Mr Cosmin Mirea
Country of residence
I was born in the early 90s in Romania’s capital, Bucharest, and was lucky enough to grow up in a multi-ethnic and ”musical” neighborhood – Dudești. Dudești is well known ever since the 1920s for producing extremely talented Roma musicians (lăutari), so my being born here exposed me from a young age to all sorts of music, but especially oriental-influenced ones as those were in trend at the time. I was instantly drawn to oriental music cadences and especially rhythm; I began playing darbuka (the staple instrument in oriental-turkish and later panbalcanic music) when I was 16 years old, and luckily, I was able to join a Roma band by the age of 19 – years of playing at weddings (both Roma and non-roma) have served as my informal training, have given me the occasion to continue a family tradition, and have placed me in a position that has allowed me to witness numerous aspects of Roma culture through a musical view-point.
My interest in panbalcanic oriental rooted music (specifically Turkish-rooted music) was doubled by cultural studies that eventually lead to me learning the turkish language, spending time in Turkey to study more about the local music and various instruments, starting a music project centered around pre-Kemalist Ottoman music, and now joining a master’s program at the Bucharest University (Universitatea București) that is aimed explicitly at Islamic studies.