Saz’iso

The Joys and Sorrows of Southern Albanian Song

Saz'iso

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

Discover

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The songs on this album tell of joy and sorrow, love and loss, heroism and tragedy.

 

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The first Record Box commissioned by The Space has been compiled by Joe Boyd, legendary founder of the UFO club in the 1960s, and discoverer of Pink Floyd among others. Head into his record box...

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Two shepherds in the Albanian mountains, Arif, a Muslim, and Anastas, an orthodox Christian, have been friends for years in spite of religious barriers. Their profound friendship is constantly strengthened by a local musical tradition, the polyphony.

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