I remember how disappointed I was when I was a nine-year old girl at music school and they told me to practice scales, rather than the accompaniment to any of the songs in the pop music charts at the time. I never did get that pop star training, but I did keep my airs, so eventually I became a viola player. Later on I (fortunately) moved from Serbia to Austria to go to university, and I still live, love and work here.
Rina and I worked together on developing my first non-classical musical project. This album is the fruit of our three-year collaboration, and also a thumbs-up to continuing on our creative way.
I was born into a family in whose life music played an important part, as their third and youngest child. My father, who worked as a composer, conductor and pedagogue, was among the Kosovo Albanian musicians who first began to establish a classical music scene in Kosovo. My mother wanted to become a classical singer, but unfortunately that was practically impossible for a womanin 1960s Kosovo.
When I was seven years old my siblings were already studying the piano and the violin. My father wanted to found a family trio, so he persuaded me to start learning cello, because if I did that, so he told me, I would always be able to buy myself plenty of chocolate.
My first go on the cello was an improvisation; it convinced me that I already knew how to play the instrument.
Many years have passed since that time.
After university and after countless (or too many) Italian operas, I decided to go my own way. It has led me to many wonderful projects combining jazz, tango and world music. This is how I have learned most of the things I know, and the things I have always wanted to learn.
By the way, where's that chocolate?