Merima Ključo & Jelena Milušić (Bosnia Herzegovina)

‚Lume‘ – Dramatic Love Songs and Dark Chansons

‘Lume’ is a thrilling project brought to us by two brilliant Bosnian musicians, Merima Ključo and Jelena Milušić. The enormous value of this conceptual work lies in the diverse cultural origins and languages of the repertoire – the love songs from different parts of the world combined with Ključo’s song cycle, based on Romanian, Croatian, Kosovan and Sephardic traditional pieces. In different languages, ‘Lume’ has various meanings: world, life, source of light, illusion, fire, spark, lover, humanity, more than love…, but all these meanings point in the same doubtless direction: life is passion and love!

The magnetic connection between these two musicians takes us on a dreamlike journey through diverse worlds of strong, expressive and yet subtle music. Jelena’s unique and rare, singularly versatile contralto complements brilliantly the notes of Merima’s concert accordion. Jelena’s voice transforms from one song to the next in a truly chameleonic and fascinating way. Together on stage Jelena and Merima, with just a voice and an accordion, build an atmosphere that is enchantingly theatrical: they completely wrap their audience in their wide-ranging performance that goes from grimly dramatic to fetchingly melancholic, only to dissolve into a cheerful, almost cabaret-like finale.

Acclaimed concert accordionist Merima Ključo masters a dizzying variety of music, her play moving by its depth of understanding and experience. Whether performing as a guest soloist with world renowned orchestras and ensembles, or as a composer and performer for theatre, movie and radio productions, her passion and mastery in both traditional and contemporary music allows her to explore new artistic dimensions combining them in a compelling and unique way.

Expressive and bold, Jelena Milušić is a singer who easily transforms her voice to the needs of various genres ranging from blues, jazz, rock to traditional Balkan and world music. With Orchestre National du Vetex, Milušić performed throughout Europe. With Bosnian guitarist Atilla Aksoj, she interprets Sephardic and Romani music under the name Barimatango.


Line up

Merima Ključo – concert accordion
Jelena Milušić – vocals


Diskography

2018 Lume, Croatia Records


Press

“Mind-blowing! Pleasant pain is caused on the one hand by the richness of Merima Ključo’s artistic expression, whose every tone, interval, chord or cluster on the accordion grow out of layers of determination and melancholy. And when Jelena Milušić’s incredible vocal gets involved, I wonder if Merima’s accordion has a human voice among its registers.”
Marija Vitas, ethnomusicologist & Editor in Chief, Serbian World Music Magazine (RS)

“When one makes love it is usually behind some kind of closed door, but there Merima and Jelena were, making love with their music, for all of us to see. Very Sexy.”
Kathleen Kaun, soprano, former Chair of Voice and Opera at Rice University, USA
 
“Jelena is absolutely unique and stirringly chameleon-like.”
Maja Vasiljevic, Rumbo al Este, Radio Clásica, RTVE, Spain

“The touch that Merima has to the accordion tunes easily with the most recondite of the human soul. No matter which repertoire she plays or where the listener comes from, Merima is a true wizard whose magic spell works universally! If one really pays attention to her art, one falls at her feet forever.”
Maja Vasiljevic, Rumbo al Este, Radio Clásica, RTVE, Spain
 
“Jelena Milušić’s powerful contralto voice, rich in deep resonances,
with full sense of drama…”
Francesco Martinelli, New York City Jazz Record