Harmonia Mundi/World Village

The home of the soul is silence; from this silence beautiful music emerges. Amira Medunjanin’s voice touches that silence on one end of its range; on the other, it reaches transcendent emotional purity. Her voice makes a full circle, as it were, to the soul and its silence. In that, she can claim kinship with Billie Holiday or Cesaria Evora.

Another way to put it: Amira’s singing brings tears to one’s eyes and unmitigated joy to one’s heart. Her voice is good news for those of us who need music to live.

And there is more good news: Amira has found a musical soulmate in Bojan Z who feels all of her sadness and joy and perfectly complements it on his piano, ever respectful of the silence looming beyond it all. It does not hurt at all that their choice of songs to perform together is impeccable, superbly suited to their shared tradition and sensibility–a kind of melancholy so deeply felt that it inescapably results in the pleasure of expressing it.

That is why Amira and Bojan’s music manages to contain simultaneously a wealth of tradition and an organic modernity. So much of the so-called world music is marred by the clumsy fusion between different musical idioms, but, upon listening to their performance of an old song like Bele ruže, it is entirely obvious and expectable that Amira’s sublime voice should be accompanied by a jazz combo. There is no dissociation of sensibilities, no audible seams or meaningful distinction between the old and the new.

We live in a world that abhors silence, in a global culture in which the deafening noise of mindless entertainment is ceaselessly produced. Much of contemporary music, whatever the genre, is tranquilizing at best, painfully aggressive at worst, invested in blocking out all of the complicated sadness and joy of human existence. But then there are artists like Amira and Bojan, who create space for us to enter and be with one another, sharing silence and music. To be able to carve out such a soulful space in the wasteland of soullessness requires not only talent and integrity but also an unconditional belief that music brings out what is good in human beings. Amira and Bojan Z bring out the best in us, and in each other.

For that, and for their music, we must be grateful. I know I am.

Aleksandar Hemon

ZUMRA by Amira / Merima Ključo

Harmonia Mundi/World Village March 29th 2010

“Zumra, merveilleusement servi par deux extraordinaires artistes bosniaques, offre une nouvelle vision de la sevdah, cette musique mélancolique des Balkans.”

“Zumra provides a unique interpretation in the long history of Sevdah through these two extraordinary Bosnian-born artists.”

ZUMRA by Amira / Merima Ključo

Gramofon 2009 …………………….

“Only today, with all my available senses and from many angles and magical foggy depth, I have listened over and over again to Zumra, the album of two incredible artists, accordionist Merima Ključo and singer Amira Medunjanin. I have read earlier, mostly positive, even euphoric reviews of this musical masterpiece, and the only thing, in the majority of them, I do not like, is the conclusion that Amira and Merima “offered their specific way of interpreting sevdalinka.” Incorrect. These two together presented the ONLY correct, aware and considerate model of (re) interpretation of sevdalinka!”

Senad Avdić, SLOBODNA BOSNA (December 2009)

AMIRA Live @ Jazz Fest Sarajevo

Gramofon 2009 …………………….

A recording of a concert that was held at the Bosnian Cultural Centre on 6th of November 2008 at 12th international music festival Jazz Fest Sarajevo, as part of the Next Generation program. Available on Finetunes.net and iTunes



Connecting Cultures/Snail Records 2005

“The twelve songs from Rosa compromise the most fierce Bosnian musical experience in recent memory; Amira’s rich, languid voice conveyes so much emotion listening to this CD can be, at times, almost overwhelming.  I play Rosa again and again, sinking into the deep, carefully caressed syllables on U Djul Basci, riding the high notes to a mountaintop village on Zajdi, Zajdi, surfing the raw acoustic dissonance of Bogata sam Imam Svega whilst imagining “this must be what it’s like to hide from mortar shells”.  Oh what sad, mad, beautiful music sevdah is.”

Garth Cartwright, fRoots (March 2005)  Available on Amazon

A Secret Gate – Guest appearance / Mostar Sevdah Reunion

Connecting Cultures/Snail Records 2003

… and the overall flavour of the album is that of a soulful melancholy, music made by people touched by tragedy, yet determined to keep on living.  Very highly recommended.

Garth Cartwright, fRoots (February 2004)