, and to show that it is not only Eastern exotism, but these songs are also for us to sing when we feel sad or when we are in love. With building an appreciation for this dense music culture the series aims to create a cultural bridge between countries. For that reason, we imply creative methods in filming the songs, making them look appealing and fresh, including humor.