Instrumentation: Mezzo-soprano, clarinet in Bb (klezmer or Balkan performer), cello, guitars (acoustic & electric), accordion, and percussion
Duration: 13 minutes, 30 seconds
Premiere: Annika Socolofsky & Trespass Ensemble at Britton Recital Hall, University of Michigan, 8 April 2013
All of the text for this cycle comes from folk songs of the overtly expressive Sevdah tradition of the former Jugolsavian region. A repertoire carried by many legendary female vocalists, the lyrics delve deep into often detailed stories of suffering, love, lust, and death.
Like much of Sevdah, this song cycle follows one woman’s journey from her perspective. We find her at battle her feelings for her lost lover, Boža. Plagued by vivid nostalgia, she searches in vain for freedom from her past, for the balance between her once fond memories and her current feelings of emptiness and longing. Boža is a common nickname in the Balkans, and translates to “divine gift.”