Albánské polyfonie

Thu, 26. 3. 2009 - 20:00
Hlahol, Masarykovo Nábřeží 16, Praha 1

„Searching for the hidden voice” – Albanian Polyphony Concert Tour - Polyphonic Ensemble “Jonianet” (Saranda, South Albania)

The South Albanian harbour town of Saranda represents with three polyphonic choirs („Jonianet“, „Dea“ and „Voices of the nightingale”) one of the centres of the polyphonic tradition of Lab singing. The six singers of the polyphonic Ensemble “Jonianet”, founded in 1993 by Maksi Kulo, are preserving, promoting and revitalizing the menaced older singing tradition of Saranda and Delvina. The extensive repertoire, inherited by the “rapsod” Kiço Kapedani, includes epic-historic songs, migrations songs, ritual and love songs. Even art songs, based on traditional pentatonic modes, enriched by texts of contemporary local poets have been integrated into their repertoire. The significance of the „Jonianet“ ensemble as a ambassador of South Albanian music has been underlined by performances at the Folklore Festivals of Berat 1995, Përmet 2001 and Drenas/Kosovo 2002. The singers have participated as well at the National Folk Fest Gjirokastra in 2000 and 2004, where they were awarded several prizes. In addition the ensemble participates annually at the International Theatre Festival in the antique amphitheatre of Butrinti. In 2005 the ensemble toured Germany, participating among others at the Tanz and Folk-Fest Rudolstadt. With blending their powerful voices in three-part style they were evocating ancient forms of European music, making audible an fascinating but menaced living musical practice, which was declared “Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity” by the UNESCO in 2005.

Saze-Ensemble (Saranda, South Albania)
"Jonianet" will be accompanied by singer, violinist and clarinettist Arian Shumbuli and his musicians. They present instrumental tunes from the Labëria region and Çamëria, the Greek-Albanian borderlands. His Saze-Ensemble is influenced as well by the Ottoman music tradition as by the Greek-Epirotic tradition of kumpaneia. The presented music is primarily wedding music, which is played on two subsequent days as dancing music in the shadow of olive trees. To these tunes are dances typically Albanian row dances, named Pogonishto.

Gerda Dalipaj (Tirana, Albania)
Gerda Dalipaj was born in Elbasan in 1977 and lives in Tirana. Her poetries are rooted in the epic, orally transmitted folk literature of Albania. Nevertheless they are emotionally charged and enigmatic accounts of the transformations and paradoxies of a post-communist Balkan state. Although her poetries were published first in Albanian in 1996 under the title “Far from this star”, they remained largely unknown outside her home country till the publication of German translations of her work in Manuskripte (173/2006). A bilingual edition of here selected poetries entitled “New knots” is forthcoming. Beside Mimoza Ahmeti and Luljeta Lleshanaku she can be considered one of most promising figures of contemporary Albanian poetry.

The program of the presented participants is aimed at a musical-literary encounter during which the poetry of Gerda Dalipaj will be performed by the different groups in an improvised manner. This approach leaves space to show the vitality and transformability of an orally transmitted musical tradition at the edge of Europe in a convincing way.

Notes: Eckehard Pistrick