“Sklonište pays respectful homage to the people of Sarajevo. A timely reminder of how the horrors of war impact on innocent civilians. An excellent musical recital; Dermot Dunne’s discordant accordion playing lent a disturbing sense of immediacy. It’s discordant soundtrack, ever truly evoked a strong response.” - The Irish Examiner
Sklonište is a new performance work which commemorates the 20th anniversary of the end of the Siege of Sarajevo which took place during the Bosnian War. A total of 13,952 people were killed during the siege. 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 an ambitious and challenging new score for solo classical accordion with an electroacoustic soundscape by the Irish composer Ailís Ní Ríain accompanied by the poetry of Semezdin Mehmedinovic, photography by the aid worker/photographer Jim Marshall and personal testaments.
Ailís Ní Ríain, Composer (Ireland/UK), Dermot Dunne, Accordionist, (Ireland), Jim Marshall, Photographer & Aid Worker, (Scotland/Bosnia), Semezdin Mehmedinovic, Poet (Bosnia/USA) and the citizens of Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina.
The Siege of Sarajevo (Bosnia) was the longest siege of a capital city in the history of modern warfare. It lasted 1,425 days. After Bosnia and Herzegovina had declared independence from Yugoslavia, the Bosnian Serbs—whose strategic goal was to create a new Bosnian Serb state encircled Sarajevo with a siege force of 13,000 stationed in the surrounding hills. From there they assaulted the city with artillery, tanks and small arms.
AUDIENCE responses to the Irish premiere in 2015
“Unbelievable – I had no idea about this aspect of the Bosnian war”
“I really liked the music, it really seemed to fit, so unusual”
“I had misjudged the accordion – wow!”
“I loved the black humour”
“Beautifully paced and the music was just right”
“Very, very moving and not what I expected at all”