Saigon Would Be Seoul
Saigon Would Be Seoul — ambient / experimental / electronic music project from United States
Saigon Would Be Seoul is the solo project from Mirza Ramic of the electronic music duo Arms and Sleepers. While spending most of his adult life in the US, Mirza was born in Bosnia & Herzegovina and lived there until 1992, when the Bosnian War forced his family to flee the country. Mirza and his mother would spend the next few years moving across continents, countries and states as refugees. Mirza’s father did not survive the war; he was killed by a mortar shell in 1993. This personal journey of trauma, loss and survival is at the core of the project's DNA.
The name Saigon Would Be Seoul is taken from Viet Thanh Nguyen’s collection of short stories titled The Refugees. In it, a Vietnamese woman exclaims how Saigon today would be as modern, prosperous and progressive as Seoul in South Korea had the Vietnam War never happened. Similar sentiments exist amongst Bosnian people when discussing the Bosnian War and its aftermath. These powerful feelings of “what if” and “what could have been” cut deep through every refugee’s heart, regardless of nationality, ethnicity or geographical location. The nostalgic and painful recollection of the past is an important aspect of Mirza’s music and is purposefully captured in the project’s name.