Memorie.al publishes the testimonies of the father of the famous singer-songwriter, Kastriot Gjini, or as he is otherwise known as the Albanian “Luco Battisti”, who passed away at a very young age, on March 2, 1979, who said: “Chinese philosopher Confucius says: ‘If a boy who composes a song leaves this world prematurely, it’s not worth shedding tears for, because, after a minute, at his funeral, hundreds of boys and girls will be singing his songs’. And really, when we threw on Oti’s coffin, Radio-Tirana gave a program with his songs “. As well as the memories of his friends, friends and colleagues artists, who have known him closely and collaborated with him (some of whom have already separated from this life), such as maestro Zhani Ciko, the late composers, Alexander Lalo of Alfons Balliçi, singer-songwriter, Luan Zhegu, composer and instrumentalist, Osman Mula, singers Zija Saraçi and Naim Kërçuku, late singer-songwriter Francesk Radi, late pianist Lili Tafaj, as well as singers Ema Qazimi, Kozma Dushi, and Liljana Kondakçi.
“Every parent, after losing the most precious thing that is a child, wraps their heads in a quilt and brings to mind all the cases that have been possible and have not used them to save the child’s life. That’s what we did for Kastriot. They are many, but I will remember some cases that have impressed me and I will not forget how long life is. This is how Shaqo Gjini, the father of one of the colossi of Albanian light music, the famous composer Kastriot Gjini, who passed away on March 2, 1979. For Kastriot Gjini or as he is known as “Luco Battisti”, expresses himself in his memories. of Albania, in addition to some memories given exclusively to Memorie.al by his father, is also publishing in this article the memories of some of his friends and colleagues artists who have known him closely and have collaborated with him, (some of him who have already been separated from this life), such as maestro Zhani Ciko, the late composers, Aleksandër Lalo and Alfons Balliçi, singer-songwriter, Luan Zhegu, composer and instrumentalist, Osman Mula, singer Zija Saraçi, singer Naim Kërçuku, singer-songwriter, Francesk Radi, pianist, Lili Tafaj, and singers Ema Qazimi, Kozma Dushi, and Liljana Kondakçi.
Memories of his father, Shaqo Gjini
“For Otin, I do not intend to write too much because it is very difficult for me to write in a few words everything that I keep for this unimaginable child. But I find it hard to imagine Oti’s suffering and those feelings that were hidden in the depths of his soul. They tormented and disturbed me every day and every hour. I was perplexed by the extraordinary human character of this man, and in him, something unusual was felt that he could not even express in words so sweetly that I could not take my eyes off him who cast his caressed shadow over me …… But fate did not walk us, and in 1956 Kastriot, fell ill with measles that left him with a heart defect. The signal was given to us by Dr. Tepelena, but we didn’t pay attention. We set out to operate in Italy on February 25, 1979, and we thought we could take the sky by hand, without thinking for a second, that something bad might happen. But unfortunately for him and our tone a day before the operation, Kastriot turned off. The Chinese philosopher Confucius says: ‘If a boy who composes a song leaves this world prematurely, it is not worth shedding tears for him, because, after a minute, at his funeral, hundreds of boys and girls will be singing his songs’. And really, when we threw on Oti’s coffin, Radio-Tirana gave a program with his songs. But the death that preceded the end of his life story was too early for him to die. Every parent, after losing the most precious thing that is a child, wraps his head in a quilt and brings to mind all the cases that he has had the opportunity and has not used to save the child’s life. That’s what we did for Kastriot. They are many, but I will remember some of the events that impressed me and I will never forget them. ”
“Kastriot was a composer with a wide intellectual horizon who not only assimilated different ideas but also experimented with different musical forms in his music Kast Kastriot Gjini’s music showed that he could not stay in the cage of his conservative metro. old forms. He is definitely special, in music in the full sense of the word. He was alive and free. He was taking a step towards world music. Kastriot was absolutely special in his music of the ’70s, as he discovered the intonations of completely new rhythms for that time. He was ahead of his time and his loss was a great loss for Albanian music “.
Kastriot came out of me five years later and to be honest when I first heard his songs, I felt an “opponent” because he entered Albanian music with full potency. Kastriot was a southern man. He had very special harmonic plans and went from minor to minor, so he drew parallels that no one else had. Kastriot was also an artist who sang. I would compare it to the Batista of Italy, who was constantly experimenting. The man who experiments is also brave, who takes with him the danger. And he experimented very successfully. Kastriot’s songs are distinguished from those of other composers and by the fact that he had created a melodic line from others. He did not influence or imitate others; on the contrary, others continued to imitate him. Those who have known him, have had the good fortune to see him in various compositions or orchestrations and recordings, they also call him the gene of the folk of the south, as a rare talent and that we together with Albania have lost talent of great. ”
“Kastriot Gjini is a unique composer. Only Kastriot Gjini can repeat it “.
“I met him for the first time in the corridors of Radio Tirana. He congratulated me on starting music. Kastriot at the time was affirmed as a composer, and his name had become very popular, both for the youth and for me. He was the most beloved composer. His songs were stunning, and not only that but he as well as the character. The figure of Kastriot Gjini takes on gigantic proportions, especially when compared to those of the backstage and fellow artists. His genius skills, and his deep knowledge of world music culture, helped him in his art. His figure was elevated even more because he composed new music, moving away from the bondage of outdated artistic molds. Let’s not forget that Kastriot broke into a time when censorship was wreaking havoc, but he is undoubtedly the greatest Albanian composer of the 1970s. This is the assessment we make of this unattainable composer. ”
“Kastriot’s songs were special because they were known for their freshness and youthful vigor. He touched the feelings of all his listeners and worshipers throughout the country. The melodies of his songs were so special that people said that these are the songs of Kastriot Gjini. I have followed Gjini’s melodic style in some songs and they have definitely been very beautiful to me. His figure, which illuminated Albanian light music, would serve as an inspiration to all of us. But the misfortune was, that his songs did not live long. Although they were welcomed by the youth, they were also distinguished by the authorities as soon as they came to light …… I have in mind to do some things for him that he deserves …… And that is very little for Kastriot Gjini ”.
“He invited me for coffee. During the conversation, I told him that I had created the verse of a song, but I was stuck in the chorus. Listen to the verse – I told him. And I started singing it. When I finished, I repeated to him how I could continue this verse. He laughed, as nicely and amicably as he laughed, and said to me: Well then we’ll continue together. And with his fantasy, he immediately gave a beautiful refrain to that song, which I had days without solving. I recorded on my tape recorder that song finished by Oti. After three or four days, I repeated it on the radio, and he laughed out loud. We sat down at the piano and finally structured it. So from that great and memorable composer, I have in my repertoire, a common song, which, unfortunately, I can’t sing because I tried that defeat that for many years took me away from the passion of my life. At some point, I will sing it. At Oti, there were only good virtues. They were gathered to him as if they were the best qualities of 10 people together… When sitting with the orchestrators of his song, he gave them as a “plum”, almost all the harmony and lines of instruments that would form the orchestration. For me, with the departure of Kastriot, a guide to modern music left Albania. In his complexity, he was a Luço Battisti of Albania. He also gave another direction to Italian music… Oti amazed professional composers… He told them that they had to use popular resources.
“With the song composed by Kastrioti ‘Sa mimoza has this our way’, I sang it at the Durrës festival and won the first prize. It was Kastriot’s song that made me overjoyed… He had innate talent. One day we went to visit the shareholders on the Durrës-Rrogozhina railway. We stayed on a newly-built bridge, there were a girl and a boy who were writing the initials of their names. Oti asked: Why do you write them with initials? The girl replied: because we have not yet announced the engagement. Then, you will be inherited, and Naim and I were inspired to make a song, and we will put the title “Inicialet”, a song that I sang in the Radio Tirana poll and won. From that day on I became closely associated with Otin and his wonderful family and I did not part until he was extinguished Years have passed and I remember him and I will never forget Otin with his family as his best friend. all the time ”.
“It simply came to our notice then. He welcomed me warmly and quickly created a warm environment for me as if we were old friends… ‘Follow your creations carefully,’ I said, and I like them. You are a man of modern concepts. Singing songs in a special way that young people like. I also try to make songs with special motifs, but I don’t know if I will achieve the goal, because the limitations are obvious. This bothers me and you, and many others. However, let’s try ourselves in these conditions. I cursed myself because I hadn’t had the opportunity to know him before. Whenever he sang and I did, we would tell each other and make suggestions. When I composed the song”Bicycle” and he “Neighbor” and both competed in a survey, he said to me: Ore rrufjan, you with your “Bicycle”, are you following my “Neighbor” ?! And the announcer, when he was transmitting the songs, launched it: and now you will hear how Francesc Radit’s “Bicycle” follows Kastriot Gjini’s “Neighbor” isha I had composed the song “Address” and I went and showed it to him. “You are very beautiful, very young,” he told me. I asked him to tell me who to text. After thinking for a while, he said, “If you agree, I’ll do it.” And he did. His fantasy took hold and the lyrics embodied our song. It is one of my favorite songs that excites me deeply in my soul and memories… Kastriot music had the poetry of the soul, his words had the poetry of the mind. He felt deeply and looked away. He faded like the setting of the sun, leaving behind the passion and fire of the soul, his work… ”
“The special thing about Kastriot was that he enjoyed life, getting the best. He poured it into his fascinating songs. He appreciated classical music. I appreciated his wisdom and often consulted with him, saying: ‘You have a great inclination for classical music.’ He told me, ‘It’s early. Don’t rush and I’m planning and we’ll see each other soon. ‘ He amazed me with the remarks he made to me, just like a perfect professional. And now that I was writing, I was struck by his angelic portrait, his inaccessible talent, the special man I never met again in my life. “Even if I lived a thousand years, I would never forget that angelic face.”
“I will not find words to describe the portrait of Kastriot Gjini. He resembled that handsome and special man, who uttered only words, honey. He liked to talk to her. He had a soul as pure as tears and as brilliant as the stars. One day I stopped him at the gate of the Radio and said to him: Oti, why didn’t you give me a song and I know how to sing? He turned to me, hugged me, and said, ‘Eee ti Emma, you’re looking for heavy songs. I give you a song that suits your nature. I like not only your beautiful voice but also that it resembles Emma, Flober’s famous character. The song is titled “The path of my song”… I would say that in Oti, just look at kindness, generosity, love for music, friends, etc. When I remember it, the teardrops on me. He will remain immortal through his work.
“Every time I listen to his songs, every time I read the writings about Kastriot Gjini, I see the angelic portrait, and very dear to him. In March 2001, I sang the song “Cabin three” in Durrës, and I was impressed that they applauded me three times in the hall, while in the chorus everyone started singing with me in the hall. It was an extraordinary emotion that only Kastriot Gjini’s song gave me. Oti, was an unimaginable producer, for songwriting. The singers took turns to get songs from Kastriot “.
“I sang to them with a lot of passion because I was honored by Kastriot’s songs, Oti to learn special things, it was a separate school of cooperation with Kastriot. He also taught you how to sing a song. He sang himself. The song “Migration”, which was dedicated to the people of my mother’s family, was a melody that remained in my soul and that I still sing today. I received many thanks when I sang Kastriot’s songs. His songs have honored us, so I will continue to sing them. This is also the respect and love we had for him, for his name and work “./Memorie.al