Beautiful letter received from Macedonian musician Adi Imeri, 5/29/14: Hello, Sir! I hope all is well with you!
Last night I went to the Youth Theater here in Skopje, Macedonia where there was a showing of Tadeusz Slobodianek's (my spelling is sketchy, I apologise) "Our Class" and needless to say, I have been shaken to my very core by the power, intensity and pathos of the story (being a long time explorer of the Holocaust and all its atrocities), and quite possibly the only time I remember that I have felt such feelings in that magnitude would be the first time I heard Shostakovich's 8th string quartet! Being a long time fan of your music (quite a formative influence, I might add.), I was delighted to see your name in the program, to learn about your ancestry and to hear the haunting "Jedwabne" in the intermission of the play. It reminds me of the common "blues" all people on earth share, regardless of class, heritage, social and political standing.."the blues" inherent in my own macedonian culture, of the Delta and of the polish Jews, and of the totality of the human condition, in general. It also reminded me to play my heart out every time I touch my instrument, and to always give without wanting anything in return, to always be in the "other world" with one foot, always sharing what I found with the rest of the Human tribe, and to greet my fellow travellers, such as yourself, with utmost respect and to do all I can to help them along the way, as your music has done for me. To conclude my letter, I want to share a macedonian traditional folk song with you called "I was born in suffering" sung by my grandmother (who I never had a chance to meet, due to her passing in the terrible Skopje earthquake in '63) Blaga Videc, a famed opera and folk singer from Macedonia. I will try to translate the lyrics for you in english, but I apologise for any mistakes, since it's difficult to translate the subtleties of rural macedonian in english) and also included, is my take on the same song, recorded some time ago, now strangely completely relevant to what I felt during the play. Also, this is not self-promotion, just respect from a colleague to a colleague. That said, I hope to meet you one day and to play some music together, singing our blues in unison, macedonian and jewish.
All the best from your friend in Skopje,
"I was born in suffering
and in sorrow will I die
write my passion
on top of my grave
I will climb on the mountain
I will enter blackest dark dungeons
My eyes to waste, not to see the sun
I will climb down in the fields
I will lie in the ditch
under that blood red tulip
under that early white bosel"