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Goran Bregović

Goran Bregović was born on March 22, 1950 in Sarajevo. Just like Emir Kusturica, he reflects by his origins the multi-ethnic aspect of Yugoslavia : his father is Croatian, his mother Serb, his wife muslim . He is today surely the most known composer of the balkans.

At the age of 16, after studies of violin, he creates Bijelo Dugme (White Button), a rock band that put fire to Yugoslavia from 1974 to 1989 with 13 major albums. At that time, he met young Emir Kusturica, then bass player in the Zabranjeno Pušenje. Yugoslav youth identified itself with this kind of revolt and opening to the West.

Around the mid-80's, Goran meets again Emir Kusturica, and Emir convinces him to work for the local cinema. This collaboration will lead to the unforgettable score of Time of the Gypsies (1989), this album will be an international success.

This return to the origins, at the same time Slavic and gypsy, this fusion of popular music and modern techniques of production, this cosmopolitanism perfectly assumed will become the public image of the composer.

Then, Goran will continue his experiments in the fusion of sorts of music. He will seek in the Jewish yemenit music of Ofra Haza (La Reine Margot, 1994), in the Cap-Vert tango of Cesaria Evora (Underground, 1995) or with Iggy Pop completely reinvented (Arizona Dream, 1993), without forgetting this self fusioning music, the one of the Gypsies, sources of a really universal music, at the same time symphonic and intimate, lyric and perfectly rigourous.

After having written the music for a dozen of full-length films, Goran starts to play in concert his works with the Orchestra of the Weddings and Funerals, surrounded by a philharmonic ensemble and a choir. In 1997, after having played in whole Eastern Europe, he triumphs at the Montreux festival and gives on December 31 a multi-media concert in Thessalonique (Greece), which will be released as a live album, The Silence of The Balkans. Goran Bregović and the Orchestra of the Weddings and Funerals start a European tour in spring 98 which leads them in Italy, Portugal, England, Belgium and France (Printemps de Bourges, Olympia…).

Goran Bregović left Sarajevo in 1992 at the time of the Yugoslavian conflicts to exile in Paris and in the United States. He recorded in 1999 with the Polish singer Kayah, put his cosmopolitan talent at the service of American Iggy Pop, of Cesaria Evora, of the Israeli pionneer of ethno-techno Ofra Haza, English Scott Walker, but Goran Bregović also collaborates since many years with the greatest song stars of the Balkans : singer George Dalaras, major star in Greece, (where he represents the laïko style, modernized form of the rebetiko, close to the blues), or the young singer Alkistis Protopsalti, but also Sezen Aksu, engaged turkish feminist pop star.

In 2000, Goran Bregović released a new album : Tales and Songs for Weddings and Funerals, he has also played with his group in the Swedish film “Music for Weddings and Funerals” (Musikk for bryllup og begravelser) by Unni Straume. This film tells the history of Sara, a writer who, after the death of her only son lives in a villa designed by her ex-husband. She decides to rent the basement to Bogdan (Goran Bregović), a Serbian musician who sometimes plays with his complete gypsy orchestra… The film works on contrasts : North-South, hot-cold, joy-sadness. It was presented at the Sundance festival in 2002, and that of Rotterdam in 2003. This film had a limited audience, mainly restricted to festivals.

In 2004, Goran Bregović made a personnal version of Bizet's Carmen, which he entitled Karmen (with a happy ending). He gave many shows of this new piece in Europe, and a CD should be soon released. Goran should also direct himself the movie out of this album.

In 2005, with his old friends of Bijelo Dugme, the group made a serie of exceptional concerts to live once again the phenomenon of the years 70-80.

Discography (solo career)

Official website

Goran Bregović's official website : http://www.goranbregovic.co.yu/

Gallery

Interview

Interview made in august 2002 for the new album “Tales and Songs from Weddings and Funerals”.