World Bulletin / News Desk
For Balkan rock star Goran Bregovic, his hometown and muse Sarajevo is more than a city. It's a metaphor for a multicultural way of life that can be torn apart by religious conflict.
"What we see in Europe today, we saw first in Sarajevo: a neighbour, who one day is a good neighbour, the next day shoots you because you're of another religion," he tells AFP.
"Sarajevo has always been my first metaphor. Today it's not just the name of a city. It's a metaphor for our times."
A demanding world tour this year will see the celebrated musician -- known for fusing rock, gypsy brass and folk styles -- perform his new songs on around 130 stages with his Weddings and Funerals Orchestra.
"I'm not someone who does video for YouTube, who does TV. I'm old-fashioned... I travel the whole world to introduce my album," he tells AFP with a smile at his studio in Belgrade, as lively trumpeting drifts in from the next room.
His new tracks feature world stars including Israeli musicians Asaf Avidan and Riff Cohen, Algerian punk icon Rachid Taha and Spanish singer Bebe, alongside three pieces for violin and orchestra.
The violin is also a metaphor, he explains, owing to its three principal and very different styles traditionally played by Christians, Jews and Muslims.
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