CHRIS SPEED sax | clarInette
FRANK MOEBUS guitar
MARK HELIAS bass
DEJAN TERZIC drums
"...all of a sudden we are thrusted into the heart of the balkan genius, into his sweet irresistible confusion of feelings, where people are, at the same time, laughing, crying,singing, between an ironic thoughtlessness and an exacerbated sentimentalism- life is a permanent and opencast complete theater, with its intense dramas, its unutterabel joys and, always, omnipresent, this beautiful nostalgia that never overloads itself....a few bars filled with pure, joyful melancholy... "
When I first started working for this project "Undergound",I was moved by the huge impact that Balkan - Folk Music and Films - have made throughout Europe.The imagery and the music appeared so familiar and genuine to me that I immediately fell in love with it - (one aspect of the definition of "feeling" is its primordial impact: it is born in us without our will, often against our will)- .
This was the time when I realized that it would be an indispensible step for my own music to discover and explore the realms offolkloristic melodies and rhythms of the Balkans. As a matter of fact, being born and growing up in ex-Yugoslavia did not necessarily include listening to that kind of music or being all too familiar with it.
Some of the melodies on this CD are based on very old folk songs that always have been popular in "good old" Yugoslavia. However, these songs earned a kind of renewed prominence during the wave of Ethnomusic in the last few years. Folk songs have become "world songs", "Worldmusic".
At a certain point I began to become curious about the origins of this music from the Balkans, and, at the same time, I felt a need to explore my very own musical roots. Being born in a country that does not exist anymore is a strange "point of departure".It raises certain questions about the existence ( or the non-existence) of national Identity, Patriotism,Nostalgia, all attached to notions of Romanticist "Sehnsucht". In this context it is interesting that dealing with the music simultaneously changed my perception of all of these words. Where is home? Or what is home ? Difficult question, perhaps one can find it in some parts of the music rather then in politics. Actually, questions around "identity" are only difficult or crucial for people who do not understand the impact of music and art on the human soul. Accordingly, in this project I have explored some of the most beautiful songs that I was able to find in that entire region of he Balkans without any national preferences as in my view music and art stands above any form of nationality.