A Q&A with Aleksandra Acker from Anja & Zlatna
What is your goal/s for your Local Heroes series in 2016?
To mesmerise our audience with the expressive beauty of folk music of the Balkans and beyond.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Too many ideas...one would be playing tennis, followed by a Serbian lunch with the loved ones...and then, we all go to Jordi Savall's concert.
What do you think about when you perform live?
I am telling a story, a musical story that is worth telling and sharing. I let my voice change its colour, character and pace, allowing myself to experience the many chemical reactions that only beautiful music can stimulate.
Which historical figure do you most identify with and why?
Ask me this in many years time, when/if I accomplish even a tiny bit of what some of the historical figures that I admire achieved...ah, why are we not all like Nikola Tesla?!
Where is your favourite place on Earth and why?
I have a few places. Belgrade, Serbia - city of arts, good taste and beautiful people - where I am from. I adore a small but exquisite Perast in Montenegro - when one can truly experience an inner piece by looking at the water and its surroundings...I also LOVE The Metéora monastery in Greece, near the Mount Athos, but since I cannot be there every day, I enjoy Fairfield Park in Melbourne, especially during the week - a great place for solitude or an intimate lunch with friends.
If you could swap places with any other human or animal who or what would you choose and why?
I would not swap places but would like to know the secrets of ever so perfected movements by Aki-Paki, our adorable little cat.
Who is your ideal audience?
I like a good mix of people (however this can be interpreted!) who are attentive and free to express their emotional response.
What colours speak to you? Have you ever experienced synaesthesia?
Blue is smart and calm, white is fresh, red is striking, black is deep, yellow is inviting...beige can be boring - some people are beige...
Which living person do you most admire and why?
You are asking hard questions! I am admiring Novak Djokovic, this week. He is an incredible athlete, has a wonderful personality and his compassion, humanity and humility are truly admirable. Otherwise, I always admire my mum.
What is your favourite book and why?
Crime and Punishment. Dostoevsky is a master story teller and I love all of his work.
What is your favourite piece of music and why?
More difficult questions! :) I have a favourite in each genre of music. Today, I choose Mahler's Symphony No.2.
How did you come to play your instrument/s?
Ever since I was a child, I sang and played music. We did not have money for a piano, so I used to place my accordion down at the edge of a table and while my sister expanded the bellows I could "practice" on the piano keys.