Goran Bregovic and His Wedding & Funeral Band play Perth Concert Hall on Saturday 12 May. A rock star in the former Yugoslavia, Bregovic went on to write film scores and ride the fashion for brassy Balkan Gypsy music, selling over six million albums and collaborating with everyone from Iggy Pop to the Gipsy Kings. Now, his Wedding & Funeral Band is making its Australian Debut and Around The Sound spoke to Bregovic to find out what audiences should be prepared for.
Of his eclectic music roots, Bregovic said, “For me eclecticism is not a philosophy, it’s my heritage. I come from a culture that is a mix of kitsch, violence and over-heated emotions, a culture that has been bypassed by opera and symphonic music. In times when Monteverdi wrote his ORFEO we were still laboring fields with oxen-driven ploughs, breeding cattle and fishing. Then with the acceleration of we have had access to everything: rock, opera, pop… this could explain why my music carries so many different elements… There are people who go see a psychoanalyst when they have a multiple personality problem. To my mind, it’s better – when one can – to settle that problem through art.”
Multiple personalities and cultures are a recurrent theme across the span of Bregovic’s career. Through it all, though, Bregovic sees the uniting power of music. “In this day of global culture good music from Iceland can become a hit in New Zealand, and Japanese gagaku can be appreciated in Paris simply because music was the first human language… this language is difficult to control by social or cultural codes because it preceded the existence of society and culture and so it lives beyond frontiers of space and time.”
If you get along to see Bregovic, expect to witness some madness. Bregovic’s catch cry is, 'If you don't go crazy, you're not normaaal!' When asked about this, he said, “To really move us, music – any work of art - must carry some madness. I believe in that cry because what’s the sense in working if you don’t have time to loose? Same thing with normality: what’s the good of being normal if we can’t have an excess of madness, go crazy sometimes?”
There’s plenty to see and hear with Goran Bregovic, so we suggest you move right along to the Concert Hall to see him on 12 May.