Vartra is a world fusion music band based in Belgrade, Serbia. Being heavily inspired by the hermetic indigenous culture of the Balkan region, Vartra incorporates fusing Nordic drumming, Slavic and oriental Melos as core elements, combined with underlying tribal sounds from around the world and with modern musical influences. Much of their lyrics stem from old incantations and mantras (Serbian: “bajalice”) and are sung in Serbian, Macedonian and Vlach language. The band performs on handmade drums and rattles crafted by main instrumentalist and vocalist Siniša Gavrić. These instruments are made from animal skins from around the world as well as wood and foraged materials from the rivers and mountains of Serbia.
Initially formed by Siniša Gavrić and sisters Ivana and Aleksandra Stošić, the band has extended into more of a community, brought together by an interest in world fusion music, Slavic paganism and spirituality in general. Beside band members, an integrative part of the Vartra tribe are dance performers and friends dedicated to crafting costumes, accessories and stage requisites for live shows.
The first debut album “Luna nouà” was recorded at home based studio in Belgrade in 2018 and officially released on CD Baby online store in January, 2020. The band performed on multimedia arts festival Dev9t (Serbia), Exit festival (Serbia), Javorwood festival (Bosnia and Hercegovina), Elysium festival (Serbia), Lovestock festival (Croatia) and Nishville Jazz Festival (Serbia).
Currently the band is focused on recording and writing songs for their second album. “Luna nouà” was heavily focused on Vlach incantations (Eastern Serbia) and the second album will focus on the lyrical heritage from Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro.
Their live shows are a cathartic experience, evocative of healing ceremonies and often combined with dance. Dark in a way that draws darkness out away from the spectator, Vartra’s primordial sound speaks directly to our internal rhythms and the lost ancestral wisdom that exists within all of us.