AMIRA

AMIRA

BandWorldJazz

"The home of the soul is silence; from this silence beautiful music emerges.
Amira's voice touches that silence on one end of its range; on the other, it reaches transcendent emotional purity.
Her voice is good news for those of us who need music to live." A Hemon

Biography

AMIRA was born in Sarajevo at the time when the popularity of traditional music in the former Yugoslavia was at the high tide, and sevdah held a special place for her. The sevdalinke (sevdah songs) she learned from her mother were the most beautiful of songs. Her fascination with the oral tradition of Bosnia and Herzegovina led her to devote herself to creating a unique voice within sevdah to explore its expressive capacity to the full. She had spent years searching in vain for to find people who shared her ideas about sevdah, and for the best way to present it.

Dubbed "Bosnia's Billie Holiday" by music journalist and author Garth Cartwright, the comparison reflects the way in which Amira turns sevdah inside out, finding new contexts and forms within a tradition that is hundreds of years old.

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 "Album of the Year" lists.
In April 2009 Amira released Live album, a recording of a concert held at the Jazz Fest Sarajevo in 2008. At the same time, in April 2009, Amira released the album named Zumra. The album represents the innovative approach to the musical tradition of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Macedonia by fusing contemporary accordion and arrangements to the traditional melody, lyrics and vocal styling. Zumra was released in March 2010 by Harmonia Mundi / World Village. Her latest album Amulette, has also been released by Harmonia Mundi / World Village on October 3rd 2011.
Synergy that is achieved is completely refreshing and it contributed to the development and popularisation of two diametrically opposite musical genres. Unique musical style and virtuosity of Bojan Z set new boundaries and provided a unique stamp on the treatment of compositions that are hundreds of years old.

Lyrics

Bele ruze

Written By: Traditional

Track description
“White Roses” tells the story of a love – as do so many songs – and not just any love, but an
unrequited love. The one, they say, that hurts the most.This song is dedicated to the late Šaban
Bajramovic, perhaps the greatest Gypsy singer to have ever walked upon the Earth.

Zemi me zemi

Written By: Traditional

Track description:Both flirtatious and threatening, this song is an illustration of how a great desire can, if
spurned, easily turn into hatred. How dangerous can love be?
“Take me, marry me, why don’t you take me?
If you marry anyone, it’s me you should marry!
If you do not, then God will take you!”

Grana od bora

Written By: Traditional

Track description:
Imagine a crowd of sailors sitting by the sea, drinking. It is already dawn, but still they ask
for more wine. One voice is calling for Marica, the young barmaid: “Marica, bring us more
wine”. She looks for excuses saying, “I cannot, I am barefoot, and the morning dew will make
my feet cold”. But that does not deter him and he tries to persuade her by promising to buy
her a pair of shoes. She becomes upset, and yells at him angrily: “I don’t need you to buy me
shoes! My father is a trader at sea, he’ll get them for me!”

Proseta se Jovka kumanovka

Written By: Traditional

Track description:
Kumanovo, Macedonia, in the days of Turkish rule. A young woman haunts the field, walking
back and forth in search of a lost necklace. But she is not alone; as the wealthy Aga Latif
passes by, her beauty overwhelms him. “Stay your walking, Jovka of Kumanovo, for I shall
take you as my bride.”

Kafu mi draga ispeci

Written By: Traditional

Track description:
She knows he is not faithful, for he has told her so; yet he sends an impudent message asking
to spend the night with her, thinking himself irresistible.
How strong does one have to be to say farewell to a love like that?
Very strong…and she is.

Discography

A Secret Gate (Snail Records, 2003)
Rosa (Snail Records, 2005)
Live from Jazz Fest Sarajevo (Gramofon 2009)
Zumra (Harmonia Mundi / World Village 2010)
Amulette (Harmonia Mundi / World Village 2011)

Set List

Bele Ruze
Zemi me zemi
Kafu mi draga ispeci
Grana od bora
Jano mori
Oj ti momce Ohrigjance
Omer beze
Sabahzorski vjetrovi
Marijo deli bela kumrijo
More izgrejala sjajna mesecina
Jovano Jovanke
Iz banju ide sejtan devojce
Ajde Jano