The international project EU.T.ER.PE (2014 – 2016), in which the Ring Ring Association was one of the partners, was primarily aimed at promoting traditional instruments and music.

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The goal of the “EUropean Traditions in cultural hERitage and Performances – EU.T.ER.PE” project was closely aligned with the objectives and priorities of the European Union related to empowering cultural sectors through international collaborations. Emphasis was placed on promoting traditional instruments from participating countries. Thus, Italy presented the accordion, Greece – the lute and mandolin, Croatiabagpipes and lirica, and Serbia – the tambura and frula.

In addition to promoting traditional instruments and music from partner countries as the main goal of the EU.T.ER.PE project, important aspects included the international presentation of musicians and local traditional music, support for the development of international careers, strengthening collaboration among cultural practitioners from partner countries, and enhancing the capacity of the cultural sector for transnational engagement. This also involved enabling cultural and creative professionals to collaborate at the international level.

In each country represented by one of the partner organizations, a concert was held featuring a local band, well-known and respected within the country, along with guest soloists representing the appropriate traditional instrumental practices of other partner countries. These soloists were pre-selected based on voting by all organizations involved in the EU.T.ER.PE project.

Additionally, each partner organization also conducted thematic workshops or master courses in local music schools.

The Ring Ring Association held a concert as part of one of the festivals it organizes. This concert took place at the Todo Mundo World Music Festival, during its 4th edition. The esteemed local group, Belo platno, performed with soloists from Serbia, Croatia, and Greece: Dragana Tomić (kaval, vocals), Marko First (Slavonian bagpipes, violin, lyre), Giorgios Kontagiannis (lyre), and Dimitrios Varelopoulos (lute). The concert took place on April 24, 2015, in a packed hall at the Belgrade Youth Center.

The musicians gathered in Belgrade three days before the performance. It was the first time all the soloists met in person, and the international guests collaborated with the Belo platno group for the first time. Their communication online had already been established several weeks earlier for exchanging music, ideas, and plans. As a result, the rehearsals in Belgrade were well-planned, and everything flowed more smoothly.

Several days before this concert, as part of the EU.T.ER.PE project, the Ring Ring Association organized a master class with the Italian artist Mario Stefano Pietrodarchi for young accordionists at the “Kosta Manojlović” Music School in Zemun on April 21, 2015.

Musicians from Serbia were also selected through the project and its associated competitions to collaborate as guest instrumental soloists with groups from Croatia, Italy, and Greece. Dragana Tomić (kaval) performed as a guest soloist in Mykonos, Zoran Bugarski Brica (tambura) collaborated with the band Cinkuši in Zagreb at the Scena Amadeo Festival, and Milan Savić (saxophone) performed at the Adriatico Mediterraneo Festival in Ancona, collaborating with the group Orchestrina Adriatica.

The concluding activity of the project was a three-day conference held in Ancona, attended by professionals from the cultural sector as well as representatives from the public and private sectors of each partner country. From Serbia, upon the recommendation of the Ring Ring Association, the following individuals attended the conference: Boško Radojković, Dragana Mitrović, and Bora Dimitrijević.

The EU.T.ER.PE project had a significant impact on our organization, providing us with another valuable experience in working on international cultural projects. Additionally, the network established through the project has already resulted in collaborations beyond EU.T.ER.PE and promises to continue in the future. Furthermore, a very important outcome of the project has been the increased visibility and interest in Serbia’s traditional musical heritage, particularly its instruments. Local musicians involved in the project have expressed great joy and gratitude for the networking opportunities and further professional development, as well as for the potential new collaborations in the future.

The leading partner in the project was the Italian association Associazione Adriatico Mediterraneo, and alongside the Ring Ring Association from Serbia, the partners also included the associations Amadeo-art kabinet d.o.o. from Croatia and Day After from Greece.

The project lasted from September 1, 2014, to April 30, 2016, and was co-funded by the European Union through the Creative Europe program.

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