Sevdah Anthology



Led by the Bosnian-Australian artist Nela Trifkovic and featuring some of Melbourne’s best-known musicians, SARAY Iluminado is known for its distinctive and intimate performance style that thrives on music and story-telling.

Sevdah, the traditional music of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is often described as ‘the Balkan Blues’ or ‘the Balkan cousin of Portuguese fado.’ SARAY Iluminado takes you on a musical pilgrimage that starts in the green forests of Bosnia and ends on the stony Adriatic coast of Herzegovina, sharing songs and stories of love, grief, hope and despair. In fervent passionate songs about love, longing and loss, singer Nela Trifkovic’s voice creates an intense atmosphere supported by the ethereal sounds of the mandolin, drum, ney and double bass.

Presented by Melbourne Recital Centre and SARAY Iluminado


Nela Trifkovic vocals/frame drums
Irine Vela laouto/guitar/oud
Ernie Gruner violin/mandolin
Kelly Dowall clarinet/ney flute/frame drum
Dan Witton double bass/vocals


Traditional Sevdah

Traditional Sevdah, SARAY Iluminado
Zapjevala Sojka Ptica (Song of the Morning Bird)
Kradem ti se u veceri (In the Night I Steal Upon You)
Ah mene majka (Oh, my Mother)
Razbolje se simsir list (Song of the Sick Boxwood Leaf)
Razbolje se lijepa Hajrija (Beautiful Hayriye Falls Ill)
Okreni se niz djul bascu (Turn Around When You’re In the Rose Garden)
Kraj Pendzera Jusuf Stari (Old Joseph’s Song in the Window)
Anadolka (Anatolian Girl) instrumental
Mehmed-Pasa (Song About Mehmed Pasha)