IRAH‘s new video ‘Cinematic’ is a poignant snapshot of the life of a child refugee; it’s remarkably prescient as we witness the turmoil of Brexit, the rise of the far right and the displacement of people across the European continent.
‘Cinematic’s subtle tumbling percussion, of shuffling cymbal strokes and ambient pianos, is riven with effortlessly haunting vocals – “don’t take away this home” sings Stine Grøn heartbreakingly, like a breath being inhaled and sigh being let out. It’s the sound of watching fragments of painful and joyous memories being pieced together in slow motion, oscillating somewhere between latter Kate Bush and Goldfrapp and swelling to a poignant conclusion.
IRAH’s Adi Zukanović was born in Sarajevo in Bosnia but fled to Denmark with his family as a four-year-old when the war broke out. The video for ‘Cinematic‘ tells the story of his upbringing during the Balkan wars using home video footage. It brings back memories of a terrible conflict, but at the same time conveys a beautiful story full of hope about a four-year old boy who found a keyboard in the refugee centre’s playroom – and who today is one of Denmark’s most sought after pianists and keyboardists, arranging for some of the country’s most celebrated Danish symphony orchestras. It’s a remarkable piece of work that lends a humanity to the disruption and the transience of growing, and the trauma associated with being forced to flee the country of your birth.
IRAH ‘s new album ‘Diamond Grid’ is due for release this week via Tambourhinoceros. The Copenhagen-based duo sound rustles with rich yet subtle textural instrumentation, part electronics, part Baltic folk music.
They were joined on the record by Seb Rochford (drums), Fredrik Lundin (flute) and Mathias Wolf Andreasen (drums on “Unity of Gods”). The album was recorded mostly at Sauna Studios in Copenhagen and produced by IRAH in collaboration with fellow Dane Mads Brinch Nielsen.
Photo credit: Jakob Steen