"I remember that Daniela had sent me a video of one of her uncles, which showed a band of fifty Gypsy women accompanied by an orchestra, where Daniela’s grandfather was standing out. The video was especially prepared for me. It was recorded in the rooms of the Sliven town hall; about an hour long concert to introduce me to the local singing and playing ensemble. The reason was for a festival of Balkan music programmed in Milan by the autumn of 2000.
As soon as I moved back to Milan, I played the tape and found myself in front of sounds and atmospheres reminding scenarios like Buena Vista Social Club. It seemed the Balkan Gypsy version of the same Cuban story!
Unique melodies, completely unknown yet simple to reproduce. They were easy to listen to; still intense and rich of an ancient, simple feel, touched by the creative talent of atypical musicians. I was bewildered The songs belonged partly to Gypsy music traditions of such area of the Balkans and partly to compositions by Daniela’s uncle and grandfather.
I picked up the phone asking to Daniela to re-record the same songs played in the video, but singing them with her mezzosoprano voice, accompanied by her granddad on piano.
This CD originates from that terribly recorded tape, which we listened to a few months later in Milan, in Davide Rosa’s car, along with Marcello Lorrai. Just by hearing the first chords in each of the early tracks they both agreed without hesitation to produce an album by Daniela Diakova and her atypical Gypsy lieder from the Balkans.”