photo Nina Pacek


My music has always been inspired by real people and events around me. I never just sit down to compose. Some events, movies, or individuals touch me emotionally, and I begin to hear music in my head.


During the pandemic, people’s intensifying concerns about their health, financial outcomes, and disrupted lives have made this the most adverse time most of us have ever experienced. This album arose from the need for something hopeful and relaxing as a counterbalance to this sad and difficult time. When I write music, it’s a kind of a therapy for me, and I hope it will also be for those who listen to this album — full of emotions. My composition Light is full of brightness and by listening to it, the melody restores optimism and hopefulness. Farewell to Sad came out from the need to say goodbye to all deeply sad experiences in my life.


Sofia opens the album. Sofia is a real person, a friend of mine, who has had a harsh life. She has been trying to have a child for many years, and her mother has been diagnosed with cancer for the second time. For years in the past, Sofia has not seen her parents and a brother, because she came to Austria from Armenia in search of a better life. Last year, Sofia visited me, and bitterly cried, as she opened up herself to me. A few hours later this song flew out of me.


The next song is If Only Time Allowed, which was inspired by a poem, with the same title from a Croatian author. The poem talks about a love story that happened at a wrong, inappropriate time. The love was strong but not possible to be reciprocated.


Two compositions from the album Forever were inspired by films that were based fully or partially on true stories. Gone Young was inspired by a film titled 1985, by director Jen Tan, in which a young man returns home for the holidays and struggles to reveal to his conservative family that he is dying of AIDS like most of his friends. Death as a theme is something that is omnipresent in our new pandemic reality. There are parallels between the theme of the film which depicts emotions such as fear, helplessness and pain, and the situation that we are facing here and now. Before the Rain was inspired by the film of the same title, directed by Macedonian director Milcho Manchevski. Three interconnected love stories under the threat of the civil war in Macedonia were depicted in the film. There is a symbolic representation of how this part of the world faced wars through various generations, almost as if this land had been cursed. The darkness of these three stories without any happy-ending are empathetically interwoven in the dark song Before the Rain.


Forever is a composition that was created out of a realization that love is the most powerful, strongest force in our lives. We must sometimes place our ego aside in order not to overshadow or not to lose from focus this powerful and most meaningful energy for all of us.


Compositions Lullaby and Inner Child were inspired and awakened as I spent extra time with my children, as I did homeschooling with them, due to the Coronavirus. We were also practicing instruments together. Children have the power to bring our inner child out, and these feelings were simply reflected in these two songs.


Almost Goodbye is about a perfect life almost gone wrong. Deep Red is a jazzy-bluesy song, as some people make us sad and happy at the same time, and such people inspired me to write this composition.


I composed Wanna Dance when I injured my leg and could not walk. The title is somewhat cynical and playful. The song came out as a waltz. The last song on the album is What is Waiting for Me, which denotes the question of what is awaiting us in the future. We need to be patient to find out what the new events will be bringing us…


— Antonija Pacek, July 2020, Vienna, Austria




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