While the name might sound exotic, Maok is Slovak. It is a nickname, actually, based on an error from childhood while attempting to write his real name - Martin. Maok found this mistake later on and decided to make it his nickname. “I’ll be Maok then,” he said to himself at that time.
On April 21st Maok visited Myjava, specifically the tea house Dobromila in Myjava, to play for those who were willing to listen. It was not a typical concert with people dancing under the stage (apart from a couple of listeners who swayed to the melody). The audience sat and lay on blankets and beanbags on the floor a few feet in front of the performers – Maok, his friend, who accompanied him on the cajon (a wooden box played as a drum) and a looping device which Maok gave credit to to being a third musician. Maok played barefooted, using his feet to control the looping device. The concert had a friendly, uplifting and mysterious atmosphere owing to the singer’s remarks and attitude (´The vibrations will fill the room with magical molecules´ he said, covering a speaker with a sweaty shirt).
What kind of music does he play? Well, his music is different. Unlike most of the popular genres, it does not follow a specific pattern: the chorus is usually absent, or else makes up the whole lyrics of a song; and the length of the songs varies from a few minutes to a quarter of an hour or even up to twenty minutes. The songs are subtle and silent, but amazing.
The lyrics either consists of a short phrase repeated in the fashion of a mantra (a sort of short ‘prayer’ spoken over and over for many times) or a more complex text. The words are often seemingly meaningless, but always gentle and dreamlike. The names of songs such as ‘I’m quietly flying towards the light’ or ‘With bare feet’ will give you a hint.
Maok uses various instruments such as a didgeridoo, the drums and, of course, the guitar (which he often plays with a violin bow). The guitar is his instrument of choice at concerts and he can (with or without the help of digital editing) create the most magical of sounds.
The music of Maok is unique, perhaps strange, very relaxing and certainly something new for most people. That being said, not everyone will like it. Those who do open their ears to it, however, are in danger of finding a new world.
by Martin Krč
Year 2, Issue 3