In 2019, Saša Stanišić, who lives in Hamburg, was awarded the German Book Prize for "Herkunft". Since then, he has read from the book many times throughout Germany and thrilled his audiences.
Saša Stanišić writes stories, Merima Ključo lets her accordion tell stories. Now the two have joined forces to compose a performance with words and music based on Stanišić's multiple award-winning novel "Herkunft" (Origin), in which Bosnian Sevdalinka songs and the shalala of a soccer stadium resound side by side. In the moonlight (or on the moon!) horse hooves are hoofed and old partisan songs are belted out.
Text and music together tell a story and create a whole new one.
The musical project, La Convivencia, by Merima Ključo in collaboration with contralto Jelena Milušić, is inspired by the powerful message of coexistence. It is based on Sephardic traditions of different countries visited by Sephardic Jews, traveling through history after the expulsion from Spain.
Used to peaceful coexistence, Sephardic Jews observed the traditions of their home countries, and infused Jewish culture into the music of their adopted lands. This resulted in musical similarities. For example, Bosnians and Sephardic Jews use the same scales and rhythms. They share the same emotion in their songs, the same pleasures, and the same pain. In the end they share the same country, the same customs, the same food…and they learn from each other.
La Convivencia reminds us that we need to do more in emphasizing the values of respect across all faiths, and it inspires us to be peaceful ambassadors of its message of acceptance for all.
- Merima Ključo