[spectre] grey) (area . Balkanal . Glacial . electro-acoustic music concert

Darko Fritz darko at darkofritz.net
Tue Aug 8 01:16:31 CEST 2017

grey) (area

Balkanal . Glacial
electro-acoustic music concert

August 10th 2017, 22 h
Sv. Justina Square, Korčula

authors: Silvio Foretić and Janko Jezovšek, Marko Paunović
curator: Darko Fritz

free entrance


Program comprises the performance of two electro-acoustic compositions, which came to being within the time span of a half a century. In the first part of the program is the premiere of recently digitally remastered pioneering tape-music piece called Balkanal. Balkanal was originally composed in the period from 1968 to 1974 (the world premiere of that original piece from the magnetic tape was in 1969 in Cologne) by two authors: the Croatian composer Silvio Foretić and the Slovenian composer Janko Jezovšek. In the second part of the evening the soundartist Marko Paunovićfrom Belgrade is performing the world premiere of his piece Glacial.

Silvio Foretić is from old Korčula family, and throughout his nomadic life in many European cities he has been regularly returning to the city of Korčula, where he has been staying in his family house with a baroque garden, the protected cultural heritage. This concert is the first presentation of his work in Korčula.

According to Silvio Foretić: “Traditional oratorium Balkanal was made in 1968/69. It represents an attempt of confrontation and blending of electronics and folklore – somewhat raw, harsh folklore. The text contains Croatian curses and damnations. The music does not have any synthetic electronic sounds, it is rather based entirely on electroacoustic transformations of human voices and traditional instruments (fiddle, tambura, pipe, sopile, drums etc.). The piece was made at the Electronic studio of the Hochschüle fur Musik in Cologne with the technical collaboration of Albert Hoppenrath.”

The original version of the piece with the duration of 46:38 minutes was finished in 1969. Due to some artistic, as well as pragmatic reasons (to shorten it so it could fit on one side of a vinyl record), the piece was shortened to 31:46 minutes in 1974 and that was the final version which is also going to be performed at this concert and that is included on the 2017 CD Silvio Foretić : Transakcije (1968-1979).

Foretić and Jezovšek founded the Ensemble for Contemporary Music in 1963, at the time when they were still students of Academy of Music in Zagreb. It was the first ensemble of the kind in Croatia and Yugoslavia. According to Višeslav Laboš, they were carrying out "anti-artistic” attitudes of global vanguard, relying on the string of Cage's happenings and, especially Foretić in his later ouevre, on Kagel's esthetics of “new music theatre.” Because of questioning the relationship between the purely musical and scenically visible factor of performing music in a concert space, expressing critique towards the traditional understanding of virtuosity but also to vanguard itself as well as towards all supporting organisational-artistic clauses of institutionalized music life, the performances of the Ensemble were often boycotted or even banned. Ensemble was dismantled in 1967. From this short period of the Ensemble's being active, it is important to emphasize the compositions by Foretić, improvised music-scenic actions – Transactions 2 (1964), respectively – whereby Foretić accompanied a reproduction of one old concert captured on a magnetic tape "with unusual sound effects. Very impressive vas the end of the concert, when the young composer plugged in an electric shaver appliance and shaved his beard – in public” (daily paper Večernji list, 1964, author unknown). The readings of the piece Concert for a horn and candle (1967) were also interesting and interpreted as "radicalized forms of the bluff that music has been selling for centuries under different names”(Igor Mandić). Namely, in Croatian, and also Serbian language, there is the common expression “to sell a horn for candle”, which means to deceive somebody.

Composition Glacial (2014-2017) by Marko Paunović emerged during the three-year period of developing a mental image od repetitiveness of waves, set into sound context. Extense manipulation of four channel magnetic tapes was used in the process of composing, as well as re-verbalized looped sound fragments. Ostinato line, though in a subtle way ruined by abstract constructions, field recording, certain quotation and referentiality, in its fundation is based on commitment to absolute music.

Silvio Foretić (Split, 1940). "He is an avant-gardist after the avant-garde" (Eva Sedak). He graduated from the composition department of the Music Academy in Zagreb in 1965, where he studied under Milko Kelemen. In 1965 he attended the Summer Course of New Music in Darmstadt (Pierre Boulez), and from 1966 to 1974 further studied at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne (composition under Bernd Alois Zimmermann and electronic music under Herbert Eimert). In 1968 he also attended courses by Karlheinz Stockhausen. After that, he lived in Cologne from 1970 to 1975, where he acted as Mauricio Kagel's associate and assistant, external associate to the Westdeutscher Rundfunk and a music associate to Theater Der Keller. From 1974 to 2006 he taught at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen and Duisburg, where he established the Ensemble fin de siècle - fin de millénaire in 1982 and led it until 1994. He has authored a rich oeuvre that includes orchestral, chamber, vocal-instrumental, electronic, and stage music, as well as works for music theatre. He became one of the leading advocates of new phenomena in contemporary Croatian music and remained consistent in his work. He applies many different musical means and techniques – from traditional to contemporary – which he combines as needed in specific compositions. He is a creator of a complex artistic physiognomy, a versatile performer (singer, pianist, actor, conductor) of his own works, as well as a lyrics writer. His music has an air of joy and humor and “engagingly mocks the bitter reality“, which is “perhaps the best definition of Foretić's human, artistic, and composing engagements that permeate his entire oeuvre and crystalize around his specific creative poetics” (Nikša Gligo). Some of his most notable works include the chamber poem Melusine (1966), Liebestraum, a cantata for tenor and chamber orchestra (1969), Fabularium animale, concerto chamber musical for 5 – 6 singers and chamber orchestra (1972), Valse macabre for tenor and saloon orchestra (1978), Semi-mono-opera for tenor and tape (1979), opera Marshal (to his own libretto based on the screenplay for Ivo and Vinko Beršan's 2011 movie). He often participates in the Zagreb Music Biennale. He has been the artistic director of the Music Festival in Opatija since 2013. He has also been a member of the New Music Society of Cologne since its beginning in 1981. (MIC / Minstrel 2015.)

The composer Janko Jezovšek – Jizou was born in Maribor, but since 1965 he has lived and worked as a “guest artist”, mainly in the German-speaking area (Neuberg/Hessen). As a prolific artist he collaborated with many theatre artists, puppeteers, dancers, and other artists; he is also the author of several operas or multimedia musical works, e.g. “Opera mobile”, “Bio-opera”, “Bunker”, etc. In the last few years his musical creativity has been directed primarily towards music education of children. He works mainly with its mechanical music, which he developed himself Lochomotive, a music box with paper tape, and the mechanical sound film machine, the theater Lochomotive, especially for and with non-musicians, theater and puppeteers, dancers and those which consider themselves tone deaf. Jezovšek-Jizous creative work can be described as artistic and pedagogical education for everyone: from mechanical and multimedia workshops, composition workshops, concerts, courses for adults up to international academies of childhood and creativity.

Marko Paunović is an ambient artist and sound sculptor. He deals with the synthesis of electro-acoustics and ambiance while researching the sound potential of melancholic atmosphere of autistic landscapes within frames of minimalism and drones. His production is visible in independent sound performances, working within the duet Andagainandagain, as well as within the duet with a violin player and audiovisual artist Manja Ristić. His poetical-theoretical texts represent the example of the conceptual and linguistic (l=a=n=g=u=a=g=e) poetry, and they are simultaneously the starting points for his compositions. As they speak about the act of its own genesis through its auto-reflexivity, as much as of its composing process, with every staging of his work Marko enters the domain of lecture performance format.


Exhibition 'Sensorial Skin / Guerilla Beehive' by AnneMarie Maes is on display at the Grey Area gallery until 30th August, daily from 21 to 22 h. Kovački prolaz 2, Korčula. Free entrance.

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