|Amira Medunjanin — Damar|
Amira Medunjanin — Damar (2016)
♠ Songs of yearning are intimate, and must be felt intimately. Bosnian singer Amira Medunjanin knows this: She learned Bosnia’s evocative songs of secret love and sublimated melancholy, sevdalinke, at home from her mother. She and her fellow Bosnians use these songs to cope, to heal, much in the way American singers use the blues.
♠ Which is why she only sings what moves her. “They have to move me, and touch me in a certain way,” muses Medunjanin. “It’s a physiological response.” It’s the heart of sevdah.
♠ Damar — a pulse, a life force, a beating heart
♠ Singer, humanitarian, and global ambassador for the culture and music of her native Bosnia & Herzegovina and the wider Balkan region, Amira Medunjanin has been described as “...one of the great voices of her generation, and almost certainly the finest from eastern Europe” (Observer); an artist with a “voluptuous voice (which) hovers enticingly between East and West” (Uncut).
Location: Sarajevo, Bosnia a Herzegovina
Album release: 2016
Record Label: World Village/PIAS
01 Pjevat cemo šta nam srce zna 4:19
02 Tvojte oci Leno mori 4:18
03 Vjetar ružu poljujkuje 4:27
04 More izgrejala sjajna mesecina 3:38
05 Kad ja podjoh na Bentbašu 5:59
06 Oj golube, moj golube 4:31
07 Moj dilbere 4:14
08 Damar 5:00
09 Ah, što cemo ljubav kriti 7:08
♠ For Amira (Amira Medunjanin), the sevdalinke she learned from her mother were the most beautiful of songs. Her fascination with the oral tradition of Bosnia & Herzegovina led her to devote herself to creating a unique voice within sevdalinke to explore their expressive capacity to the full. After guesting on Mostar Sevdah Reunion’s album ‘A Secret Gate’ in 2003, Amira recorded her debut album, ‘Rosa’ (Snail Records, 2005), which garnered great reviews in the UK and across Europe, featuring in several ‘Albums of the Year’ lists. Amira has performed throughout Europe and the Balkans, appearing at the Barbican and RNCM in the UK and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Dubbed “Bosnia’s Billie Holiday” by music journalist and author Garth Cartwright, the comparison reflects the way in which Amira turns her country’s traditional music inside out, finding new contexts and forms within a tradition that is hundreds of years old.
Robin Denselow, Thursday 17 November 2016 18:00 GMT / Score: ****
Amira Medunjanin: Damar review — powerful and passionate Bosnian folk
♠ Amira Medunjanin is the finest exponent of sevdah, the melancholy and emotional folk music of Bosnia, and is remarkable not just for her clear, pained voice, but for the way she balances respect for ancient styles with experiment. She started out with a fine local band, the Mostar Sevdah Reunion, but then teamed up with jazz pianist and producer Bojan Z and began to expand her range.
♠ Their latest album together includes powerful and passionate traditional material, including an exquisite old song from Sarajevo and jaunty Serbian folk tunes. Elsewhere, her songs are transformed by Bojan’s sometimes furious and edgy piano flourishes, or the flamenco-influenced guitar of Boško Jović. And on the title track, a slow and theatrical piece written by Jović, she takes on a new musical personality, now singing in a deep, breathy style against edgy and jazzy piano chords. — guardian
♠ Amira Medunjanin is a singer from Bosnia & Herzegovina, who records as Amira. Coming from Sarajevo, she’s a performer in the sevdah tradition.
♠ Amira was born at a time when the popularity of traditional music in the former Yugoslavia was at high tide, and sevdah held a special place for her.
♠ For her, sevdalinke were the most beautiful of songs. Amira’s fascination with the beauties of the oral tradition of Bosnia and Herzegovina led her to devote herself to creating a special artistic language, a language which was not subject to new musical fashions, or compromised to fit existing models.
♠ During the war Amira was working and performing with numerous artists in Sarajevo. In fact, she was a member of the Artist group established with aim to continue cultural development of BiH throughout the war. They had numerous performances, concerts and recordings in studios in Sarajevo.
♠ In 1996 Amira focused her interest in traditional music of Balkans and her aim was to do more comprehensive research into the colorful culture of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In that period Amira performed with a choir on festivals and concerts all around Croatia.
♠ 1997~1998, Amira expanded her interest in music art. Based on knowledge and experience she has started with organisation, preparations and development of a new project that will present B&H traditional music on a world music scene. In the meantime she was supporting other artists and helping them to express themselves. Working with semi~professional groups of musicians and visiting places outside of BiH, Amira was presenting the culture of this region.
♠ During these years, she has established very good contacts with various organisations and institutions in Germany, Croatia, Holland and England.
♠ 1998~2002, Amira started to develop the project born in 1996.
♠ Amira’s international debut was on the Mostar Sevdah Reunion’s CD “A Secret Gate” with the song “Mujo Djogu Po Mejdanu Voda” in 2003.
♠ In 2005, released her debut album, “Rosa”, for Snail Records, run by Amsterdam~based expat Bosnian and producer Dragi Sestic. On that album, she was backed by Mostar Sevdah Reunion, a virtuosic ensemble who made a series of great albums with Sestic. “Rosa” was a welcome introduction to Amira’s clear, pitch~perfect voice.
♠ She had to make all work with regard to record a CD with traditional songs from Former Yugoslavia, including writing project proposals, finding sponsors and publisher who will be interested in this kind of music.
♠ Her solid knowledge of English language made it easier to present the ideas and thoughts.
♠ Amira was lucky because she found friends among her future associates.
♠ 2002~2004, as a member of a band “Mostar Sevdah Reunion”, Amira performed on their latest CD “A Secret Gate” and joined them on several concerts in B&H.
♠ In November ~ December 2003, Amira recorded her debut album “Rosa” where some of the MSR artists helped her finalize her project.
|Amira Medunjanin — Damar|