On November 5th 2023, new album was released by Polish label Audio Cave. „Lilith Abi” album came out as a fruit of a previous collaboration when Bastarda trio joined forces with Serbian artists Katarina Aleksić and Branislava Podrumac to explore the magical effect of the lullaby – their ritual role, surprising lyrics and the psychological effects of their singing.
Author of the project, Katarina Aleksić explained the story behind it:
The concept of “LILITH ABI” is built upon my interest in the basic forms of music, their expressive strength and the induction of trance through music in various ancient rituals. Through this interest, and my personal experience of motherhood with my firstborn child, during the tough times of my own little “rite of passage” in embracing a new role in my life, I came across the fascinating field of traditional lullabies. Singing lullabies to my crying baby became something that was bringing me comfort and strength, and in the longer hours of this intimate “ritual” I was experiencing some kind of a trance. I wanted to explore this field more, and my research brought me to some interesting insights.
The lullaby, simple as it is, has many aspects, practical and symbolic. A mother’s voice, familiar from within the womb, creates a “bridge” for a newborn to overcome the shock of the new environment. It serves as a tool for language learning and the primary form of non-verbal communication. Symbolically, it belongs to the borderline between being awake and being asleep, which in many cultures is a borderline similar to the one between life and death. Looking further back, in the times of cults and rituals, when the word was believed to have magical powers, the lullaby was used to scare away evil spirits and demons. One of them is Lilith, a female demon in Hebrew tradition, who lurks in the shadows around the house, waiting for the chance to grab the newborn or the mother and take them away. In fact, the etymology of the word “lullaby” may have come from the similar sounding protective phrase, “Lilith-Abi” (meaning Lilith begone).
Whenever we speak about traditional lullabies, their place of origin often holds great importance. However, the lullabies — so universal yet simultaneously also so personal — reach far beyond geography. Universal, because they are present in almost every culture, and probably since the very beginning of humankind. Maybe they were among the very first forms of song, “a sacred mother of all songs”, hummed in the long and dark prehistoric nights, when keeping your baby quiet and unheard by an animal predator or an enemy was a matter of life and death. On the other hand, lullabies are very personal and by nature full of emotions, expressed both in the lyrics and melody – and that is the key moment of this concept: our “LILITH ABI” is presented through a spectrum of emotions. Lyrics tell us stories, not only about “sleep, my sweet child”, but of various emotions, from positive ones, such as love or hope, to negative ones, like fear of death, isolation, frustration… From “translating” these emotions to musical expression emerged this meeting point with Bastarda. The sound picture of the trio represents the embodiment of these emotions in different colours and timbres. Together, in composing and improvising music, we are searching for our own expressive voices – universal and personal. Branislava Podrumac joined with the voices of two antagonistic figures: a loving Mother and demonic Lilith. In the end, I am singing for you, like I used to sing for my newborn child. (Katarina Aleksić)
The album had its promotion in Poland November 3rd– 5th in Warsaw, Konin and Poznań, and Serbian promotion is to follow. Upon its’ relies it was proclaimed album of the month by the Audio & Video magazine.
The album is available on all relevant platforms.
Katarina Aleksić / violin, bass drum, vocal
Branislava Podrumac / vocal
Paweł Szamburski / clarinet
Tomasz Pokrzywiński / cello
Michał Górczyński / contrabass clarinet
Recorded by Michał Bereza
Edited and mixed by Tomasz Pokrzywiński
Vocal post-production by Patryk Zakrocki
Mastered by Tomasz Pokrzywiński
Hand embroidery art and cover photo by Justyna Kosińska / Tkanka
Layout by Wojtek Łebski
Special thanks to Karolina Kaźmierczak, Wieniawski Society and Evropa u gostima.
Released in Audiocave.pl