Korjen: Original take on traditional eastern European music

Korjen, photo: Aleš Opekar / Czech Radio

Korjen is an international band, drawing inspiration from its members’ roots and presenting a unique take on traditional music from the area of Bulgaria, Poland and the Balkans.

The band Korjen was established more than ten years ago in Prague, where its members are based. They include three singers from Poland, Slovakia and Bosnia - Ewa Żurakowska, Svetlana Sarkisjan and Aida Mujačić.

Photo: Indies Scope

The female trio is accompanied by Czech musicians Marek Novotný and Jan Šikl. Each of the singers contribute to the repertoire with songs from their native countries. However, they also draw inspiration elsewhere, for instance on their journeys.

Korjen performs music from the Balkan countries, Bulgaria and Poland, but also Armenia, Estonia or Finland. Their compositions are a mix of world music, combined with funk and jazz. The singers themselves call it ‘ritual fusion’.

The recording of their album Sabur, released at the end of 2019, only took a few days, but the preparation was long and thorough. In Bosnian, ‘sabur’ means patience, but also the virtues brought by patience. The title was inspired by Aida Mujačić’s experiences from the Balkan war.

The group cooperated on the album with Polish multi-instrumentalist Lukasz Szabat, who brought in the sound of saxophone and Armenian duduk. At the moment, the band is working on new songs, again inspired by traditional music from all around the world.

Authors: Anaïs Raimbault , Ruth Fraňková
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