VIDEO DOCUMENT: What is the place of improvised and experimental music today ? - lecture by Ksenija Stevanović (Belgrade)


OCTOBER 31 - NOVEMBER 2, 2019, Novi Sad



What is the place of improvised and experimental music today?

Lecture by Ksenija Stevanović (Belgrade)




In the past 20 years, the world has gone through an accelerated cycle - from the homeostasis of developed capitalism to the crisis of that same system, which seems to be falling apart before our eyes. The global political narrative is not without repercussions on art, and even on music, which is also experiencing a specific and rapid change in almost all its forms and genre guidelines - from the problem of production and reproduction to the status of certain musical directions. But, on an even more specific level - within each of the musical genres there are upheavals and changes, which call into question our understanding of musical bursts as such. In the domain of contemporary and new music, we notice a kind of "neoconservative" turn where we find a return to patterns that were abandoned fifty years ago, at the time of the rise of modernism. All this puts before us a kind of need to historically perceive and contextualize these changes, in order to give meaning to what we see as a living musical practice now and here. Questions about why and why they become important and pregnant. We will try to give an answer to them.


The Festival-in-Opposition is a platform for establishing the relationship between art, education, and the politics of improvisation. This platform is oriented towards the creation of temporary zones of grouping, exchange, and support of an improvisational practice that works/produces in sound, with sound, and around sound. Permanent event facilities - OUR 'Accompanyings', Improboxing (Material Exchange), Sound Installation and Reading Desk - initiate artistic production in a festival format, with the intention of affecting and conceptualizing improvisation as artistic, cultural, and socio-political (against) an attitude opposed to the commercialization, trivialization, depoliticization and predatory utilitarianism of art. Following the example of Company Weeks (an annual festival of free improvisation organized by Derek Bailey from 1977 to 1994) and Rock in Opposition (a movement of music bands that opposed the monopoly of the music industry during the 1970s), the Festival-in-Opposition does not aspire to the place of an institution with authority, already persists as a fragile hub of disjointed fluxes from the local and regional scene, just like those influences of creative energy that come from European and world metropolises.

Photo: Manja Holodkov