Acoustic guitar
Photos courtesy of Dario Plevnik.

Dario Plevnik Alights TikTok with Meditative Acoustic Guitar

Eli Jace features acoustic guitar virtuoso Dario Plevnik.

TikTok is not just a vehicle for Kurt Cobain nostalgia, or some place to discover which Cars character you’re most likely to marry.

The popular app has slowly turned into an interconnected worldwide open mic, and some musicians are starting to find out its merits in building an audience. One incredibly effective use is to perform live on the app, something acoustic guitar virtuoso Dario Plevnik does with aplomb.

Plevnik, 54, is a long-standing heady rock and roller turned classical guitarist from Osijek, Croatia. He goes live on TikTok nearly every weekday, using the handle @dario.plevnik. You can find him going at it for three-hour sets, training in the art of hypnosis by acoustic guitar. The songs Plevnik plays are all his own acoustic guitar compositions. Asking him to play Eric Clapton is like asking Rembrandt to draw a stick figure.

For Plevnik, playing the acoustic guitar is life long. He first picked up the instrument at age ten and eventually excelled into a stalwart performer in his home country. He started out in rock bands in and around Croatia, putting out five albums and gathering various accolades along the way. Now he delights an audience scattershot across the globe.

Plevnik plays with tenderfinger, playing the strings like he’s holding together loose spaghetti.

Each note initiates a static chill down the listener’s spine. It’s the tempo of breathing and it’ll stop you stark cold on your trail home. The music recalls ancient melodies of Middle Eastern, Celtic, Italian and Spanish players, placing the listener everywhere and nowhere all at once.

During the live-stream, Plevnik sits in the cozy home he shares with his wife, Darija, and their mostly well-mannered dog. Between songs they cackle together like birds in the sunsetting tundra. Darija sits offscreen, but keeps Dario straight if he plays a song twice in a row or sets into a long-winded babble. Plevnik is a gracious soul, quick to laughter and attentive to the few-hundred-large audience he garners every day. He likes to joke that if he were mimicking the popular ASMR videos – rubbing his fingers and clicking his tongue closely into a boom mic – then he’d surely have a viewership into the tens of thousands. 

The songs Plevnik plays live are a mix of old and new.

Many are off the acoustic guitar album Sodom & Gomorrah from 2018 (also available to stream), while “O Town” and “Darija” go back even further. Some songs have full instrumentation attached to their recorded versions. Other songs have been held in deep incubation for future release. “Under My Walnut Tree,” “Because of Love,” and “Vuka” are some of the most captivating. The audience is getting the most stripped down, vulnerable version of these songs and it’s a real privilege to witness someone practice a craft so sonically alluring. Plevnik has mentioned two upcoming albums during the live-streams: Croatian Waters and Stranger In My Own Country.

In May Plevnik self-released the beautiful single, “Requiem For My Father,” to streaming services. The song is a seven-minute voyage. The first half sounds straight from one of Plevnik’s live-streams – serenely floating solo acoustic guitar – but as it moves forward it becomes slowly engulfed, then capsized, by an army of strings and drums. 

Acoustic guitar player Dario Plevnik

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