Although the bombs have stopped falling, the task of reconstructing people's lives in Kosovo and the former Yugoslavia begins NOW. Winter's coming soon, and most of the medical clinics in the area have been badly damaged by the fighting.

To help meet these needs, Omnium has put together a special benefit CD showcasing the music of the Balkan region played by bands from the USA and Europe. All the artists & labels have donated their music for this release, which includes liner notes from NPR commentator Andrei Codrescu:

Here is the unmistakable sound of the Balkans, full of spirit, romance, and life. To an ear unused to regional distinctions, it might seem like the work of a single composer. This is not, obviously, the case, but there is still a commonality that belies the animosities of these tormented lands. The breath-taking landscapes, the rich folk traditions, the festive occasions of peoples' lives, are all reconciled in music.

If only the people of the Balkans, not just the music-makers, would listen to the common threads that are so plainly obvious in their music! I once heard a folk-orchestra in Salt Lake City perform a miraculous concert of Hungarian Gypsy music from Slovakia, under a Japanese conductor. That was just the music, working its magic. This is the aim of this splendid compilation, as well. If only music were enough!


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