Svjetlana Bukvich, Beyond Evolution
A conversation and listening session with the category-defying composer/performer Svjetlana Bukvich whose blend of classical tradition, high tech production, and electronic dance music energy with her native Balkan culture, tradition, language, and spirit is a reflection of her own embrace of richness and diversity in life.
Integrating cutting-edge technology with tuning of her own design and her classical training, Bukvich is distinguished for her genre-bending performances, moving from deconstructivist dance suites, microtonal sympho-rock tone poems, experimental prog rock/world/classical fusions, musique concréte, and contemporary art-song with electronic soundscapes.
Raised in Sarajevo, she benefitted from its thriving art scene in the eighties when the city "moved to the rhythm of an Austrian waltz with a Slavic lilt". As a musician on that scene, Bukvich played with rock bands, composed for independent television and theater, and performed as a piano soloist with the Sarajevo Philharmonic. Her flourishing career was cut short by the war.
Unsettled and resettled in the USA, Bukvich pushed on to earn an MFA in integrated electronic arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York and ultimately took a position on the faculty at New York University, and writes a new music and art column in Modern Diplomacy International. She has continued to compose and perform with great success and has traveled widely with her music from The Kennedy Center to Roulette to The Kitchen to Bohemian Hall and through Beijing, London, Johannesburg, Belgrade, Knin/Croatia, and Copenhagen.
Bukvich is the 2013 New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Fellow in Music/Sound, and has enjoyed support from diverse institutions, such as the Soros Foundation, the American Composers Forum, the Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue at Harvard University. Along with twenty-five contemporary women composers she is featured in the book In Her Own Words - Conversations with Composers in the United States published by the University of Illinois Press. Her score Interior Designs, commissioned by the Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company, was listed as one of the top ten dance events of 2013 (The Star-Ledger) and has received the New Music USA, 2013 Live Music for Dance award. She wrote, arranged, and produced her album EVOLUTION, mixed by the Grammy-award winning team David Frost and Tom Lazarus, released in April 2014 on Big Round Records.
The object of this series is to invite emerging and established innovators to share their work. These programs are usually a combination of an interview with a far-reaching perspective on the artist's career, some recordings illustrating this history, and something new. Open territory. The unfortunate and unintended messages that come attached to a title like Experimental Composers are many. Still it is one of the few labels to come out of the world of music that has not been co-opted by promoters, corporations, journalists, or lawyers. This one just seems to have anti-market goo on it. Hooray. It's also just bad English (as if to imply that these poor souls are themselves, in their flesh and blood, some kind of experiment and, perhaps, even expendable). And then there is the spectre of defying the wisdom of the great Edgar Varèse who said something like, "I do not write experimental music. My experimenting is done before I make the music. Afterwards it is the listener who must experiment."more