Sevdah is a traditional genre of music from Bosnia and Herzegovina and it is actually a part of Turkish musical heritage. It is specific for its contemplativeness and multiculturalism and as such, it represents a unique expression combining various elements of Slavic, Mediterranean and Jewish (Sephardic) music, since all these cultures have interwoven in Bosnia and Herzegovina to create a rich cultural tapestry – Sevdah. The embroidery of Sevdah, that was sang in city areas, includes vivid descriptions of life in Bosnia and Herzegovina and of Bosnian history, but it also leaves space for human emotions, sensuality, yearning and melancholy.
Sevdah has a special impact on feelings. It is a soul-opener with a fundamental power of arousing emotions, hidden deep within our hearts, that we are quite often afraid to set free, and bringing those pure, naked emotions neglected in today’s world back to the very surface. It is type of song that uses melancholy and sadness to glorify and praise love, life and nature and to present them in their intact true form.
A loose and improvised style with spur-of-the-moment expressions is an important characteristic of Sevdah and it all depends on the singer’s emotions. This form of singing is always very challenging and demanding for the singer, since the goal is to be true and connected to your inner self as much as possible.
Collaborating with exceptional musicians Ambrozije Puškarić (guitar) and Tihomir Hojaska (bass), Zrinka Posavec created a new urban version of Sevdah that leans on the tradition, but still opts for a new idiom of the intimate expression. Their performances are a coming together of different characters, rhythms, molto rubato and pure pleasure of creating together such an interesting, emotional and sensual music.
By staying true to the tradition, Zrinka stays true to herself and the time she lives in.