Biography - by others

Dunja Knebl (born 1946) is an acoustic/folk singer from Croatia.

She was born in Zagreb, Croatia, but has also lived in the USA, Indonesia. and Russia. After completing the studies of English and Russian, she worked most of her life as a translator and language teacher. Her favorite hobby was learning folk songs from the countries she lived in and singing them to her friends. She began performing professionally in 1993, and released her first solo album in 1994, an MC with 12 songs collected by the Međimurean poet, singer and folk song collector Florijan Andrašec, one of the people she often mentions as having a great influence to her music.

In 1997 she was nominated for the music award Porin, the Croatian equivalent of Grammy, in the Best singer category, and subsequently she has had a number of Porin nominations in various categories. In 2008 she was awarded with the Porin prize and the Index prizes for her album Kite i kitice.

The majority of the songs she sings are from Croatia (especially the region Međimurje), but also from USA, England, Russia, Indonesia. In the 1998 edition of the London-based A Rough Guide to World Music her music is recommended as an introduction to ethno-music from Croatia, as well as her album Iz globline srca.

She promotes traditional folk songs in many ways as, for instance, with her biographical monodrama Why I became a singer at the age of 47 or the Fear of Cloning performed by the singer many times since 1997, and with her musical performance/show Oj ti tožni človek based on Croatian murder ballads where she is the narrator, singer and is supported by participants/singers/musicians coming from her workshops. Her album 33 balade released in 2017 contains some ballads recorded during the show.

Dunja Knebl is noted for her  very simple music arrangements, often only with improvised instruments or even without any. Only recently has she begun performing with other musicians accompanying her. Her two recent albums were recorded with her new group Kololira (Croatian for hurdy-gurdy). „Tamo doli“ was praised by Croatian critics and foreign ones (in magazines such as fRoots and Songlines).

The songs she sings are slow, mellow and often sad and melancholic. Most of all she likes to record songs she has never heard and she arranges them on basis of notes and lyrics she finds in books.

As of 2017 she has released fourteen albums and appeared on many compilations.

Discography:

  1. Čuješ, golob, čuješ (MC, 1994)
  2. ...Jer bez tebe nema mene (CD/MC, 1996)
  3. Croatian folk songs from Međimurje (MC, 1998)
  4. Iz globline srca (CD/MC, 1998)
  5. Četiri frtalji (CD/MC, 2000)
  6. Da sam barem guska (CD/MC, 2002)
  7. Polje široko, nebo visoko (CD, 2005)
  8. Kite i kitice (CD, 2007)
  9. Dođe Božić oj, koledo! (CD, 2008)
  10. Spevala mi papiga (CD, 2009)
  11. Jelen pase (CD, 2010)
  12. Tamo doli (CD, 2013)
  13. I Mara i cvetje (CD, 2015)
  14. 33 balade (triple CD, 2017)

She has also self-released 5 albums on Bandcamp https://dunjaknebl.bandcamp.com/ :

  1. From Over There to Over Here - USA & England
  2. From Over There to Over Here - Indonesia
  3. From Over There to Over Here - Russia
  4. Dunja & Irina (live) - Traditional Folk Songs from Croatia
  5. Dunja Knebl (live in 1995/1996) - Traditional Folk Songs from Croatia

SOME VENUES FROM DUNJA'S ARCHIVE

1993    INTERNATIONAL P.E.N. CONGRESS, Hvar, Dubrovnik (Croatia)
1993    MIDDLE EUROPEAN WRITERS‚ SYMPOSIUM, Austria
1994    INTERNATIONAL FOLKLORE REVIEW , Zagreb, Croatia
1994    MEDJIMURSKE POPEVKE (folk song review), Nedelišće, Croatia
1995    Klub Gjuro 2  - recording of ETHNO-AMBIENT LIVE album, Zagreb, Croatia
1996    MEDJIMURSKE POPEVKE (folk song review), Nedelišće, Croatia
1996    INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN'S FESTIVAL, Šibenik, Croatia
1997    INTERNATIONAL FOLKLORE REVIEW, Zagreb, Croatia
1997    PORIN Yearly Awards, Opatija, Croatia
1997    INTERNATIONAL FOLKLORE REVIEW, Zagreb, Croatia
1998   PEPSI SZIGET FESTIVAL, Budapest, Hungary
1998   TRNFEST, Ljubljana, Slovenia
1998   INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN‚S FESTIVAL, Šibenik, Croatia
1999   EUROMUSICA, Italy
2000  PATAPOKLOSI FESTIVAL, Hungary
2002  MEDJIMURSKE POPEVKE (folk song review), Nedelišće, Croatia
2002 KAŠTELA 2002 (folk song festival) Kaštel Kambelovac, Croatia

2003  MEDJIMURSKE POPEVKE (folk song review), Nedelišće, Croatia

2004  MEDJIMURSKE POPEVKE (folk song review), Nedelišće, Croatia

2005  MEDJIMURSKE POPEVKE (folk song review), Nedelišće, Croatia

2006  MEDJIMURSKE POPEVKE (folk song review), Nedelišće, Croatia

2007 MEDJIMURSKE POPEVKE (folk song review), Nedelišće, Croatia

2007 Ethno-ambient Live Festival, Solin, Croatia

2008  MEDJIMURSKE POPEVKE (folk song review), Nedelišće, Croatia

2008 INTERZONE FESTIVAL, Novi Sad, Serbia

2009  MEDJIMURSKE POPEVKE (folk song review), Nedelišće, Croatia

2010  MEDJIMURSKE POPEVKE (folk song review), Nedelišće, Croatia

2011  MEDJIMURSKE POPEVKE (folk song review), Nedelišće, Croatia

2012  MEDJIMURSKE POPEVKE (folk song review), Nedelišće, Croatia

2013  MEDJIMURSKE POPEVKE (folk song review), Nedelišće, Croatia

2013  34th EBU FOLK MUSIC FESTIVAL, Varna, Bulgaria

2013 Ethno-ambient Live Festival, Solin, Croatia

2015 Ethno-ambient Live Festival, Solin, Croatia

2016 Ethno-ambient Live Festival, Solin, Croatia

 

 

An Unpublished Interview (revised and updated in May, 2017)

What do you know about your family’s roots? My family’s roots are intertwined like those of many European families. One of my grandmothers comes from Hungary, the other has Moravian roots. One of my grandfathers has roots in Germany, but he worked for a while in Bohemia where my father was born, and then moved […]

Kololira – nešto o nama

Kololira - nešto o nama

Skupili smo se prvobitno kako bi nastupili na EBU festivalu u ime Hrvatske radiotelevizije i zvali smo se Dunja Knebl & prijatelji. Počeli smo s probama i aranžiranjem pjesama u siječnju 2013. Premda smo ubrzo shvatili da nam se svima sviđa zajedničko muziciranje, nismo znali da ćemo nastaviti s nesmanjenim zadovoljstvom isprobavati razne mogućnosti kombiniranja […]

From Over There to Over Here

From Over There to Over Here

The title of the project I have been working on recently has several different meanings. „OVER THERE“ is not only a place but also a time period when I was much younger. As I have been very happy since I reached the time period and place of „OVER HERE“, I would like to share my […]

O albumu “Tamo doli”

Nakon nastupa na festivalu “Ethnoambient” u Solinu ove godine, inozemni gosti iz područja zvanog “world music” bili su impresionirani “potpuno originalnim zvukom” Kololire o čemu je objavljeno i par rečenica u vodećem svjetskom časopisu fRoots. Novi album Dunje Knebl i njenog benda Kololira naslovljen ‘Tamo doli’ snimljen je u studiju Kramasonik i uz sudjelovanje Hrvoja […]

KOLOLIRA – English

KOLOLIRA is a band reinterpreting traditional folk songs coming from Croatia (kololira = hurdy gurdy) Dunja Knebl & Friends got together to perform at a world music festival in Varna, Bulgaria, in 2013,  as representatives of the Croatian Radio. They liked playing together so much that they chose to continue as KOLOLIRA (Croatian for hurdy […]

Womex 2013

Womex 2013

Cardiff, 25.10.2013. Za dvadeset godina svojeg bavljenja etno-glazbom poklonila sam si odlazak na Womex.To je svjetski sajam svjetske glazbe – ako tako prevedemo “world music”. Kod nas se češće koristi izraz etno-glazba. Whatever… Osjećam se odlično u Cardiffu. Velika arena prepuna je štandova, ljudi. Svi su mi nekako poznati, premda doista poznam vrlo malo osoba […]

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