KATARINA JUVANČIČ & DEJAN LAPANJA (Slovenia) AND THEIR SELIVKE (MIGRANT BIRDS)
Selivke (Migrant Birds in English) is a collection of songs about the female gender in all its strength and vulnerability. “Each song tells a tale about women set in different situations and circumstances, using diverse musical ideas. The music is essentially rooted in Slovenian folk forms but weaves all sorts of other music influences.” (Cooney) The album has been praised by the audience and critics in Slovenia and abroad.
REVIEWS IN UK
* Selivke contains an incredible breadth of musical and lyrical ambition. (***** Rock’n’Reel, Issue 63, Eddie Cooney)
* Emotionally intense dramatic singing and some really barbed difficult stuff. Outrageous musicianship. It's mighty! (Karine Polwart, UK leading singer-songwriter)
* This is a real musical journey that takes you around the globe as it cherry picks what it wants from every country and era that it chooses to. It's all rather astounding. (It’s an XXXX Thing blog, UK)
REVIEWS IN SLOVENIA (Selection of reviews from the country’s leading music critics)
* This CD is an extraordinary achievement and proves that Slovenian music scene still has exceptional talents that can produce world-class albums. (Zdenko Matoz, Delo - most relevant Slovenian newspaper)
* Katarina Juvančič & Dejan Lapanja’s Selivke are setting new standards for Slovenian alternative music scene. (Mario Batelić, Radio Student)
* Candidate for the album of the year. (Armando Šturman, Slovene national radio)
* Duo’s debut album Selivke is superabundant in the sense of production as well as in the sense of authorship. (Andrej Predin, Slovenske novice - Slovenian best selling daily newspaper)
* Album will find its place in a series of the best Slovenian singer-songwriting works. (Jure Longyka, Slovene national radio)
* After nearly 40 years from legendary Tomaž Pengov’s record Odpotovanja, Selivke is a new highlight in Slovenian singing-songwriting. (Varja Velikonja, Nova Muska web mag)
CD SELIVKE = MIGRANT BIRDS (translation of the CD booklet & stories behind songs)
CD COVER TEXT (translation)
“Migrant birds travel through a particular area, but do not nest or spend winter there”. They travel in a flock, but each on its own. They fly towards the same destination – towards life. And sometimes towards death. They road towards one or the other is equally long.
LAST PAGE OF THE BOOKLET (translation)
Migrant birds are women from “here and now” and from “there and then”. From the times that might be long gone but we still carry them within ourselves. Their stories are a part of a withheld, repressed or forgotten history and present that has been denied and swept under the carpet. Painful but also redeeming. Without them we would not be here. Without them you and I would not be here. Without them these songs would not be here.
Migrant Birds CD is my tribute to female power, courage, wisdom and spirit.
And to men who love them because of this.
1. ČEŠNJEV CVET/CHERRY BLOSSOM tells a story about a young partisan who convinced an entire wagon of women to jump off a train bound for concentration camp.
(Chorus: Jump now, Milka, jump now Mary, don’t ask if it’s right or if you can, this train won’t stop for no one, this train is made for deadly plan)
2. VOLČJE NOČI/WOOLF NIGHTS tells a story of a woman fighting with her demons (of depression, solitude, oblivion). The only way to silence them is by singing.
(Chorus: What do angels dream at night? Whose kisses are most tender and light? Burn me and scatter my ashes for the spring, for birds and bottles of wine, let me fall, I’ve already hit the hard line.)
3. USPAVANKA ZA FRIDE/ LULLABY FOR FRIDAS – Katarina wrote this song in the most strenuous days of her life – to soothe herself and all the women that tremble between life and death. And also for Frida Kahlo.
(Chorus 1: May those arms gently rock me/Living waters wash away /Great black hole that swallows limbs/Of a body that no longer screams.)
4. EPITAF ZA LAHKOŽIVKO/ EPITAPH FOR A LIGHTSKIRT is a posthumous credo of a rather self-indulgent lady (lady of the night) where she settles the score with her former lovers and a small-town morale.
(Excerpt: Come forward now, you lauded family man, and you, gloomy little fellow, and you, hairy devil, let me pour you some cognac one last time….. RIP my rolled up skirt, wet dreams of rascals and my primer… RIP my rude laughter, what I have done - well, that wasn’t a sin!)
5. UEJ UEJ (MAGDALENCA) is based on a folk song called Magdalenca (Magdalene) – a girl that sits on a mountain and waits for someone to come and marries her. Not happy with the outcome of the song Katarina wrote the second part of the song where she explains what would happen if the man did arrive (she would have to iron his ties, wash his pants, go to church, pray, be obedient and quiet). The song contains samples and loops from traditional singers singing the song Magdalenca and Katarina’s grandmother.
6. MENE NEMA/ I DO NOT EXIST tells a story of an Erased mother of two and her eight years and two months long struggle to survive under inhuman circumstances. It is written in Serbo-Croatian language, as most Erased people came from ex Yugoslavia (check Wikipedia).
(Chorus: 8 years and 2 months – eating pasta with sugar, 8 years and 2 months – targeted by throwing stones, 8 years and 2 months – less than nobody, less than nothing, 8 years and 2 months – face without face, a flaw in the system)
7. PISMO V KANADO/A LETTER TO CANADA is based on a letter Katarina’s dying 29-year old great-granny wrote to her husband Franz who was a migrant worker in Canada at the time (late 1920s). Katarina used her great-granny’s words to tell the story of her hardship and love towards her husband, children and the croft.
(Excerpt: My dear Franz, if you knew how hard it is/ people say I have to write for you/ but I rather see, with all the eyes I have/ that you stay there and earn a bit more/ it would be better for the family)
8. BALADA O ROZKI IN VRTNEM PALČKU/BALLAD OF ROSE AND A GARDEN GNOME is based on a crime section story Katarina read years ago. A “family guy” raped young woman, was put to the trial and then claimed it was her fault as she was dressed inappropriately for a woman her age. Katarina instantly though of him as a gnome (very popular garden accessory in Slovenia) and her story developed from there. It’s pretty ironic (it contains a rather swell imitation of a sex act done by a well known Slovenian experimental singer Irena Tomažin as well as a mobile recording of a taxi driver in Chinese city Guangzhou) and in the end Rose figures out she will never win her case in court as a garden gnome pleads “not guilty”, so she kills him and ends up in prison herself….With a new garden gnome she bought in a convenience store.
9. LILIJA, VRTNICA, GLICINIJA/LILLY, ROSE, WISTERIA tells a story about Slovenian women called Alexandrian women (check Wikipedia) and their daughters and is based on one particular dream Katarina learned from a documentary. This dream was told by a daughter of such Alexandrian who got abandoned by birth (her mother went off to be a wet nurse in Egypt while her father was absent most of the time) and as a young woman ended up in concentration camp in Auschwitz. There she dreamt that she was in Egypt, came to a big white house where she saw her mother on the doorstep with a bottle of water in one and a bottle of wine in the other hand. Suddenly a big bird appeared and her mother tied those bottles to bird’s wings and asked the bird to take them to her daughter who was in Auschwitz. She described the bird’s journey vividly and when it flew to the barracks she woke up. Katarina found these dreams and her story so poignant that she knew she had to write this song. The song is written in a form of a dialogue, telling a story about the complexity of a(ny) mother-daughter relationship. “Mum bits” are sung by Bogdana Herman – a legendary Slovene folk singer.
10. SPOMINČICA/FORGET-ME-NOT tells a story about a relationship between a grandmother and her granddaughter. The first is drifting away with dementia while the granddaughter tries to reconnect with her through songs they used to sing together. A chorus has been inspired by powerful Bishop Brent’s words on dying.
(Chorus: Where you go now I can’t follow/ I’ll stay here, caress the day, guard the swallow/From the high mountains I hear a cry: Come, don’t bide!/May this boat take you safely to the other side)
KATARINA JUVANČIČ – author of all the lyrics, melodies, coauthor of arrangements, producer, vocals, back vocals, shruti box (5,7), concertina (4), kalimba (5).
DEJAN LAPANJA – arrangements, producer, guitars, back vocals, recording-mixing-mastering.
BOGDANA HERMAN – vocals (9)
TONČ FEINIG – Hammond (2,8,9), Wurlitzer (2,3)
JOŽE BOGOLIN – marimba (3,10), vibraphone (9)
MATIJA KREČIČ – violin (1,2,4,9)
SABINA MAGAJNE – French horn (3,8,9)
TILEN ARTAČ – cello (3,7,9,)
KLEMEN KRAJC – double bass (1,2,3,9), bass (8)
FEMALE CHOIR “KOMBINAT” – vocals (1)
TOMAŽ ROŽANEC – accordion (1)
VESNA ZORNIK – vocals (1)
IRENA TOMAŽIN – vocals (8,9)
GAŠPER PERŠL – drums (1,8,9)
Guests are renown Slovenian musicians that hail from different music genres & backgrounds – from classical (Bogolin, Magajne, Artač, Krečič) to jazz (Feinig, Krajc, Lapanja, Peršl), rock (Zornik), folk (Herman), experimental (Tomažin) and choir/a capella singing tradition (Kombinat).
Illustrations are done by talented young illustrator Tinka Volarič. Each story and female character is accompanied by a hand painted portrait and hand written lyrics.