SKLONIŠTE (Shelter; Bosnian)

Sarajevo, 1996. The city is under siege. Sniper fire kills civilians every day. The citizens of Sarajevo run to avoid being shot.  They run for one thing: shelter. Sklonište (shelter) was spray-painted throughout Sarajevo to guide its citizens to underground shelters. The siege lasted 1,425 days.

Combining the experiences and motivations of international aid-workers and the surrealism of war; Sklonište – for live musician and video, is alternative reflection on the longest siege in modern warfare – 13,952 were killed. Expect the surreal, the tragic and the humour of a people determined to survive. Sklonište was developed with support from the PRS Foundation and Arts Council England.

Accordion, Dermot Dunne (Ireland), original music/concept Ailís Ní Ríain (England/Ireland), photography by Jim Marshall (Scotland/Sarajevo), Semezdin Mehmedinović (Bosnia/USA), stories from Sarajevan citizens plus contributions from Patrick Ketch (Ireland), Elma Serdarevic, Amar Custovic, Amira Medunjanin and Elma Jucovic (Bosnia).



‘Ni Riain has composed a work which is serious, engaged, authentically post modern – but which still manages to be lyrical, melodic and deeply moving.’


“I was deeply effected by your piece…what a piece, I am still in “there”…

“Thought provoking”

“Sklonište pays respectful homage to the people of Sarajevo, a timely reminder of how the horrors of war impact on innocent civilians. Discordant accordion lent a disturbing sense of immediacy ever truly evoked a strong response.”  – The Irish Examiner

“I had misjudged the accordion! Wow.”

“Weird, and beautiful”

“I loved the black humour”

“A very subtle and sophisticated way to approach so difficult a topic.”

“Beautifully paced and the music was just right”

“Succinct, balanced”

“Very, very moving and not what I expected at all”

Letter from the Director of the Historical Museum of Bosnia & Herzegovina


Dermot Dunne has been a regular performer throughout Ireland, Europe and the USA. He took masterclasses in Belgrade (Serbia) during the war followed by studies at the Kiev conservatory in the Ukraine. His time in Belgrade remains a subject close to his heart. He is a much sought-after musician who specialises in contemporary music. He plays with various chamber groups and orchestras including the RTE Concert Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra, Crash Ensemble and Concorde.

The musical score also comprises prepared piano (Ailís Ní Ríain), violin (Elaine Clarke – Leader of the Irish National Symphony Orchestra) and the vocals of Bosnia’s leading Sevdah singer Amira Medunjanin.



Sklonište in Urban Magazine, Sarajevo


Shelter (extract)

by Ailís Ní Ríain | Sklonište

Suitcase (extract)

by Ailís Ní Ríain | Sklonište


11th September 2015 – Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin, Ireland (2 perfs)

12th September 2015 – Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin, Ireland (2 perfs)

20th October 2016 – FACT, Liverpool – Liverpool Irish Festival, UK

22nd October 2016 – Mill Hill Chapel, Leeds, UK

23rd October 2016 – Wainsgate Chapel, Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, UK

21st November 2016 – Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Huddersfield, UK

22nd November 2016 – IABF, Manchester, UK

23rd November 2016 – Delius Arts & Cultural Centre, Bradford, UK

24th November 2016 – Stan’s Cafe Theatre, Birmingham, UK

9th February 2017 – The Irish Cultural Centre, Paris

17-19th March 2017 – Sarajevo Irish Arts Festival, Sarajevo, Bosnia

8th June 2017 – City University New Music Series, London, UK

1st February 2018 – Derry, IMBLOC Festival, Northern Ireland

24th June 2018 – Cork Midsummer Festival, Ireland (2 perfs)