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
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 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.
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.
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)