SARAY Iluminado – Bruised River

SARAY Illuminado

Presented by Melbourne Recital Centre & SARAY Iluminado


An intricate blend of the contemporary and the ancient.

Embark on a captivating journey as SARAY Iluminado weaves the rich tapestry of ancient Balkan melodies into the vibrant cultural landscape of contemporary Australia. Specialising in Bosnian Sevdah and Sephardic Jewish music, their spellbinding performances skillfully straddle the borders of music and theatre.

In this intimate Salon experience, Bruised River pays homage to the profound significance of rivers and waters in Bosnian Sevdah and Sephardic Jewish music, as well as in Nela Trifkovic’s original compositions. This three-fold repertoire is thematically underpinned by spoken word and poetry performances, drawing inspiration from literary masterpieces such as Ivo Andric’s Nobel Prize-winning Na Drini ćuprija (The Bridge on the Drina) and Meša Selimović’s Derviši smrt (Death and the Dervish). Featuring original writings by special guests, join SARAY Iluminado in this stirring concert where culture, music, and poetry converge to create an enriching experience.

Praise for SARAY Iluminado

‘Trifkovic’s voice is something to behold; it cuts through the thick stifled air like a knife through butter, and her ability to draw you inwards through song is only made stronger by the rest of this ensemble as they interchange instruments…’ – Melbourne Critique

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Nela Trifkovic vocals, spoken word, frame drum
Irine Vela lute, vocals, frame drum
Kelly Dowall ney flute, clarinet, vocals, frame drum
Ernie Gruner violin, mandolin, vocals
Dan Witton double bass, vocals


Nela Trifkovic
Bruised River

Traditional Sephardic / SARAY Iluminado
Komo El Rio (Like a River)
Fuerame a banar a orillas del rio (I Want to Bathe on the Brinks of the River)
Indome para la Marsilia (I Go to Marselles)

Nela Trifkovic
Preko Drine (Over the River Drina)

Traditional Sevdah / SARAY Iluminado
Meha Majka Luda Oženila (Foolish Meho’s Marriage Song)

Traditional Sevdah
Poljem se vija Hajdar Delija (Hajdar Delija Goes to the Field)

Nela Trifkovic
Preko Drine (Over the River Drina)

Traditional Sevdah / SARAY Iluminado
Bosno moja / Čije je ono djevojče
Nela Trifkovic
Bruised River


This production is part of the following series: