Svetlana Spajic Group

Svetlana Spajic Group

 Belgrade, Central Serbia, SRB
BandWorldA Capella

Svetlana Spajic is not just and foremost a singer of traditional music, but a phenomenon whose imposing stage and artistic presence reveals deep, obssesive and elemental dedication and effort to restore contact with the greatest themes in the history of Western civilisation: Eros and Thanatos.


For twenty years Svetlana Spajic has been researching the ancient, orally transmitted vocal traditions of Serbian and Balkan non-tempered a capella singing and its unique vocal techniques and ornamentation. She learned from the best village local singers and in the meantime collaborated with the likes of Yanka Rupkina, Domna Samiou, Stella Chiweshe, Boris Kovac, Balkan Beat Box and conceptual artist Marina Abramovic.

Svetlana Spajic Group is her new a cappela project with three young singers from Belgrade. Svetlana forms broad and challenging repertoire of the oldest Serbian songs with genuine vocal techniques and ornaments such as "cutting" singing from Bosnia, mountain shaking songs, groktalica, ganga or tender old ballads from Eastern Serbia. Svetlana Spajic Group is a powerful expressive re-discovery of ancient vocal idioms, Dinaric second interval strikes, unexpected harmonies, forgotten languages with Svetlana' s recognizable stage dramaturgy and great emotional and physical impact.

Charismatic singer.
‘The Scotsman’

You'd have to be a lifetime steeped in the tradition to sound like that.
Max Reinhardt, reviewer

Wonderful voice and great presence.
Lucy Duran, ethnomusicologist, BBC

An interpreter of unbelievable voice-power and hypnotic stage charisma.
Richard Schuberth, Balkan Fever Festival


Zakosena zelena livada / The green field is mowed

Written By: traditional, Mrkonjic Grad, Bosnian Krajina, "shaking" singing

The green field is mowed
The young girl is wooed

Udacu se dje cu biti sama / I'll get marry where I'll be alone

Written By: traditional, female wedding song, Banija

I'll get marry where I'll be alone
and a single mistress of my home.

I'll get marry where the brothers buy
lots of land but they know how to share

My darling's family like me like a thorn in the eye
Mother-in-law, won't you love me like you love your son?

The autumn comes and the Indian Summer
Won't you get marry, you moustached bachelors!

Prioni mobo / Harvest Song

Written By: traditional, "na glas" and "na bas" singing, Zlatibor mountain, Western Serbia

Come on harvest helpers
Let us reap before the sun is strong
Let us bring beautiful Rada girl
closer to our handsome fellow Jovo.

Don't stop, let's work
come on harvest helpers!

Kad oblaci krenu s mora / When The Clouds Come from The Sea

Written By: traditional, Bosnian Krajina, Dalmatia, "na bas" singing

When the clouds come from the sea
they have their rest on Sator heights
There they rest and listen
the hum of the mountain

I watched from Sator
the tower of Princip
I watched Grahovo
Gavrilo's birthplace
I watched white sheep
Scatered down by Stoziste

Posle mome rosu da obiju / The Maidens Beat the Morning Dew

Written By: traditional, St. George's ritual song, Eastern Serbia

The maidens beat the morning dew
wash their white brows
pick all the flowers
make the crown for St.Geogre!
Mother wants to bath Him
sisters won't let her do it!
Sisters are going to bath Him!

Zaspala Joka / Joka Bogutovka fell asleep

Written By: traditional, “na glas”, the village of Rastosnica, the Drina river area, eastern Bosnia

Joka Bogutovka fell asleep,
Jovo Bogutovo wakes her up


-Moba - Prioni mobo/Come On Harvest Helpers, BILJEG, 1994.
-Drina: Traditional Serbian Singing – Živa voda, Promezzia, Svetigora, 2000.
-Extended Europe, live in Vienna, SALON ELISE - VIENNA, 2002.
-Pesme iznad Istoka i Zapada/The Songs Above East and West, compilation, PGP RTS 2000.
-Srbija Sounds Global vol. 1, B92 2000.
-Srbija Sounds Global vol. 2, B92, 2002.
-Srbija Sounds Global vol. 3, B92, 2004.
-Srbija Sounds Global vol 4, B92, 2008.
-Kosovo and Metohija, The Image of Europe, Tipon, Janus, 2005.
-Zegar Zivi , Zegar Zivi, Cloudvalley, London, 2008.
- Svetlana Spajic Group, label unsigned, 2010.