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Zeitkratzer / Svetlana Spajic / Dragana Tomic / Obrad Milic: Serbian War Songs [VINYL] (KARLRECORDS)

Reinhold Friedl's Zeitkratzer ensemble and special guests, vocalists Svetlana Spajic, Dragana Tomic, and diple / gusle player Obrad Milic, explore the possibilities found in traditional Serbian songs from and about World War I, including the classic epic "Assassination In Sarajevo", and songs chosen specifically by Spajic and Tomic.

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product information:

UPC: 5050580672024

Catalog ID: KR 037LP
Squidco Product Code: 24791

Format: LP
Condition: New
Released: 2017
Country: Germany
Packaging: LP
Recorded at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, in Berlin, Germany, on January 16th, 2016, by Martin Wurmnest.


Frank Gratkowski-bassclarinet, clarinet

Hild Sofie Tafjord-french horn

Hilary Jeffery-trombone

Reinhold Friedl-piano

Maurice de Martin-drums, percussion

Lisa Marie Landgraf-violin

Burkhard Schlothauer-violin

Nora Krahl-violoncello

Ulrich Phillipp-doublebass

Svetlana Spajic-voice

Dragana Tomic-voice

Obrad Milic-voice, diple, gusle

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Artist Biographies:

"Frank Gratkowski, saxophone. Born in Hamburg, 1963.

Started playing the saxophone at 16 and, following a period at the Hamburg Conservatory (Hamburger Musikhochschule), moved in 1985 to study at the Cologne Conservatory of Music with Heiner Wiberny, graduating in 1990.

Further studies with Charlie Mariano, Sal Nistico and Steve Lacy.

Frank Gratkowski has been working as a soloist in various international formations (Grubenklang Orchester, Klaus Koenig Orchester, Musikfabrik NRW, Tony Oxley Celebration Orchestra, Bentje Braam, BikBentBraam, All Ears, Zeitkratzer, WDR Big band, etc.). Since 1990 he has been giving solo performances throughout Europe, Canada and USA. With his first solo program, he was a 1991 prizewinner in the Musik Kreativ contest. The release of the solo CD "Artikulationen" followed the same year and a new one "Artikulationen II" in 2002.

Since 1992 he has been working in a duo with the pianist Georg Graewe (CD "VicissEtudes"). The duo is often extended through the participation of different additional musicians, such as drummer Paul Lovens (CD "Quicksand") and bassist John Lindberg (CD "Arrears").

In 1995 he founded the "Frank Gratkowski Trio" with Dieter Manderscheid (Germany), bass, and Gerry Hemingway (USA), drums, (CDs "Gestalten" and "The Flume Factor" ). In 2000 the trio has been extended to a quartet by Dutch trombonist Wolter Wierbos (CDs "Kollaps", "Spectral Reflections", "Facio" and "Le Vent et la Gorge"). Since 2003 also appearing as a Double Quartet plus Tobias Delius, Herb Robertson, Wilbert DeJoode and Michael Vatcher. In 2005 he got the SWR Jazzprize.

In 1999 the duo with the Italian trombonist Sebastiano Tramontana has been formed and since 2001 Frank Gratkowski has been performing with a trio including Wilbert De Jode (NL) on bass and Achim Kaufmann (D) on piano (CDs "Kwast" and "Unearth"). Since 2006 he's working with the Trio Gratkowski / Brown / Winant (CDs "Wake" and "Vermilion Traces/Donaueschingen 2009"). He is also a co-leader / composer of the Multiple Joy[ce] Orchestra and got a commission to compose for the ensemble Apartment House by "November Music " (Den Bosch NL) and the "Huddersfield Comtemporary Music Fesitival" (England) in 2009. Further actual projects are Fo[u]r Alto, a saxophone ensemble dedicated to microtonal music and "Artikulationen E" a solo program for saxophone with 8 channel live electronic.

Frank Gratkowski played on nearly every German and on numerous international Jazz and contemporary music Festivals including Vancouver, Toronto, Chicago, New York, Seattle, Quebec, Les Mans, Muelhuus, Groeningen, Nickelsdorf, Barcelona, Lithuania, Warsaw, Zagreb, Prague, Bratislava, Sofia, Bucharest, Odessa and Roma, Huddersfield, London.

He has been teaching saxophone and ensembles at the Cologne, Berlin and Arnhem Conservatory of Music and is giving workshops all around the world.

Furthermore he has performed with Robert Dick, Phil Wachsmann, Radu Malfatti, Herb Robertson, Marcio Mattos, Eugenio Colombo, Peter Kowald, Ray Anderson, Michael Moore, Ken Vandermark, Greg Osby, Kenny Wheeler, Louis Sclavis, John Betsch, Jane Ira Bloom, Connie and Hannes Bauer, Xu Fengxia, James Newton, Muhal Richard Abrams, John Lindberg, Michael Formaneck, Ernst Reijseger, Fred van Hove, Theo Jörgensmann, Phil Minton, Peter Brötzmann, Mark Dresser, Mark Feldman, Hamid Drake, Michiel Braam, Han Bennink, Mal Waldron, Misha Mengelberg a.m.o."

-Frank Gratkowski Website (

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"Hild Sofie Tafjord has re-written the sonic possibilities of the French Horn and established herself as one of Norway's most arresting musicians. Pushing the limits of her instrument for years, whether acoustically or electronically, she has made her mark as composer, performer and improvisor. Her signature is present in her group playing in SPUNK and LEMUR, Zeitkratzer but takes front row in her solo work.

Tafjord is active as a solo performer and in groups like SPUNK, Lemur, Agrare, Zeitkratzer Ensemble, Trinacria, Phantom Orchard Orchestra a.o. She has a broad range as an artist and has made music for dance, film, theater, installations and sculptures. She has also worked with performances, given workshops and site specific concerts. She has played and collaborated with numerous mucisians and artists in Europe, Amerika, Canada and Asia, like Fred Frith, Ikue Mori, Zeena Parkins, Evan Parker, Matmos, Wolf Eyes a.o. Hild Sofie participates on more than 40 releases, and her first solo album Kama is out on Picadisk."

-+3dB (

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"Hilary Jeffery is a self-proclaimed 'desert trombonist' and composer, born in Surbiton, England in 1971. A central and sustaining influence on his music is a sense of 'silent space', which he first experienced in the Sahara Desert in the 1990s. Hilary aims to share this experience, creating inner-spaces for listeners and fellow musicians to explore via the medium of his ensemble Lysn. He studied at Dartington College of Arts, University of York, European Dance Development Centre Arnhem, Netherlands Royal Conservatory, and has worked for more than twenty years as a musician playing in many different styles and areas of music including rock, techno, electronica, jazz, pop, afrobeat, contemporary classical and free improvisation. Groups he has played with between 1994 and 2016 include: zeitkratzer, CC Hennix and The Chora(s)san Time-Court Mirage, Zinc & Copper, Tonaliens, The Barton Workshop, Mir8, Jimi Tenor Big Band, Paul Dunmall Octet, Sand and Germ. Hilary's principal teacher and mentor for trombone playing is James Fulkerson, with whom he studied between 1998 and 2000. In 2013 he started a study of Dhrupad with Amelia Cuni, aiming to apply techniques of this Indian classical music tradition to the trombone. He has received composition commissions for Slagwerk Den Haag, GRM Acousmonium, David Kweksilber Big Band, Apa Ini and Lysn. He has been invited for artistic residences such as at Recollets in Paris (2012), won composition prizes such as the Henriette Bosmans Prize (Netherlands, 2009) and appears in many different recordings on various labels including Aquarellist, Col Legno, FMR, Dilemma, Important Records, Mikroton, New World Records, Soul Jazz, Sloow Tapes, Sub Rosa, Zeitkratzer Records and Karl Records."

-Hilary Jeffery Website (

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"Reinhold Friedl, born 1964, lives in Berlin since 1987. He studied piano with Renate Werner, Alan Marks and Alexander von Schlippenbach, mathematics and musicology in Stuttgart and Berlin. As a performer, interpreter and composer, he has received various fellowships - Eurocréation Paris, the Rome Fellowship (Villa Serpentara) of the Berlin Academy of Arts, STEIM Amsterdam-, as well as various composition commissions. Reinhold Friedl has published articles in newpapers and professional journals and conducted a seminar on "Music and Mathematics" in the department of Mathematics at the Berlin Free University together with Prof. Behrends. He founded and directs the ensembles Piano-Inside-Out and ZEITKRATZER. Friedl has worked as a curator for the Podewil center for contemporary arts Berlin and directed the Off-ICMC (International Computer Music Conference) Berlin 2000. He has been invited to take part in the Jury of the Ars Electronica and Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisboa. As pianist and composer, he has worked with musicians and composers such as Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth), Phill Niblock, Helmut Oehring, Nicolas Collins, Lou Reed, MERZBOW a.k.a., Masami Akita, Radu Malfatti, Bernhard Guenter, Mario Bertoncini (nuova consonanza), Keiji Haino, and has made countless radio and CD recordings. Lately he realized the "spazialisation piano-project" at ZKM Karlsruhe and Asphodel Studios in San Francisco. The main focus of Reinhold Friedl's work is the inside-piano. He played all respective literature using inside-piano techniques and released several articles in this field."

-Reinhold Friedl Website (

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"Maurice de Martin (*1969), percussionist & composer. He started playing experimental Noise-Rock with the Munich based band Brother Virus. From 1990 to 1995 he lived in New York City, studying drums and improvisation with Dennis Charles, Gene Jackson and Joey Baron and surviving as a street musician - performing in subway stations with Art Blakey's youngest daughter Evelyn. Later he studied composition with the Georgian composer Giya Kancheli, Jazz at the Berlin Universtity of the Arts (UdK) and the south-east european folklore as a scholarship holder of the DAAD in Romania.

During this period he played with some of the genuine representatives of eastern European folklore, like the Romanian wedding band Musica de la Marsa and the Bulgarian clarinet-virtuoso Ivo Papsov. Maurice de Martin tours all over Europe and the US and released more than 25 albums. Besides being member of zeitkratzer, he has his own trio 3D with German vibraphonist Christopher Dell and bassist Chris Dahlgren (NY) and realizes projects between Romanian folklore and improvisation. He also composes and performs music for stage productions, recently with Thomas Ostermaier at the Schaubühne Berlin."

-Zeitratzer Website (

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"Lisa Marie Landgraf was born in Dusseldorf and Studied in Berlin, Amsterdam and at Bloomington in America with Franco Gulli and Stanley Ritchie. She has sperformed Both as soloist and first violin with the Concertgebouw Orkest, with the Nieuw Sinfonietta Amsterdam, with the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and with the Musica Antiqua Köln. Recently she has recorded with Tobias Koch the Mozart and Schumann violin and piano sonatas. Her instrument is a David Techler, Rome 1720. Performed at the festival in 2008."

-Musica E. Rossi Toscani (

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"Born in 1957 Burkhard Schlothauer is German composer, multi-instrumentalist, educator and producer who lives in Gera in Eastern Germany. With Antoine Beuger he was the founder of Editions Wandelweiser in 1992. He performs with Zeitkratzer and the Wandwelweiser Composers Ensemble."

-Last.FM (

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"The Berlin based cellist Nora Krahl is passionate about contemporary music and has performed throughout Europe, Middle East, Asia and in the USA at festivals as Ruhrtriennale, Munich Biennale, Bang on a Can Summer Festival (USA), the International Conference of ISEA, International Summer Academy for Contemporary Music Darmstadt, SICPP (Boston), Next Generation of ZKM or Baghdad International Theater Festival. She worked with musicians like Lukas Fels, Rohan de Saram, Nickolas Photinos, Todd Reynolds or Vicky Ray and composers as Tristan Murail, Helmut Lachenmann, Martin Bresnick, Johannes Kalitzke and Michael Gordon and Ensembles like Ensemble Resonanz, Reflexion K and Zeitkratzer

Nora Krahl focuses also on acoustic and electronic improvisation. Within the project CHROMATOPHORE she and the visual artist Sena Başöz (Istanbul) are exploring the amalgamation of visual and audio media. In 2013 she founded "The Octopus" (free improvisation Cello Quartet) and since 2015 she works with Juan Felipe Waller in the analog electronic duo Rabiator. Nora Krahl performs in varying groups with musicians as Elliott Sharp, Joëlle Léandre, Jon Rose, Frank Gratkowski, Reinhold Friedl, Audrey Chen or Oguz Büyükberber.

Ms Krahl works as a performer, musician and composer in theater plays and with dancers. In 2015 she premiered her own solo compositions Guerin for Cello, thunder sheet and electronics as well as "in between words" for cello solo at Hamburger Bahnhof (Berlin). In 2016 she premiered Verrine and she did direct her first music theater piece "Persona non Grata" in NYC. She works with the German director Karin Beier at Schauspielhaus Köln and Deutsches Schauspielhaus or at Columbia University NYC. She did compose and produce the music for the Turkish documentary Film "Kepi" and collaborated with the Japanese Dancer Aya Irizuki in the projects SILK and Static Air.

Ms. Krahl was awarded numerous scholarships by the Berlin Senate, DAAD (German Academic exchange Program), Paul-Sacher Foundation Basel, Ensemble Modern, Allianz Kulturstiftung and the State of Niedersachsen. She was awarded artist residencies in Istanbul by the foundation of the arts (Germany) and in New York City by the State of North Rhine Westphalia (Germany). Ms. Krahl holds a German music diploma from the Folkwang University of the Arts, where she studied with Professor Alexander Hülshoff. Furthermore she attended masterclasses with Steven Isserlis, Ralph Kirshbaum, Christoph Richter, Valentin Erben and Enrico Dindo.

She taught at Folkwang University of the Arts Essen, and she runs workshops and masterclasses about "the Cello in the 20th and 21st Century" for example at University of Music Mannheim, Bogazici Üniversitesi and MIAM the Music Graduate School of ITÜ Istanbul."

-Nora Krahl Website (

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"Ulrich Phillipp (* 1956 ) is a German contrabassist of free jazz and new improvisational music.

Phillipp founded the Wiesbaden improvisation ensemble with Dirk Marwedel and Wolfgang Schliemann. He is one of the founders of the Wiesbaden musician co-operative New Jazz (1979), from which the ARTist collective hervorging in 1983. In addition to the concert activity, the inclusion of other genres, such as Tanzimprovisation, where Phillipp performed with Fine Kwiatkowski, Günter Christmann , Erhard Hirt and others. He also worked with Birgit Ulher and Roger Turner . In 2013 he was involved in the Grand Orchestra of the ensemble."

-Wikipedia (translated by Google) (

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"Svetlana Spajić (Serbian Cyrillic: Светлана Спајић, born August 19, 1971 in Loznica, Serbia) is a Serbian traditional singer, performer, pedagogue, cultural activist and translator. Apart from performing Serbian traditional music, she is known for cooperation with world-renowned artists like Marina Abramović and Robert Wilson.

She sang in groups "Paganke", "Moba", "Drina", "New Ritual Group", "Žegar živi", "Belo Platno", "Pjevačka družina Svetlane Spajić" (Singing Company of Svetlana Spajić) and other.

She is associate with International Cultural Network "Project Rastko" since its founding in 1997, "Radio Svetigora" and other cultural institutions. She had authored broadcasts dedicated to traditional culture.

She graduated from Philological Faculty in Belgrade (dept. of English and German Languages), as well as from International School for Holocaust Studies at the Institute Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, Israel.

Since 1993, she is dedicated to fostering and preserving Serbian traditional culture, collecting and learning at the field, from source singers of the oldest generation. Her repertoire of Serbian archaic lore from all Serbian ethnic territories also covers the oldest traditional forms from Drina river region, like songs "per voice", cantos and songs "per bass".

Aged 24, in Thessaloníki she was selected, as the youngest member, into the elite Inter-Balkan traditional ensemble made from the best traditional artists of the Balkans (Thessaloníki, First Inter-Balkan Culture Festival, 1995).

She participated in both domestic and international music and theater projects, and performed with world-renowned vocal artists and musicians: Yanka Rupkina, Stella Chiweshe, Domna Samiou, Sainkho Namtchylak, "Balkan Beat Box", Antony Hegarty...

Concerts and lectures, she held in prestigious concert halls, festivals and institutions: WOMAD, WOMEX, Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Konzerthaus (Vienna), Teatro Real (Madrid), Dom (Moscow), Museum of Modern Art (New York), Yad Vashem (Jerusalem), Grotowski Institute (Wroclaw), Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles)...

For many years she is collaborating with the composer and instrumentalist Boris Kovač and is a member of his chamber orchestra "New Ritual Group".

She participates in projects of famous world artist Marina Abramović, and in 2011 she was engaged in the theater project "Life and Death of Marina Abramović" led by the eminent director Robert J. Wilson."

-Wikipedia (

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"Obrad Milic is an authentic folk artist, diploma player, gusle player, singer and a storyteller from Zegari (Dalmatia). He collected the tradition from the earliest childhood by storytelling, mostly from his father. He was born in 1938 and the material for his debut album, which he recorded at the age of 77 (in 2015) in Belgrade.

Obrad Milic is an authentic folk artist, diplomat, guslar, singer and narrator from Zegar (Dalmatia). He adopted the tradition from the earliest childhood by oral tradition, most of the father. Born in 1938, he recorded the material for his debut album at age 77 (2015) in Belgrade." ( - - - - - - /release/9883958)

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track listing:


1. When The Clouds Come From The Sea (2:43)

2. Haven't I Told You My Darling (1:14)

3. Assassination In Sarajevo (4:32)

4. The Battle At Mackov Kamen (4:10)

5. When I Go To War (6:53)

6. Shvabo Came (5:03)


1. Last Night Dorde Went Through Valjevo (1:05)

2. There Is No Spring Without Water (6:08)

3. King Peter Song (4:17)

4. The Boat Is Sailing (5:12)

5. Salute To Zivojin Misic (4:31)

6. Encore (3:08)
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Zeitkratzer and its special guests Svetlana Spajić (voice), Dragana Tomić (voice) and Obrad Milić (voice, diple, gusle) present traditional Serbian songs from and about World War I.

Within its 20 years of existence, Reinhold Friedl's ensemble zeitkratzer has proved its interpretatory mastership on a wide range of fields such as contemporary / avant-garde composers, electronic artists, industrial underground - and, probably most surprising on this list, also in traditional music / folklore as documented on the two albums "Volksmusik" and "Neue Volksmusik".

For "Serbian War Songs", a selection of traditional songs from and about World War I, the "modern composition supergroup" (THE WIRE) have invited some special guests: the renowned singers SVETLANA SPAJIĆ and DRAGANA TOMIĆ (who both worked a.o. with ROBERT WILSON) and the diple / gusle player OBRAD MILIĆ. REINHOLD FRIEDL and SVETLANA SPAJIĆ (probably the most acknowledged expert for traditional songs in Serbia) selected some traditional Serbian songs from and about World War I, and OBRAD MILIĆ contributes "Assassination In Sarajevo", a song in the classic epic form he had learnt from his father Bogdan, a famous gusla player at the beginning of the 20th century.

Commissioned by Berlin's Haus Der Kulturen Der Welt, the performance was recorded and mixed by longtime zeitkratzer sound engineer MARTIN WURMNEST and mastered by MIKE GRINSER at D&M."-Karl Records

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Song Based Music
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