Hello, how are you?
Good. Introspective. When you restrict the body movement, the consciousness turns inwards, to the universe of the mind. Kind of like in the psychology of bondage. You get to know your depths, your fears…your strength. Challenging, but ultimately empowering. Of course, provided it lasts a definite amount of time, and that you have a safe place to do it in. I’m grateful to have that privilege.
Where are you right now?
In my living room in Vienna.
Which sounds surround you?
Singing of my 5-month old baby girl Livia Lilith.
She makes the most amazing sounds.
Have you been productive so far? What are you working on?
I’m doing a piece for Norwegian ensemble asamisimasa, for which I’m working with Liv’s voice.
So field recording has never been more fun. Also a piece for large orchestra which I’m way too late with, cause the soundscapes in my head are way to complex and dense for the time I have to put them on paper.
What inspires you right now?
New life I get to experience growing. Trying out new things.
Nature. Human psyche. Of others, of my own.
Reading material you can recommend?
I’m reading David Foster Wallace’s “Girl with Curious Hair”. It’s easier to read than “Infinite Jest”, though none of his books are easy on the senses. But therefore they bring the mind to the wildest places. And, suitably for situation we’re in, completely dissolve the perception of time.
I haven’t had time to watch much lately. I start watching but then I fall to sleep. The last good movie that I’ve watched for the third time already a few weeks ago was “La Grande Bellezza”. There’s something therapeutic in watching the movie that opens with the line “Our journey is entirely imaginary, which is its strength.” And not only because of that, of course.
Depends on what you want. If you’re into something that reflects current vibes, one of the finest and most intense apocalypse-related piece of music is Scelsi’s “Uaxuctum”. There’s even version with score in Youtube, so you can see what exactly the master did to get the magic.
Personally I’m back to older stuff. Liv is the happiest when we play her Bach’s Goldberg Variations and Schubert’s Sonatas, so that’s what’s happening a lot. I’m also trying to teach her the beautiful old dialect of my hometown Split. It is vanishing even in Split, and it’s literally non-hearable in Vienna, so I’m playing her a lot of stuff my Dad used to play me. You won’t understand it, but here’s a touch of how it sounds sung by singer Oliver Dragojević
What’s your opinion on live-streams? You see any alternative ways to support the music community?
The same as on Facebook or the way we speak now. I’d rather see you live. But if I can’t, then I’d rather chat with you this way, than never hear from you at all. And I’d gladly support fellow artists in any way currently possible.
In the last lockdown situation I’ve experienced in pre-internet era during Yugoslav wars, there was a ban on music from countries in conflict, which resulted in people romanticising even more the music they were not allowed to hear.
Eventually, when bands started crossing the borders and doing gigs again, these concerts were so loaded with emotions, I remember first concert of Serbian singer-songwriter Đorđe Balašević in Zagreb, the whole hall was in kind of a crying trance. The present background is obviously a different one, still, I’m curious to see if this lockdown will arouse a similar kind of emotional letdown and lust for live sonic experiences. It would be like a positive side-effect of this whole.
What are you missing most? What are you afraid of?
The people I care for that are far away. I am very carnal, so I miss touching them, looking them in the eyes, feeling them in my immediate proximity…
I adore a good word play, but even the warmest or the sexiest word combination cannot replace the synesthetic magic of live human interaction.
My parents are in Split, some of my closest friends in Zagreb, which was also hit badly by an earthquake in midst of pandemic. Seeing the city I love destroyed and not being able to do much to help made me miss my loved ones and our life together even more.
Uncertainty about spending as much time with them as I would like to in the future makes me anxious sometimes. I guess it is A feeling we’re all learning to live with at the moment.
What will change you think?
It is a lovely, though naive thought that the joint experience of pandemia would make the whole humanity somehow more empathic.
However, apocalyptic situations do tend to bring out both empathy and selfishness to the surface.
After this is over, you’ll know better who’s your friend, who possesses empathic qualities and who doesn’t.
Emotionally, I hope to see more of that beautiful cliché: people daring to do more of what sets their soul on fire. Living in the moment. Not waiting for another moment, another life, heaven, hell and such. Using time wisely.
What is the gig or occasion you were most looking for, that was cancelled in this period?
Working with asamisimasa at Acht Brücken Festival in Köln and residency at Staatsoper Stuttgart. Hopefully it will happen at some later point. Spring in Zagreb and Berlin. And the early summer dive into the Adriatic, that’s the only religious ritual in my world.
Insides: MIRELA IVIČEVIĆ