Damir Imamović (BA)
Ti år inde i en fascinerende karriere, finder den bosniske musiker Damir Imamović fortsat innovative takes på den traditionsrige sevdah musik – ofte refereret til som ’Bosnian blues’.
Radar er glade for at kunne præsentere ham i selskab med en helt ny kvartet til maj, der udover ham selv består af legendariske musiker som avant-garde bassisten Greg Cohen (der tidligere har sat sit præg på samarbejder med så markante navne som Tom Waits, Ornette Coleman, Laurie Anderson og John Zorns Masada), en af Tyrkiets absolut bedste klassiske solister Derya Türkan (Kudsi Ergüner, Erkan Oğur) og violinisten Ivana Djurić, der også er med i Damirs band Sevdah Takht og derudover er en af de mest prominente solister i moderne seydah.
Kvartetten repertoire vil denne aften bestå af en tur gennem Damirs omfattende og varierende bagkatalog fra det sidste årti, samt bestå af rejser tilbage til nogle af sevdah-klassikerne. Med Greg Cohens årelange engagement i østeuropæisk musikkultur og Derya Türkans tyrkiske musikrødder, vil Damirs grænser nok en gang blive rykket ud i en interessant musikalsk rejse.
Taking its name from sevda, the Turkish word for love, derived in turn from the Arabic sawda meaning ‘black bile’ (and hence melancholy), sevdah has been played in the Balkans in one form or another since at least the 15th century. Although the temptation to refer to it as ‘Bosnian blues’ is perhaps too infrequently resisted, its lyrical and musical preoccupations with love, longing and loss do provide us with a bridge to other European roots traditions, such as fado, whose central concept of saudade is itself related to sawda.
Sarajevo born and raised, Imamović has been steeped in the sounds of sevdah since childhood. Much has been said of his stellar family tradition – both his father and grandfather remain legends of the form. Since those early days, however, when he would ward off boredom during the siege of the city in the early 1990s by learning guitar chords in his basement shelter, Imamović has completely changed the rules of the game.
For this is not a man content to insert himself seamlessly into any line of succession – that would be too easy. He comes with questions and challenges above all: questions for those gatekeepers of the genre bent on reducing style, rhythm and repertoire to a narrow set of conventions; and challenges to the more recent 20th century orthodoxies that would make of sevdah a straightforward reflection of national character. Imamović’s art is nothing less than a quiet, steady insurgency within sevdah – deeply considered work that refuses the seductions of nationalism. It takes the music beyond its birthplace and shows it the world.