Saturday, November 03, 2007

English-language music with Bosnian links

It's been an odd, but rich, day for music today.

First, a friend has lent me his copy of Sting's Songs of the Labyrinth The rock star weirdly went back to the 16th century and recorded these melancholy Elizabethan era rock songs written by John Dowland. They are written voice and lute. Sting did the project after collaborating with a Bosnian musician Edwin Kalamazov, a flutist, on the music. It may be unusual but it's haunting and I have gone through it three times today.

Tonight we went to a Deep Purple concert. Yes! They are still alive. Well, only the drummer is still original, but they sounded great and they filled the giant Zenica stadium with an eclectic mix of skinny Bosnian kids, bikers, westerners and old people. The kids were shaking it -- climbing on each other's backs, dancing, holding up cell phones for photos the way an earlier generation held up lighters. I thought I might be getting a shade too old for smoke-filled room shaking with heavy metal, but this was great. I was intrigued that this crowd so far away from and so long after the band's debut knew all the lyrics and related to the music. Smoke on the Water could have been written in Sarajevo yesterday from the reaction, but a video playing in the background showed Jerry Garcia and Black Power scenes and 70s stuff they could not possibly know about.

Boki, the translator at CIN, tells me dismissively that this is not strange at all. "Bosnia," he informed me, "is not the center of the earth."

No comments:

Blog Archive