Saz'iso - At Least Wave Your Handkerchief At Me (Glitterbeat Records)

With 'At Least Wave Your Handkerchief At Me', Glitterbeat Records and producers Joe Boyd, Edit Pula and Andrea Goertler introduce the world to Albanian band Saz'iso. The seeds for this project were laid in 2011 when Joe collaborated with ethnomusicologist Lucy Duran and Albanian artist Edit Pula on a three-part program on Albanian music that was broadcast on BBC Radio 3. In 2014 Boyd accompanied Lucy to Albania, where Edit Pula and her friend Andrea Goertler, both passionate about the country's music traditions, soon enticed them into doing an album project. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, some of the best Albanian vocalists and musicians were drafted in and Saz'iso was born. Joe Boyd: "I had long been intrigued by Albanian music. In 1988, I saw a smuggled video of that year's Gjirokastër Folklore Festival, but good recordings were hard to find. When I finally went in 2014, I was captivated by the country and its mesmerizing music; the germ of a plan to make a record took hold.". The first part of the Saz'iso band name refers to the saze, traditional Albanian ensembles in which polyphonic vocals are supported by llautë (lute), violin, clarinet, dajre and flute, and the eponymous music genre, sometimes also defined as the "Albanian blues" that followed. Or as Vasil S. Tole, a local expert, states: "Saze remains to this day the musical language of the cities of southern Albania, where East and West embraced when European instruments collided with the magic of acapella singing, and where life and death still coexist in a sound that is truly unique.". The last part of the band name is a reference to the iso-polyphonic character of South Albanian music. That means that at least two vocal lines, called marrës and prerës, are combined with a polyphonic drone. After Bosnian sevda, Bulgarian folk and the Gipsy taraf-orchestras and brass bands from Romania, 'At Least Wave Your Handkerchief At Me' now gives you the chance to discover the saze-traditions of the long isolated Albania. The last word goes to Vasil S. Tole: "This recording is a landmark in the history of saze music. These performers are following in the footsteps of the great masters that have preceded them, while the careful and thorough production and wonderful sound quality allow us to experience recorded saze as never before!".


Added: Oct 13, 2017