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Nani Dschann evolved into a musical and historical world journey on which the five women of Aquabella sought typical women’s songs, ultimately encountering themselves along the way. Aquabella sings songs from all over the world in their original languages from: Ireland, Tanzania, Chile, Georgia, Armenia, Romania, Bulgaria and Italy, as well as traditional melodies of the Antilleans, the South African Bantu, the American Jews and the Sephardim (the Jews expelled from Spain and Portugal).
This unusual CD was named after the old Armenian folksong “Nani Dschann” (dear mother). With the words: “Your tender care fills an ocean. May your blessing protect us always”, a young bride takes leave of her mother, providing a first glimpse into the thematic spectrum of this fascinating a cappella album: sorrow and happiness, desire, love, hope, jealousy and everyday life.
In an arrangement by Miriam Makeba, Aquabella presents a South African nursery rhyme which is an exercise in the pronunciation of the difficult clicking sounds of the language of that region (“Baxabene Oxamu”). And in the Yiddish song “Ich bin a Mame”, a mother stands sadly by a fence beholding her daughter who is soon to marry, and for whom the mother is a stranger. The older woman has had to give up her child at birth, and how she would have loved to lead her daughter to the wedding canopy!
In the diversity of all these songs, Nani Dschann extracts the common and connecting elements of international music – the unity of human feelings, above and beyond cultural, political and historical boundaries. Their second album Nani Dschann owes its surprising homogeneity and vitality above all to the innovative interpretations of the five Berliners who combine traditional melodies and contemporary, harmonically complex arrangements with the carefree light-footedness of true professionals, losing nothing of the folkloric feeling in the process. In polyphonic compositions, Aquabella draws from its powerful, versatile voices, all of which possess extraordinary compass and a wealth of timbres.
A cappella around the world .
“I do not make my song,
I only sing it.
I sing my song with words.
Given me by the most beloved goddess.”
(Latvian folk poems by women)