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Duo Bow vs. Plectrum

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"Here we do not discuss about some experiment in which musicians and listeners just throw out ideas and then observe if they are good; we are talking about an original and articulated artistic vision that strikes the listener straight to the heart"

- (Zoran Tučkar,

Duo Bow vs. Plectrum

Filip Novosel – tambura (Indian lute)

Tihomir Hojsak – double bass

Bow vs. Plectrum is a new sensational duo on the Croatian music scene that consists of academic musicians Filip Novosel and Tihomir Hojsak – two string instruments with different traditions of playing performing contemporary jazz-fusion with the elements of the Balkan ethno music. Double bass, played with a bow, and the Croatian traditional instrument, tambura, played with a non-conventional rectangle-shaped pick or plectrum, make a unique and organic blend, which translates into a fresh and yet unheard combination on a music scene.

The music that the duo creates combines a variety of styles, but has based its foundations on the ethno music of the Balkans and Pannonia region and contemporary jazz. The original compositions of both Hojsak and Novosel are filled with folk motifs, groovy odd meters characteristic of their cultural background, contemporary jazz harmony and virtuoso improvisations; all showing the full glow and potential of their instruments.

In April 2016, the duo released its debut album Bow vs. Plectrum which critics have already labelled as one the most important publications not only for year 2016 but for the Croatian jazz in general. The guests that appear on the album are some of the most recognized musicians of this particular style, such as Vlatko Stefanovski, Theodosii Spassov, Žan Tetičkovič and Matija Dedić.

The duo has performed in all major Croatian cities, as well we internationally with appearances at Vareš Classic Festival in Bosnia, festival Jazzycolours in Paris, concerts in Austria and Slovenia. In 2015, the duo toured the USA with the support of the Croatian Ministry of Culture (Kennedy Centre in Washington, New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music NYC, Croatian communities).

Beside performing as a duo, Bow vs. has its own side projects with different orchestras in which they orchestrate their own compositions. The duo has already played with the string orchestra of the Zagreb Youth Orchestra (ZOM), the Zagreb Philharmonie, and the Tambura Orchestra of the Croatian National Radio Television.

As an acknowledgement of their work until now, Tihomir has won the ‘Porin award’ – the highest musical award in Croatia for the best jazz compositions; and Filip is the only tambura jazz musician who has ever graduated from the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in NYC.

Selection of Programmes

The Croatian duo Bow vs. Plectrum performs either alone or together with any local orchestra or, alternatively, with the Zagreb Philharmonie. As an example, their programme with the Zagreb Philharmonie consists of a total of 23 musicians and conductor maestro Igor Tatarević. The duration of the concert is 70 minutes. As an additional note, the entire most recent programme with the Zagreb Philharmonie string orchestra was recorded in February 2017, and released on a CD in April 2017.

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