- When it comes to this project, how did Berghain inspire you?
Right after I finished my studies, I lived in Berlin for three months. That was an important period of my life and the beginning of my career as an artist and a composer, and in that period I visited Berghain. It’s an enormous creative space, a former industrial hall which reverberates and echoes, so I had a feeling something was constantly popping out, it looked like a dark room. I was led by the ambiguity of the term: dark room like a fetish, but also like a place used for developing photos. It inspired me for sounds and images that come out of the dark.
- How does this thematic frame communicate with the ensemble whose musicians come from ex-Yugoslav countries?
I think that the ensemble can wonderfully communicate with the theme because we find the link between the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the city that went through both Nazism and communism to become of the most open ones in Europe very important. Especially since a similar process took place here but in reverse. Led by a positive message, the musicians from all the ex-Yugoslav countries are trying to establish communication. My piece is rather heterogeneous, it contains many moments that are juxtaposed like small, closed worlds that still do have a common language and function as a whole.
- You’ve talked about the freedom one can feel in Berlin after everything it went through. Can you feel such freedom in the Balkans today?
Having visited all the Balkan countries, I’d say that enough time has passed, that some new generations have arrived and that they can work together with us who have had the experience of war to break the ice barrier built between us. I feel that this is the right time to say: let’s talk to each other again in a kind and human way.
- How did Berghain and the entire Berlin culture scene inspire your composition?
I tried to do the only thing that I found artistically and ethically interesting: instead of juxtaposing two opposing poetics and make a composition, I chose to really go through both of them - techno and classical music - and create something that falls between the two, while remaining true and accurate. It meant demonstrating that acoustic music behaves like electronic and that a listener cannot tell one from the other with certainty. I think that’s the most interesting direction of some potential discoveries. Classical and electronic music have already been associated, that idea is not new, but they have mostly been simply juxtaposed. In that case, however, they don’t communicate. There’s no symmetry or deeper infusion. What I find exciting is that this project has let me think what I always wanted, it made it possible for me to find a modality in which a link can function in a more organic way.
- What can be the outcome of a music experiment when we have two so seemingly radically opposed poetics?
In the world of classical music we have a tremendous pluralism and an unfathomable diversity of styles and personal poetics that have their own audience, which is precious. However, the problem exists in academic circles, since they are still most authoritative when it comes to classical scene. And while they are intolerant towards the pluralism, they support a poetics created in the 60ies. That academic sound hasn’t undergone any radical changes. In my opinion, a search for a new sound must imply openness towards communication, but not at any expense. The problem about the contemporary classical scene is that it’s ghettoized and usually performed only at festivals, so it cannot leak onto concert stages. The reason is that it’s so enclosed within its own frames that the audience finds it hard to communicate with what they hear.
Draško Adžić: B. matinée *
Drinor Zymberi: Trance *
Arvo Pärt: Fratres (Stanko Madić, solo violin)
Davor Branimir Vincze: darkroom *
Samuel Barber: Adagio for Strings
Darija Andovska: FairVent *
Danijel Žontar: Afterparty * (electronica: DJ MKDSL)
* commissioned by NBO