Sunday, August 25, 2013

Il Bastidor - Arkul

Il Bastidor es el mejor disco que he escuchado en muchísimo tiempo. Combinando música a capela y arreglos minimalistas, Arkul, un dueto de Bosnia, interpreta canciones sefarditas. Aunque al inicio parece que el disco empieza un poco flojo con "Anderleto",  para la quinta canción, "Pesah ala mano", el escucha ya está totalmente sumergido en una atmósfera fascinante. Como muchos discos de música sefardí, Il Bastidor incluye "Adio Kerida", un clásico. No es la mejor interpretación de este tema; de hecho, la versión de Yasmin Levy, de cuyo disco Mano suave hablamos hace  unos días, es mucho mejor. Ya sea para escuchar  con atención o como ruido de fondo, Il Bastidor es un disco excelente musicalmente hablando y tremendamente bien producido.  La mejor canción es "Buena semana", de la cual presentamos un video a continuación:

Este disco tiene, como casi todo, una dimensión social: Vladimir Mickovic y Atilla Aksoj, los dos miembros de Arkul son miembros de la comunidad sefardí en Bosnia. Como sucedió con todas las comunidades sefardíes que se establecieron a lo largo y ancho del Mediterráneo tras su expulsión de España, la comunidad de Bosnia conservó relativamente intacto el ladino. Es realmente conmovedor pensar cómo, hasta el establecimiento del Estado de Israel, las comunidades judías expulsadas de España conservaron una versión de la lengua del país que los expulsó. A pesar de que España se portó como madrastra con los judíos, éstos la siguieron viendo como una madre...

Y ahora, Il Bastidor según su propio librito:

Our Arkuli (amphorae) tell stories about everything Sephardic Jews went throug during their exodus and their journeys on the Mediterranean, on their way to the 'better' lands. These receptacles are filled with meolides and sounds forgotten during the long trips of the people who for decades wandered from sea to sea, meeting different peoples, learning customs and songs. The sounds of Arkuli today are like stories from the past that could teach what we need the most now -the will to meet others and curiosity about them.
In our narro'minded time, the time of egotistic and narcissistic individualism, we want to turn the 'Other' into one of 'our own'. It is a sad contrast to the times we are trying to discover and sing in the forgotten Sephardic song.
In these meetings with the 'Other' at the seashores, the sholes that begot great civilisations, the stories, the myths, melodies, sounds and songs, interlaced with no fear.
It wasn't always easy.
Contact with the 'other', with the unknown, excites us constantly but it frightens some too. At first there was fear, but after some time it disappeared, and gave place to curiosity. The desire to get to know those we feared. The ones we live close to, whom we encountered by chance. Like small children we'd go closer to the unknown, trying to inspect it, to understand it. Curiosity about the unknown gave birth to Forbidden Love. That love was breaking chains, it was like a curious child. The children of the forbidden love today are still looking in the distance, their glance riveting the open Sea. The journeys continued, and the forbidden loves but turned into happy marriages, the marriages of the just recognized differences. Il bastidor protected the courageous newlyweds in their decision to break from parental and tribal proscriptions.
There is no dawn at the sea. A clear light wakes us up suddenly, as suddenly as it appeared and lit the surface of the high sea. Journey is salvation. Sailing is a journey too. Egypt is not far, and the sea is heavy. We are banished again, floating the sea surfaces.
The shores appear from time to time, they are salvation. The Pessah came just when the great coast appeared.
There is no life without love. Love during the voyages is the anchor for the monads. It makes easier to go through the long days, and makes us forget all the troubles easier and quicker. The good days remain. Good weeks, months, and, with children, good years.
Travellers, nomads, those looking for a 'better' land for themselves and their own, for peace and the place where only stories would remind them of their long-gone, accomplished journey towards better and safer seaports, those are the peoople who know farewills, unfulfilled loves and wishes. On the eyes and lips of travellers often stays a bitter and heavy tast of the words 'Good by my loved one'. The perhaps never touched lips, the unseen eyes bid farewell because the journey is ahead of us. It's waiting.
The long, unexpectedly long journey must end sometimes. In that new place, which someday perhaps will too bee ours, mine, we have to meet its inhabitants. Offer them our stories, our bread, our song. A song is universal communicative gossamer, understood by all, it won't hurt, but it will entangle you into stories and memories of times and journeys, meetings and acquaintances. Let's call it the Feast of Fruitfulness of the human mind and its wish to meet others, the wish for the shared happiness of peoople, something we all wish for and hope for.
'Who's there at the window?' There's a song coming from the window, a song I know! I don't know the words, but I reconize the melody. It seems like it's coming from one of ours, the song we sang at our journey song, a long journey. Madam Gaspar sings it, yes, the madam who before us made that journey, the one of encounters and recognition. I don't want to talk about her anymore, a song on this album will tell you much more about her. Perhaps it will sound familiar to you too, as a spirit of the times, long gone, the times that aren't going to die. Another day is behind us, a day in the succession of days since we arrived on this seaport. Is this the 'better land'? Maybe more, about that tomorrow. Now it's time to rest. Sleep, sleep...
-Husein Orucevic
Sephardic Jews first moved to the region of today's Bosnia and Herzegovina somewhere between the end of the 15th and during the 16th century, when, during the dark times of the Inquisition they were -ironically in 1492- banned from Spain. Despite the unimaginable trials and challenges in the centuries that followed, the Jewish commuinty -the Sephardim and especially later, the Ashkenazi's (or Eastern European Jews) have not only survived but, almost during the whole period, both exercised a huge cultural influence on the autochton Slavic population, itself divided between the three dominant religions, and the culture as a whole.
The Sephardim spoke Ladino -an old Spanish dialect interspersed with Hebrew, Arabic and Aramaic. This particular dialect found an ideal milieu within the South Slavic language that itself underwent a number of radical inguistic influences, and was also a language that thrived in such eclecticism.
During the following centuries the Ladino dialect had of course picked up some Slavic words and terms, but still demonstrated a strong resilience to change -to which testifies an immediate 'archaic' feel, experienced by almost every listener exposed to the language today.
FCurrently, there are still around 500 speakers of Ladino in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and even a small revival of the languag has been noticed -largely owing to the music.
-Djordje Matic

No comments:

Post a Comment