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Wainsgate Concert: Sklonište

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

The final concert of the Wainsgate Chapel season is a provocative and deeply moving work combining new music for live classical accordion, poetry, photography and film commemorating the spirit of the Sarajevans who lived through the longest siege in modern history.

The Siege of Sarajevo (Bosnia) was the longest siege in modern warfare. It lasted 1,425 days and 13,952 lost their lives. The piece celebrates the resilience and humour of a city mostly forgotten now by the West.


The title of this brand new performance work is Sklonište and it commemorates the end of the Siege of Sarajevo which took place during the Bosnian War. Sklonište means 'shelter' and this word, painted on walls throughout Sarajevo, was an extremely common sight during the siege of the city and was intended to direct people to the supposed safety of basements and municipal bunkers during periods of heavy shelling and sniping.

The piece combines new music by Irish composer Ailís Ní Ríain for solo classical accordion performed by Dermot Dunne with electroacoustic soundscape, a selection of texts from the acclaimed work of poetry Sarajevo Blues by the Bosnian poet Semezdin Mehmedinovic combined with Sarajavean testament and aid-worker/photographer Jim Marshall's photographs and personal experience.

Born in Cork, but now living in Todmorden, Ailís Ní Ríain is a contemporary classical composer producing work designed to challenge, provoke and engage. Her music has been performed at the Purcell Room, The Royal Festival Hall, The National Concert Hall in Dublin, Carnegie Hall in New York as well as featured on BBC Radio 3 & BBC Radio 4.

Dermot Dunne has been a regular performer throughout Ireland, Europe and the USA. He studied accordion at Belgrade Conservatoire (Serbia) during the UN bombing of the city and stayed in Belgrade for 6 weeks, taking daily masterclasses. The people he met there and during his subsequent studies in the Ukraine remain close to his heart.

The musical score of Sklonište also comprises pre-recorded prepared piano, violin and the vocals of Bosnia's leading Sevdah singer Amira Medunjanin.

"This is an extraordinary, poignant and fascinating work", commented concert organiser Dave Nelson. "I think it's a privilege to be able to programme a work of such quality at Wainsgate".

The performance of Skloniste takes place on Sunday October 23rd, and for reasons to do with achieving blackout for showing the film, it will start at the later than usual time of 6pm.

Tickets, which are available at the door and online here, cost £10 and £8 with a special £3 rate for under 18s. There's more information about how to get to Wainsgate at www.wainsgate.co.uk.