MBZ AT THE MOČVARA
The summertime-, third bloc of the 31st MBZ (Continuum No. 3 – Le sacre de l'été, 15–17 July) will be held almost entirely – on the Sava River. Or, more precisely, on the Sava embankment, at the Močvara Club and at the Jedinstvo Plant. Silvio Foretić’s Semi-mono-opera will be performed at the Jedinstvo Plant (check here for more details) as well as the Decoder Ensemble’s programs and the improvisations by young Slovenian pianist te improvizacije mlade slovenske pijanistice Kaja Draksler.
Find out more about the programs of the 31st MBZ taking place at the Močvara (Croatian for “swamp”), on Saturday, 17 July, below:
Following the new edition of Svirkaonica for children, a round table discussion will be held at 4 PM in collaboration with the portal Kulturpunkt and the regional platform Svijet oko nas (“the World Around Us”) on the theme Contemporary Music – A Matter of Taste or Understanding?
IYou can then leave Močvara and Jedinstvo, but virtually, to listen to the online concert of Vid Veljak at 5 PM. From 6 PM, at the Močvara, you can attend a live lecture by Jorge Sánchez-Chiong about the history and practice of turntabl(e)ism, that is, the sound manipulation and the creation of music with the help of a gramophone/turntable. The lecture will provide a theoretical context for what you can actually hear the day before, on Friday, 16 July, from 11 PM, when Sánchez-Chiong will perform at the Močvara as a turntablist.
Jorge Sánchez-Chiong - ©Jana Wilfing
Sánchez-Chiong thus appears in a dual role: as a DJ on Friday and as a lecturer on Saturday, after which, in the vicinity, at the Jedinstvo Plant, you can watch the already mentioned Semi-mono-opera by Silvio Foretić, at 7.30 PM, and then return to Močvara for some experimental rock and electronics: Trokut at 8:30 PM and Delapse at 10 PM.
No Accounting for Taste
The round-table discussion on contemporary music, taking place in the afternoon, will be moderated by the composer Ivan Violić (Dubrovnik, 1982), who explains why such an event is important for the festival:
“A contemporary music festival has both artistic and social value. It is an event that enables live and direct communication between a composer, a performer and the audience, i.e. all the participants. As society and art are constantly evolving, their relationship must be continuously nurtured through dialogue. One aspect of this dialogue is the panel on contemporary music, which I will moderate."
Ivan Violić, MBZ, 2019.
Violić also presents his starting point, as a moderator:
The reception of any art, especially the contemporary one, depends on a number of factors. On an intimate level, an opinion on a piece stems from personal taste on the one hand, and the understanding of the “language” of the piece on the other hand. What is the dynamic of the relationship between understanding and taste and are they mutually conditioned? Taste presupposes the development of “good taste,” or at least it used to, and that development was associated with the acquisition of tools necessary for understanding and the notion of “personal development.” With the loss of trust in the institutions and the process of democratization, everyone’s taste becomes a legitimate position that does not necessarily head towards a “painful” process of reflection and learning. “Taste” is both the starting and the ending point of reflection, which is in direct contradiction to the art itself as its purpose has always been to re-examine and to expand the boundaries of cognition.
On the other hand, the diversity of expression puts a great deal of pressure on the individual who, in the hustle and bustle of life, does not have either time or opportunities to develop an understanding of each individual “language,” so “taste” becomes the last refuge in forming one’s own opinion. The aim of this panel is to examine the relationship between these two factors and to devise reception strategies that would enable a better appraisal and provide a larger wealth of experience and understanding.
Jorge Sánchez-Chiong - ©Jana Wilfing
A Master of Hybrids
Jorge Sánchez-Chiong, who will perform as a DJ on Friday, July 16th, and hold a lecture on Saturday, the 17th, is an Austrian/Venezuelan composer of Cuban/Chinese origin. He has lived as a freelance composer and turntable artist in Vienna since 1988, where he is regularly commissioned to write a great number of works for the most important New Music ensembles, orchestras and Festivals. His extremely rhythmical compositions “seek to capture the liveliness and spontaneity of an improvisation.” Going beyond the realms of concert music, Jorge Sánchez-Chiong breaks down boundaries by co-operating with artists from new movements including from the experimental theatre and electronic music scene, science, performance, choreography, turntablism, as well as film and video artists.
Sánchez-Chiong studied composition at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. He is a tutor at Impuls Graz, and, since 2010, tutor for composition at the International Summer Course for New Music in Darmstadt. Over the past few years, Jorge Sánchez-Chiong has created “increasingly precise techniques of intermeshing seemingly immediate expression and complex messages – improvised and composed hybrids: Noise and instrumental, turntable and orchestral sound, chamber music and video art.”
Experimentally ambiental electronic jazz
The Močvara-based Biennale day will be rounded off by two bands: an electronic jazz outfit, and an electronic music project „translating“ the music from their album into a version that can be performed live, using musical instruments, for the first time.
At 8:30 PM, there will be a concert of an electric jazz quartet that usually performs as a quintet and is named Trokut (Triangle). They were formed in 2018 at the Music and Performing Arts School in Graz, Austria. The band's repertoire consists of their original music and improvisations inspired by contemporary jazz and different sub-genres of electronic and rock music. Their melodies, harmonic progressions and sound textures are influenced by artists such as Kneebody, Radiohead, Squarepusher, Boards of Canada, Nerve, Madlib, Jaga Jazzist, Shai Maestro and the artists under ECM label. Trokut’s broad sound palette features different aspects of contemporary jazz, such as improvisation over given forms and harmonic progressions, textures of modern electronic music, soundscapes of ambient music, rock energy and the repetitiveness of minimal music.
The band consists of highly acclaimed musicians - Ana Čop on vocals and effects, Jaka Arh on tenor saxophone, effects and electronics, Luka Čapeta on electric guitar, Hrvoje Kralj on electric bass guitar and Jerko Jurin on drums. For this occasion, Trokut will perform at the Biennale in the formation of a quartet, without singer Ana Čop. Trokut has had the opportunity to perform in different venues and festivals in Croatia and Slovenia. In 2020, the band released their critically acclaimed album Shapeless for London-based label Rika Muzika. In 2021, their album was nominated for the Croatian Music Award Porin; as a group, they were nominated for the Rock&Off Award in the Jazz&Off category.
Dubravko Jagatić wrote the following about their album for „Nacional: Their experimentation with sounds and melodies is accessible and captivating, due to both a superb performance and at times unusual harmonies and the combination of experimental jazz with ambient electronics - which, unexpectedly, in their interpretation functions very well.“, while Jaša Bužinel, writing for the Slovenian Music Information Centre, conluded that their music was „It is just conservative enough to preserve the sonic essence of jazz, and exploratory to complement the recognizable jazz sound palette with synthetic sounds and details that add a dimension of (post) modernity to their music.“
Trokut, foto: Jan Iveta
Organic, Uncontrolled Chaos
The MBZ programme at the Močvara will be rounded up with delapse, a project created by the electronic music producer from Zagreb, Leonard Klaić, who will also bring guests.
Leonard Klaić is a producer of the younger generation who worked on many releases by She Loves Pablo, Mašinko, Killed A Fox, Malady Lane, Muscle Tribe Of Danger And Excellence, Lovely Quinces, Pase, Portman and others. He actively plays drums in the bands She Loves Pablo and Lovely Quinces. As delapse, he released the EP “BRICKED” and in 2020, he released OMENS. Klaić says that on OMENS, his debut record, he tackles “two opposing music worlds, the band world, with live instruments, and the darker club electronic music, exposing the melancholic mood as a sincere reflection of the time and emotions we are currently experiencing.
Leonard Klaić (delapse) ©Vjekoslav Palinić
Klaić described his delapse project in general as well:
“delapse started as a result of my research in my free time, playing with sounds in a studio and studying music styles I did not use to deal with before. I have always been fascinated by electronic music, not because of its dance component, but the unlimited potential to create sounds. In my mind, this is the combination of electronics, a love that I have for film and ambient music, noise and almost abstract sound design forms, along with a dose of intensity and loudness I have always loved to be surrounded by. After the first EP release, which was basically a stylistic exercise and testing the waters, this album shows that combination quite faithfully and was made without the expectation or desire to be liked by anyone; I just made the album that I would like to listen to myself.”
delapse live ©Vjekoslav Palinić
“For this concert, which is the first one for delapse, I decided to take a slightly more challenging and new direction. Since this music is made completely digitally, which means that even the acoustic instruments were post-processed a lot and “torn” in the studio, it cannot be performed live in a representative way in this form. So, instead of a perhaps more logical "DJ" variant, I decided to turn everything into a more open, semi-improvisational form with a live bend. I will be joined on stage by some of the best musicians I know - Mark Mrakovčić, Chris Ian, Krešimir Kokić and Pavle Gulić - almost all of them as multi-instrumentalists, together with guest singers from the album - Mary May, Domagoj Šimek and Nenad Gajić. Together, we will try to turn this studio-controlled chaos into a living, organic, uncontrolled chaos ranging from tranquil atmospheric landscapes to extremes that almost enter the realm of noise. We are looking forward to it. “