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The Joys and Sorrows of Southern Albanian Song


A rare opportunity to hear the mesmerizing music of Albanian Saze: thrilling harmonies, joyful dances and soulful laments.

Samba from Brazil, Cuban son, New Orleans Jazz – and Albanian Saze… The early decades of the last century saw mass urban migration and rural people bringing their music with them, adapting traditions to new circumstances using modern instruments. Producer Joe Boyd (Nick Drake, REM, Fairport Convention) has long been fascinated by Albanian music – since the country opened up to global influences after the fall of communism – and has put together an ensemble called ‘Saz’iso’ (echoing the ancient iso-polyphonic singing of Southern Albania on which their intricate weaving of vocal and instrumental lines are based) and recorded them.

The group performing tonight includes three great singers along with virtuoso masters of the violin, clarinet, llautë (lute) and dajre (frame drum) from the heart of ‘Saze country’, the beautiful cities of Permet and Korce. Their thrilling harmonies, joyful dances and soulful laments create melodies that feel both warmly familiar and wonderfully exotic.

Produced by the Barbican

UK tour presented by Making Tracks


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LSO St Luke's