In the first quarter of the last century, urban life boomed as millions migrated to cities. Jazz, tango, flamenco, Cuban son, Bosnian sevdah and so many other great musical forms grew in this cauldron of rural roots colliding with urban lives. From these styles came the nascent recording industry’s new stars.
One of the least known - and under-recorded – is the Saze music of Southern Albania, which has flourished for over a century in the beautiful cities of Korce, Permet and Berat. The aching blues of the „Kaba“ clarinet and violin, the intricate rhythms of the dances, the polyphonic melodies and the soulful singing deserve a global audience.
Working with the legendary engineer Jerry Boys, my local co-producers Edit Pula and Andrea Goertler and an ensemble of some of the greatest Albanian virtuosi, I intend to correct this with a new recording.
Last December we all gathered in Korce to meet and play (the source of the clip at the top). In selecting the performers we were guided by the Radio 3 World Routes programmes on Albanian music on which Edit worked with our friend and inspiration, Lucy Durán.
We have the support of Bryn Ormrod from London’s Barbican Arts Centre and Katerina Pavlakis from Making Tracks who will bring our group to London and the rest of the UK in the autumn of 2017. Jerry and I have made fruitful recording journeys before – to Madrid for the Songhai CDs in the 1980s, to Havana for the Cubanismo recordings, to Budapest for a Muzsikás project...
With your generous donations, we will carry on this tradition in Tirana this November and create a sonic monument to this beautiful music from one of the last unknown corners of European musical culture.
Risks and challenges
Joe Boyd and Jerry Boys can be counted among the world's most experienced in the field of far-flung recording projects. Between them, they have returned from journeys to Cuba, Mali, Hungary, Bulgaria, Senegal and Brazil with master recordings that have set a standard for quality. With the local expertise of Edit Pula and Andrea Goertler, we are confident the all obstacles can be overcome.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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