Smailovic & Sands | Sarajevo/Belfast

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by Smailovic & Sands

"Sarajevo/Belfast" brings together two incredible musicians from countries rent by deadly internal strife -- Bosnia and Ireland -- to create a world/folk/classical fusion of music for peace.
Genre: World: World Fusion
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Ode to Sarajevo
4:56 album only
2. Bembasa
3:02 album only
3. Where Have All the Flowers Gone?
6:22 album only
4. Waltz
3:19 album only
5. Memento Mori / Albinoni Adagio
5:48 album only
6. Music of Healing
3:40 album only
7. Bosfor
3:29 album only
8. Child of 2000
4:48 album only
9. Dilber
3:58 album only
10. Buskers
4:53 album only
11. Laganside
4:48 album only


Album Notes
"Sarajevo/Belfast" brings together two incredible musicians from countries rent by deadly internal strife. Singer Tommy Sands grew up amidst the devastating "troubles" in Northern Ireland, and cellist Vedran Smailovic was a resident of Bosnia, which suffered direly from the fragmentation of the former Yugoslavia into separate warring territories.

The violence and pain these men witnessed and experienced has been transmuted into a compelling swirl of world, classical and folk music on this CD, which contains many songs serving as pleas for peace in these and other war-torn lands. Pete Seeger's "Where Have All the Flowers Gone," with vocals by Sands, fellow Irish singer Delores Keane, and a chorus of Catholic and Protestant children, was played outside the peace negotiations between Northern Ireland and England for three months, and was also used as an anthem of peace in Northern Ireland when it was played by both sides after the 1998 "Real IRA" bombing in Omagh that killed 29 people. Serbia's 1992 shelling of a breadline in Sarajevo, resulting in 22 civilian deaths, inspired Smailovic to bring his cello to the bombsite and perform "Albinoni's Adagio" (heard here in a studio version) at 4 p.m., the time of the deadly attack, for the next 22 days. The image of the seated, formally attired "Cellist of Sarajevo," playing the mournful composition was seen worldwide, drawing the attention of the media and anti-war advocates such as Joan Baez, who later joined him in the street to demonstrate for peace.

Both Seeger and Baez appear on this CD. Pete joins Sands in singing their co-written "The Music of Healing," which has been called "a new anthem of healing for our times" by John Hume, leader of Northern Ireland's Social Democratic and Labour Party and co-recipient of the 1998 Noble Peace Prize for his reconciliation work. Joan and Sands share the vocals on the stirring "Ode to Sarajevo," which bears the chorus, "Sarajevo, Sarajevo, the whole world sings your song."

The impact of war and the yearning for peace color various other tracks. The instrumental "Bembesa" replicates the tranquility of the Serbian river after which it is named, while the classical "Waltz" is interspersed with the sounds of gunfire and military drums. Sands' "Child of 2000," written in 1995, paints a pastoral picture of a peaceful future that has yet to materialize.



to write a review

Suzy Dormer

This is just a wonderful CD-moving and haunting
I haven't stopped playing this beautiful, haunting and moving CD since I've received it. It's extraordinary music and a spiritual experience. I intend to use it at every opportunity to spread the wonder! Thank you

Phyllis T. Albritton

One of the best CD's ever made!
Peace is what we need. This CD expresses the deep pain of war and hatred, while also offering hope in the beauty of the music. I ordered this CD for a new friend from Bosnia. When he heard it, he was deeply moved, as am I every time I listen to it. My deepest thanks to the incredible musicians who offered this gift to the world.

Wanda Joseph

One of the most moving CDs I have ever heard
Thank you Vedran Smailovic and Tommy Sands for singing to us of hope in the midst of the despair of violence. Your music and particularly the cello calls deeply to my soul and strengthens my resolve to work for peace, here in the belly of the beast, the USA.