Formed on the initiative of Iranian percussionist Bijan Chemirani, Oneira is a dream (the meaning of “oneira”), a dream enriched by the experiences and emotions of each of its members, the result of their respective backgrounds, travels, traditions… The group is composed of hurdy-gurdy player Pierlo Bertolino (Dupain, Ahamada Smis), guitarist Kevin Sedikki (Dino Saluzzi, Al Di Meola), Harris Lambrakis (Savinata Yanatou), who plays the ney (end-blown flute), and the two singers, Maria Simoglou (Stelios Petrakis, Sokratis Malamas), who hails from Thessaloniki, and Maryam Chemirani (Trio Deilizioso Compagnie Zelwer), Bijan’s sister. A close-knit, yet very open group, Oneira welcome here some delightful guests: guitarist Pierrick Hardy, lyra player Stratis Psaradellis, the Sardinian singer Gavino Murcia, and that wizard with words from Gascony, André Minvielle. Together these artists turn their individual dreams into scintillating pieces of music.
Four of the pieces are re-creations of tradition: Apòpse ta mesànyhta, which comes from Thrace, To fileman (aki so peran) from the Black Sea, Hassan Chabi, belonging to the Alevi community of Turkey, and Sorcière, from Finland. Leis Auras is a setting of a text by the Occitan poet Roland Pecoud; in La Bourdique, to words by André Minvielle, Oneira present their own version of Richard Hertel’s setting. Ferdows Dami and Mou’pe mia magissa are composed to verses (sung in Persian and Greek) by the eleventh-century Persian poet Omar Khayyam, while Sanama is a lively setting of lines by the thirteenth-century Persian poet and mystic Rumi (popularly known as Mevlana). Sometimes, as in Sorcière or Râh, the language is very original, and sometimes the music speaks for itself, as in the two interludes, Ambianz and Ambianz II, in which electric or electro phantoms express their secrets.