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VRUJA is a musical group, which continues the tradition of the musical groups from the Slovene Istria and which have had a great influence on the increased knowledge and popularization of the musical heritage of Istria in the latest decades. The group's name is of a dialectic origin and it means source, spring.

The group is a successful joint of experienced musicians, who are considered the pioneers in the folk music revival, as well as younger ones, who have grown up in close contact with tradition. Vruja is trying in its own way to add yet another little stone to the mosaic of interpretation and performance of the Istrian's musical heritage. The musical experience of a single member and their mutual work are expressed in the group's performances and thus, the group is regarded as a representative of a musical trend, known all over the world as the Folk music revival.

The Istrian peninsula is a multicultural and multiethnic territory and such is the structure of the group's members. Therefore, it is obvious that in their performances they present the musical tradition of the whole Istria. Their musical material is obtained from different sources, that is by immediate research carrired out by some of the members, as well as by looking for the already written musical motives and by cooperating with recognized ethno-musicologists, folklorists and archives. Vruja begins its musical journey with some songs from the Italian Karst, the territory in the immediate vicinity of Istria. In the presentation of the musical tradition of northern Istria the members of the group remain devoted to the instruments, typical of this area, like vijulin (violin), bajs (Istrian two-stringed bassett), klarin (clarinet) and remonika (accordion). This set of instruments is sometimes enlivened by daska (wash-board) and with this combination they play the most known dances of northern Istria, such as polka, valcer, šaltin, šete paši, cotič, manfrina, mazurka, štajra, vilota and do paši.

The musical tradition from southern Istria is presented with the typical instruments like vela i mala sopela or roženica (woodwind instrument with double reed), meh or mih (Istrian bagpipes) and šurle (double whistle with single reed). With these instruments some most typical tunes are played, such as mantinjada or balun. With the addition of the guitar, mandolin, flute, electric bass and bagpipes it allows Vruja to create a musical image from its own conception and inspiration.

The group stands out by singing the songs from southern Istria, that is the two-voiced singing known as na tanko i debelo, canto sotto le pive from the village of Galižana, villota - two-voiced singing from the coastal towns and the songs from the Slovene Istria. Three different dialects can be recognized in these songs: čakavski (Croatian Istria), šavrinski (Slovene Istria) and Istrian-Venetian (Italian). The members of the group are also involved in teaching children in schools, kindergartens and different summer camps about Istrian musical tradition, whereas, for adults, instrumental and dance workshops, as well as seminars are organized.

The members of VRUJA are: Marino Kranjac (vocal, violin, bagpipes, mandolin, sopele, guitar), Alenka Kranjac (vocal, wash-board), Peter Kaligarič (accordion), Rok Kleva Ivančič (violin), Gabrijel Križman (guitar, mandola, vokal) and Gorast Radojevič (small two-stringed basset, electric bass).

From its source Vruja conveys a fresh, merry and cheerful spirit of the Istrian people and brings it at their concerts for you to enjoy and dance with them.

 
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