Zone for Free Creation and Expression of the Students opens again at the MBZ! Actually, that is another name for KNAPANJE / KNAPPING, a programme organized by the Biennale that had its premiere in 2019 in KNAP, a culture centre in Peščenica (a borough of Zagreb).  KNAPPING continues at this year’s MBZ with several workshops.
The KNAPPING project was created for the students and formed according to the answers of the students at Music academies and musical departments of Art academies in Croatia, answers to the survey on their musical affinities and on how they imagine the platform for creative expression and broadening of their horizons in education. The first edition gathered around 120 students, and KNAP, as the partner of the Biennale, offered their location, equipment and staff so that the students were able to explore, make music and connect. 
KNAP: at the students’ disposal
The management of KNAP told us that their premises were available for students to express themselves creatively throughout the whole year, as well as after their studies. On the continuing of the collaboration between the MBZ and KNAP, they say: „Being a part of such a big international project with such a long tradition is not only a great honour but also a valuable opportunity for affirmation of the Centre as a renowned cultural and concert space in Zagreb, which, among various musical programmes, also promotes contemporary musical art, giving special attention to young musicians.”
New Media and Music
The second edition of the Zone for Free Creation, co-produced by the MBZ and KNAP, will be characterized by the workshops with the common theme New Media and Music led by the two expert teams of mentors (a musicologist, Davorka Begović, and multimedia artist Hrvoslava Brkušić in one team; and musicians Filip Merčep, a percussionist, and Hrvoje Radnić, from the band Šumovi Protiv Valova, in the other).
Developing a Project with the Mentors
Two KNAPPING workshops were held as part of the programme Project Development from Idea to Realization during an extended period of time, with the conclusion during the MBZ: after working online in March, the work will continue in person and on-the-spot from April 15 to 18 and the results of the workshop will be publicly presented on the last day.
The first workshop is Acoustic space for ten participants and two listeners mentored by Davorka Begović and Hrvoslava Brkušić, and the second one is Seminar of free audio-visual improvisation mentored by Filip Merčep and Hrvoje Radnić.
Workshop 1: Acoustic space for ten participants and two listeners
Mentors Davorka Begović and Hrvoslava Brkušić described the goals and methods of their workshop: Making the artistic endeavours of experimental musicians from the 20th and the 21st century our starting point, we direct this workshop towards the phenomenon of listening: different ways and methods of listening, the importance of those methods for auditive perception and the perception of music. At the same time, we provide an insight into certain theoretical aspects, through reading- and listening assignments and practical work as a group.
By doing various listening exercises, taking individual and joint audio-walks, noting down the sounds, getting to know and to recognise soundscapes (urban, park, forest etc.) and improvising on that basis, we intend to develop an awareness of listening to an acoustic space, or, more precisely, space-time. The goal is to encourage participants to create music out of everyday events, objects and perceptions of their environment, with awareness that they are always the composers of their own acoustic space, as well as its listeners.
Workshop no. 2, A Seminar of free audio-visual improvisation
The participants will be introduced to MAX, a programming language for music and multimedia. In the preparatory period, they will learn the basics of MAX, of MAX signal processing and Jitter (the visual domain of MAX) and complete exercises that would enable them to proceed with the project. During the three KNAPPING days, they will use the previously prepared material to practise free audio-visual improvisation.
The goal is to help participants to step away from an abstract understanding of sound, by becoming aware of its characteristics, that is, the parameters: this will be achieved through learning about sound synthesis, MAX-based coding and through developing new ways of communicating within a group during music improvisation, creating communication which influences the “behaviour” of the visual elements and vice versa.
Davorka Begović (Zagreb, 1984) graduated in Musicology from the Academy of Music in Zagreb. She was an associate, from the very beginning, of the Culture of Change Programme of the Student Centre where she later became an artistic manager of the Music Showroom of the Student Centre. Within that framework, she initiated, artistically ran and produced the international festival Showroom of Contemporary Sound. She has also been active in film, theatre and contemporary dance production and today she is an independent curator dedicated to contemporary (experimental) music and related art forms. As a collaborator of KONTEJNER, she runs the international project Re-Imagine Europe. As an associate, she lectures „Sound as the Visual Art Expression“ at the Animated Film and New Media Department of the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb. With the founder of the festival Alan Sinkauz, she curates the programme of the international festival of experimental and improvised music Audioart in Pula. She also publishes critics and articles, writes texts for discography and other releases.
Hrvoslava Brkušić (Makarska, 1982) graduated in film & TV editing from the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb and holds a master degree in new media art from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb. Her practice includes sound installations, live performances, film and video. Her main artistic fields of interests are sound, experimenting with different frequencies and radio waves (especially short waves, UKV, mysterious radio signals, EME communication) and exploring different video materials and film materials (16mm, DV techniques, digital media). As a film editor she worked on numerous films. She is one of the members of the female artistic collective Ljubavnice and a part of Restart educational team. She is a lecturer at the School of Documentary Film and an associate at the Academy of Fine Arts.
The percussionist Filip Merčep (Zagreb, 1991) distinguished himself during his studies by participating in the finals of the Eurovision Young Musicians competition in 2010 after which he had received many more awards for his performance. After graduating from the Music Academy in Zagreb he started exploring his own musical language and working on conceptual projects which he then improved during his studies of Live Electronics at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam under the mentorship of a great audiovisual artist, composer of contemporary music and educator, Marcel Wierckx. He held and assisted with masterclasses at the University of Miami, Humboldt State University in California, Music universities in Hannover, Nuremberg, Lyon and Toronto. He also holds his own marimba seminars as well as the ones on electronic music.
Hrvoje Radnić (Zagreb, 1976) is a self-taught musician and sound engineer who fell in love with music and sound as a child, watching TV documentaries by Jacques Cousteau. Underwater footage from the documentaries accompanied by ambient music and sound effects, left the impact on him that came to the surface  later, in adolescence, when he came into possession of his first musical instrument, and then the first multitrack recorder. He gradually turned his interest in music and sound into everyday job and in 2010, with the group of like-minded musicians, he formed the band Šumovi protiv Valova which, despite the standard rock lineup, tries to break the defined boundaries between music and sound. The band will perform at this year's MBZ.