Goran Bregovici

GORAN BREGOVIC and his Wedding and Funeral Orchestra Goran Bregovic describes himself simply as contemporary composer. Why then does his "contemporary" sound different from music of other contemporary composers? Because Goran is from the Balkans. And in the Balkans "contemporary" is different. What does his orchestra for Weddings and Funerals composed of a gypsy brass band, traditional Bulgarian polyphonies, an electric guitar, traditional percussion, strings and Orthodox Church male singers, read on Bregovic’s score sheets? Echoes from Jewish and Gypsy weddings, chants from Orthodox and Catholic Church, Muslim invocations. His music comes from that terrible frontier where for centuries Catholics, Orthodox Christians and Muslims made war and lived together. Music that our soul recognises instinctively and the body greets with an irresistible urge to dance. Born in Sarajevo of a Serbian mother and a Croatian father. After a few years of (very unenthusiastic) music studies at the conservatory (violin), Goran forms his first group "The White Button" at the age of sixteen. Composer and guitar player ("I chose the guitar because guitar players always have most success with girls"), he admits his immoderate love for rock n'roll. "In those times, Rock had a capital role in our lives. It was the only way we could make our voice heard, and publicly express our discontent without risking jail (or just about)..." Studies of philosophy and sociology would most certainly have landed him teacher of Marxist thought, had the gigantic success of his first record not decided otherwise. Follow fifteen years with his group "The White Button", marked by marathon-tours and endless sessions of autographing in which Goran plays youth idol in Eastern countries until he's sick and tired of it. At the end of the eighties BREGOVIC takes time away from this permanent hustle-bustle to compose music for Kusturica's "Times of the Gypsies", and to make his childhood dream come true: to live in a small house on an island in the Adriatic. The War in Yugoslavia shatters this, and many other dreams, and Goran has to abandon everything to find exile in Paris… starting point for roaming the world with his music that made him a honorary citizen of Buenos Aires, Tirana and Athens and honorary Doctor of Music from Sheffield University, UK. MUSIC FOR MOVIES Coming from the same background, the same generation, survivors of the same experiences, Goran BREGOVIC and Emir KUSTURICA formed a tandem which didn't need words to communicate. After "Times of the Gypsies" Goran had a free hand to compose the original soundtrack for "Arizona Dream". The music lives up to the film - poetical, original and incredibly enhancing. "One of the great things about Emir's movies is that they show life exactly as it is - full of holes, hesitations and unexpected events. It's this imperfect, unorganised side that I wanted to preserve above all. Even the songs recorded with Iggy are very under-produced. There's just his voice and behind it a gypsy-orchestra blowing into old pre-war trumpets and cow's horns. It's really very simple." Patrice Chereau entrusts him with the music for "La Reine Margot", Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1994. Goran delivers a majestic piece with rock accents. The music for Emir Kusturica's "Underground", Palme d'Or at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival, was also signed by Goran. But not the following film. A three year collaboration on "Underground" has worn everyone out and Emir has to find a whole new team for his next film. Recently Goran composed spicy music with a "kletzmer" aroma for the "Train de Vie" of Radu MIHAELANU acclaimed by the critics in Venice, Sao Paulo, Berlin and by the public everywhere it was shown. He has since devoted himself to the interpretation of his own music and lent himself to a second stage-career. Without completely abandoning the movies, however: Nana Djordjaze "1001 Recipes of a Cook in Love", "27 Missing Kisses" in 2001, Unni STRAUME Music for Weddings and Funerals" (original music and the main male role) in 2002, Venice Film Festival official selection. In 2004 Bregovic repeats the same adventure: he composes music and plays the main role in an Italian film entitled "Giorni dell'Abandono" ("The days of Abandon") premiered in Autumn 2005, Venice Film Festival official selection. MUSIC FOR THEATRE "Silence of the Balkans" was a very ambitious multimedia project performed in 1997 in Thessaloniki, under the direction of Slovenian Tomaz PANDUR with video images by Boris MILJKOVIC. Then a collaboration with Teatro Stabile from Trieste for whom he wrote the stage music for a very unusual "Hamlet", and Goran Bregovic starts enjoying writing for the theatre. Follows a collaboration with one of the most "fashionnable" Italian directors, Marco BAILANI for whom, commissioned by the Festival NOVECENTO in Palermo, he writes the music for "The Children's Crusade" (created November 1999).

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