New interpretations of Sevdah from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Jewish Sephardic music from the Balkans.
Saray Iluminado was formed in 2013 and has progressed swiftly to become one of Melbourne's most original world music ensembles, performing at festivals and venues including the Caravan Club, Open Studio, Cygnet Folk Festival and the Bosnian Embassy in Canberra.
The core of this group is Nela's intimate knowledge of Sevdah and Bosnian and Herzegovinian cultural customs and traditions. Ernie's knowledge of Sephardic, Klezmer, East European and Gypsy music supported by Kelly, Irine and Dan's multi-genre musicianship complete the ensemble. Together, these musicians draw on the practices of traditional Sevdah and Sephardic masters of the past two centuries to create intimate participatory musical gatherings and new vocabularies for the expression of their authentic musical imagination.
Saray Iluminado takes Sevdah and Sephardic music forward, by rigorously and poetically investigating and taking it right back to the times when the musical genres were played privately (or even confidentially, as was the case with Sephardic music at certain periods in time) among family members... in these times songs were sung to ease the spirit within, to utter the unspeakable and to, often not be heard further than within the four walls of one’s private dwellings, but which they have long surpassed popping its maqam chiseled head into the light of the present day. No matter what they do the members of Saray Iluminado are constantly aiming to pave pathways and develop new vocabularies for the expression of their authentic musical imagination...
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