Tuesday, 17 July 2018 | News today: 19

Darko Rundek: Love can be nourished and some of my songs can help that

A wild seimen who proudly wears the silk scarf around his neck, but also family man who enjoys composing theater and film music, whose nowadays music work is not reduced to simple recycling of his songs from the beginning of his career


Darko Rundek (58) has always been a special and authentic musician, full of energy which melts and freezes at the same time. His ingenuity is weaved in the songs that bring joy and sorrow for decades. A true charmer on the stage, wild seimen who proudly wears the silk scarf aorund his neck, but also family man who lives in France for years with family. He composes theater and film music, enjoys in what he does and pays occasional visits to his homeland Croatia. “Rundek and Cargo Trio” hold concerts in former Yugoslav republics, as well as in European metropoles. He is one of the few musicians whose current music career is not based on recycling songs from the beginning of his career. Besides musician, Rundek is also a poet, director and actor, one of the founders of the cult Croatian band “Haustor”. He has five albums with “Haustor” and another five with “Rundek and Cargo Trio”. After five years, “Rundek and Cargo Trio”  are coming to Macedonia again to hold a concert on 9 May at 8:30 pm in Skopje-based Universal Hall.

Last time you were in Skopje five years ago you had an amazing performance at “Havana” night club. What are your memories of that concert and of Skopje? What are your expectations of the upcoming concert in Universal Hall?

RUNDEK: The memories of the concert in “Havana” are pretty painful, since we fought for air and the sound was breaking. But, as you say, we defeated the problems and luckily, the audience did not have the same issues. The wonderful Skopje audience was very supportive and motivating during the whole concert. Anyways, an year prior to that concert we performed at “Skopje Jazz Festival” in Universal Hall and we remember it gladly because Universal Hall has excellent acoustics, ambient, great stage and true balance between intimate and large-scale concert space. That is exactly what is appropriate for the music we play now.


“Kargo Orchestra” concerts in the last few years are held in smaller places, clubs, less audience, and increasingly intimate atmosphere. Does that come with the age?

RUNDEK: No, no, it does not come with the age, but we lately choose concert halls where the audience can sit, instead of clubs where people smoke, we feel weary, there is a lot of mess and noise around the bars. We avoid the concert halls with over 1.000 seats because part of the audience is too far from us. Perhaps now, when I am elder, I prefer that type of intimacy more than when I used to be younger. The fact that now I get to pick the concert hall also has a major role.

Even after so many years on the music stage you still shine with energy that has the ability to melt and freeze at the same time. Your ingenuity is weaved in your lyrics, which are being sang for decades. Which are your favorite lyrics?

RUNDEK:Ja bi mogo da mogu, ja bi znao da znam” (“I can if I could, I would know if I knew”).

Love prevails in your lyrics. Is it the driving force?

RUNDEK: Well, yes, in a certain way it is. A look inspired with love awakes beauty, treasure, joy where the cold look has left mediocrity, poverty and boredom. Love can be nourished and some of my songs can help that. 

The beginning of your musical career is related to “Haustor”, one of the most important appearances on Zagreb’s music scene. Today, you resume your work with “Cargo Trio”, while in the meantime you have worked as assistant director and director in theater, occasionally appeared in some plays, wrote film music, composed theater music…What makes you most happy?

RUNDEK: I mostly enjoy creating theater and film music.

You went to India. What are your impressions and what did you learned about the country?

RUNDEK: In India I encountered a deep poverty, much dust, very beautiful women, mysteries, as well as a great knowledge about the manner of operation of mankind and the invisible forces. Let’s not fool ourselves, there are a huge number of superstitions in India. Thanks to the trip to India I have gained significant knowledge and learned more about myself and space.

You have been living in France for years, you work there, creating music. Do you come to Croatia often and what do you feel when performing in the countries of the former Yugoslavia? Is there any difference?

RUNDEK: I come to Croatia more often now – privately and officially. I play and shoot there and from Croatia I go to the other countries of the former Yugoslavia to hold concerts. Croatia looks beautiful and green, but also worried.  It is less worried at sea than on land, because those living on the sea cost can always catch fish for lunch. And the weather is better. It is not easier for other countries too, but the people towards the East are more relaxed. Nobody knows how to get out of the economic crisis and what to expect from the future.


What kind of music do you like? What type of Macedonian music do you listen to? What piece of Macedonian music has caught you ear?

RUNDEK: I do not listen much music. Many people listen to music all the time. I can not because it distracts my attention if it is good or agonizes me if it is bad. Most of the time I listen to a Parisian radio, FIP, which offers little talking and great music – jazz, world music, classical. In regard to the Macedonian contemporary music, a few years ago I discovered Foltin’s music and I love it.

The older audience remembers well the lyrics of “Ena”, Shejn”, “I want”, Ula ulala”, You ask in vain”, I could if I could”…What memories do these lyrics revive? What was the time when you wrote them like?

RUNDEK: Those songs do not relate me to the time they were created, when I wrote them. When we play at concerts, they speak for us now, what are we like.

Do you still wear silk scarfs?

RUNDEK: Yes. I brought several from India and I enjoy wearing them.

Is the apocalypse coming?

RUNDEK: Maybe it is already here. Cheer up!


By: Aleksandra M. Bundalevska