The following article is reproduced from the Ethnophonie CD release ETHCD006 'Romanian, Ukrainian and Jewish Music from Maramures', which features Ioan Pop and others. Included in the CD booklet are notes in French and English, as well as explanatory notes and translations of each track. For more details click here. Special thanks to all at Ethnophonie for permission to reproduce these notes.
The Museum-House of the Pop Family
On the road from Hoteni to Harnicesti an old wooden house stands in an orchard garden. It is a typical, sturdy, beautifully proportioned Maramures home, solid and delicate at the same time. Beside it, at right-angles is another traditional house, built of brick this time but with the same type of steep shingled roof. Behind them, tucked discreetly away in the background, is a modern brick house, and between them, a polygonal wooden pavilion. As an ensemble, the buildings take one’s breath away, and show once again how wonderful artisan builders can be. This development is the dream of Ioan and Anuta Pop, a dream they worked to realise, shoulder to shoulder, for twelve years. But who are Ion and Anuta Pop?Ioan Pop, nicknamed Popicu by his wife, close relatives and friends, was born to a family of peasants in the Maramures village of Poienile Izei. In 1913, Béla Bartók came to the village to collect folk music. As a child Popicu learned to play the popular instruments of the day: tilincã (shepherd’s pipe), ceterã (fiddle), contrã (viola), zongorã (guitar) and dobã (drum). He began to play as a zongoras (zongora player) at parties and village Sunday dances.