On My Nirvana, cellist Redi Hasa reworks the music of the legendary band who inspired him.
When Tirana, Albania first heard Nirvana, the country was suffering the consequences of a civil war. The mighty magnet of Nevermind pulled out all the good iron from the ruins of a regime that had been banning Western music for half a century. Many years have passed since then. But still, every time Redi Hasa gets face to face with his cello, he pulls out the stories that his instrument keeps on shielding like crown jewels. This was the case of The Stolen Cello, Redi’s first solo album. Now he arrives playing “his” Nirvana, turning the band's wire melodies, their heresy, their jeopardy, into a majestically human sound.
Nirvana’s Nevermind began circulating in the underground after the Albanian regime had been banning the entirety of Western music, from the Beatles to Milli Vanilli, for half a century. But still, the banned music was moving around circles, as secret and precious as an audio “underground press.”
In the daytime, Hasa studied at the Tirana Conservatory of Music on a cello provided by the state. At night, he played the only electric bass in town, which had been sent to him from Italy by his older brother. There, in those night sessions between smoking bunkers and pulled out wire fences, the Nirvana tunes challenged their truth.
Born into a family of artists, Albanian cellist and composer Redi Hasa began to study the cello at the age of seven. He graduated from the Tirana Academy of Fine Arts and got a further degree in Italy. His outstanding talent contributed to the Renaissance of the Taranta dance. He also collaborated with Kocani Orkestar, Boban Markovic, Bobby McFerrin, Paolo Fresu, among others, and has recorded with Robert Plant. In 2008, he joined the Notte della Taranta Orchestra. In 2010, he started a very successful duo with singer Maria Mazzotta, recording two albums and appearing in many international festivals. Since 2012, Redi is member of the Ludovico Einaudi band, featured on his albums and his worldwide tours.