[wzslider]By: Medina Malagić
Last night, the promotion of the new album called ”Bilješke iz Šestice” from the band Divanhana took place in hotel Sarajevo. The atmosphere last night was emotionally charged and filled with anticipation as the band performed songs from their second album that has just been released.
Divanhana is a band from B&H composed of young musicians and was founded in 2009 by a group of students from the Sarajevo Music Academy (Leila Ćatić-vocals, Neven Tunjić-piano and composer, Meho Radović-clarinet, Nedžad Mušović-accordian, Azur Imamović-bass guitar, Rifet Čamdžić-drums, Danijel Čondric-guitar and Irfan Tahirović-percussions) who perform their unique interpretation of Sevdalinka music.
Sevdalinka is difficult to describe in words. It is a genre of music that is deeply embedded in B&H culture and history. Maybe the best description of Sevdalinka that I have heard until now is how it was described to me by a friend of mine: ”Sevdalinka is when my father cries and laughs at the same time”
Folk music still enjoys popularity among the youth in B&H, and this is testament to the enduring power and appeal of Sevdah music. Emotionally charged, melancholic lyrics that leave one feeling somber, but simultaneously filled with acceptance. It is an acceptance of a variety of emotions that can be felt at the same time and many people have described Sevdah music to me in this way. Hence why it is difficult to provide an elaborate description of Sevdah music. It is something that one is able to feel without having to understand the lyrics. The words are not nearly as important when listening to Sevdah. The universal emotions that every individual feels, which are difficult to put into words, are inevitably encompassed through Sevdah music, offering meaning through purely the ability to feel.
The once popular traditional interpretations of Sevdalinka music has now given way to the fusion of various musical elements within traditional Sevdah. This is where Divanhana comes in. Divanhana is a band that is in the forefront in the revival of the Sevdah scene in B&H, as well as in regions in the former Yugoslavia and abroad, and they have performed all over Europe. They have an eclectic mix of musical sounds, fusing genres such as jazz, pop and classical music from the 20th century. Their importance lies in the fact that they are contributing to sustaining and promoting a very important part of the cultural history of B&H, but accommodating to today’s urban culture and their openness to experimenting with new styles. This in no way tarnishes the richness of Sevdah music. Rather, it adds to its depth and shows the universal message that this form of music conveys.
The sale of their second album ”Bilješke iz Šestice” is now available and features 14 songs. In addition to mainly Sevdalinkas, there is one traditional song each from the countries of Macedonia, Serbia, and one Roma song.