Elina Duni, DROM, ECM, Matane Malit
Elina Duni and her high-calibre jazz band shine on Matanë Malit, her thoughtful debut release on ECM, and on their first U.S. tour in October, 2012. The tour will stop at NYC's DROM (85 Avenue A) on October 30, 2012. Tix: $15, Doors Open: 6:30 PM, Show: 7:15 PM.
Elina Duni and her ensemble are touring the U.S. to promote their premiere release on ECM, Matanë Malit (10/16/2012). Ranging from Balkan folk songs to improv jazz, Matanë Malit is an homage to Duni's roots, a striking return to overly politicized Albanian traditional songs revived thanks to Duni's astute arrangements and subtle, evocative voice.
Matanë Malit (“Beyond the mountain”; U.S. release: October 16, 2012), Elina Duni’s ECM debut, is an homage to Albania. A singer looking at her roots from a present-day vantage point as a musician engaged in improvisational processes. Jazz experience informs her exploration of Balkan folk songs – with attention to atmosphere, the shape of the sound, the tactility of the structures, the implications of the words, … “It’s about serving the song”, she explains, “and about reclaiming and reinventing it.”
Duni was just 10 when she left Albania in 1992, and found her route to its songs only after forays into classical music, blues and jazz standards. At the urging of pianist Colin Vallon, she began to sing in Albanian in their duo, formed in 2004 while both were studying at Berne’s Hochschule der Künste. “I fell in love with the old songs, and discovered that not only could I sing them and feel them but that this was really my voice, emerging in a very natural way. It was as if, it had been waiting to be activated”, she says. As a child growing up in Tirana, Duni had had little contact to folk music. Folklore, co-opted by the state, had become agitprop material for socialist themes, and Duni’s family – like many intellectuals and artists - distanced themselves from it.