An Event Inspired by Bosnian Love Songs in Seattle to celebrate the Sevdah music!
Part One - Sarajevo
I was born in Sarajevo in early 60's. I never liked winter, but I liked snow. There was something magical when everything gets emerged in its silence, and people look happy for no particular reason at all, other than it snows. I never liked rain. there was something really sad about it. I remember we had an old record with a really sad song on it, and a picture of the rain drops on the window overlooking the gray sky, which somehow perfectly fitted its sad lyrics.
I liked summers. It was sunny and warm, and that was the time we went on vacation to the seaside. I liked everything about the sea - its smell, color, I even liked myself better, because everything in me was perfectly balanced and I didn't have to do anything about it, except to be there. I always envied the kids who lived at the seaside. All they had to do is be born, and that was it, mission accomplished. But somehow they didn't seem to realize that, they rarely went to swim in the ocean and enjoy the sun on the beach. Like they didn't care about it at all. Other people have to work hard over the year just so that they could borrow a small piece of that magic for just a short time.
There was, however, a feeling equally good, or maybe even better, to come back home, to see the well known landscape, and to recognize the landmarks of your hometown. Your heart always jumps a little, and although you tell him it's okay, it's just home, it didn't matter. Why is that? What is so special about that place we call home? How come it feels so good, even if you have just come from a much nicer place?
Part Two - Seattle
I live in Seattle now. How did I end up here? You think when you consciously leave your homeland for good that you could have picked a place with a little less rainy days? Apparently no. There is some kind of a connection between you and the place you live, which is beyond what eyes can see and what ears can hear. It is an invisible link that like a fiberoptic cable exchanges the information between you and the surroundings and makes you who you are, and also makes your surroundings what it is. So in my case, the plan was already set in motion before I even decided to leave, and Planet Earth has made that decision for me. I realized that after many years, when I felt that very familiar feeling of coming back home. It was at first very faint, but it grew stronger by day.
So I have become not only a resident of Seattle, but an actual Seattlean. My wife and I have our favorite restaurant, our daughter was born here, we grew to love summers in Seattle, lake Chelan reminds us of the Croatian coast, vitamins help through the rainy days, and I don't feel upset any more if I get stuck driving behind the old folks in Ballard.
There are many common denominators between Sarajevo and Seattle. They both begin with the letter S, they are both rich in culture, and parts of the landscape is surprisingly similar. But, the biggest one of all, what really connects these two cities half a planet apart, is actually - me (and I mean other people like me).
There is a very special feeling when your life is slowly destroyed by a series of events over which you have no control. You pick up what is left, and try to rebuild it piece by piece, often wondering how did this happen? Is this the end of one cycle, or the beginning of another? It is a cold and bitter, but at the same time a wonderful feeling that not really everyone can understand. I wanted to share this feeling with others, and what better way to do this than music!
I believe that music is the very essence from which the Universe is created. Everything in it from the smallest particles to largest galaxies oscillates and vibrates in some frequency, which is really nothing but a really small (or a really big) tune, and if you could scale down the space, or super size yourself, you could hear the eternal song of the universe. So, maybe that's not possible, but I thought if I can put together musicians from one place and ask them to play music from another how they hear it - this could sound the same way I feel for past 20 years.