Google translation of the original page in Serbian:
Composer Maja Bosnić: “We are now people-with-phones!”
Cell phones have been trying to find their place in the arts for some time now. Most often it is a photo or even a video. Now, you are opening up a whole new concept for us, namely composing and playing music on a mobile phone. Could this be one small revolution in contemporary, electronic music?
Cell phones certainly bring a huge selection of new possibilities for upgrading musical performance as well as the sound spectrum of contemporary compositions. As devices, they produce sounds, then they can record and play music with or without effects, they can display notes, animated scores and more.
Did the ubiquity of your mobile device lead you to this pilot project, or perhaps the idea that music is all around us, and that it is not the instrument itself that matters, but the composer, performer and, of course, the audience receiving it?
First second, then first! 🙂 I think that all my work so far is based on the concept in which something quite ordinary, everyday, ubiquitous, trivial turns into unexpected, interesting and quality art. And so often I convey the idea that everything around us can be creatively transformed into some new art form, as well as that anyone can contribute to its creation through their participation. However, I first started using smartphones during my 2017 music performance. I wanted to introduce the everyday modern man through contemporary musicians who all hold phones in one hand, so they only have one hand to hold and play an instrument.
The concert will take place in the Belgrade Philharmonic Hall. Which is very significant, especially as it shows the openness of our artistic public to unconventional access to music. What do your colleagues say about all this?
Reactions are very positive from all sides! We are very happy that the Belgrade Philharmonic has supported such an innovative project, and I believe it is a great message to the general public. The Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra shows how important it is for professional arts institutions to support new aspirations in the arts and to reach new audiences, so that we can jointly raise their interest in cultural events in the future. We are grateful that SOKOJ also recognized the importance of this concert and provided additional support, while the most significant and largest support was received from Vip mobile. This is additionally important because in this way Vip mobile sets an example for society, demonstrating that it is important to monitor and support the development of contemporary art, as culture is necessary for the positive further development of the entire society. In addition, Vip mobile actively participates in the preparation of the concert, so among other things, last week on the field they checked the signal strength of their 4g network in the Belgrade Philharmonic Hall, so that we all had a strong signal during the performance and performance of the compositions.
Compositions for musicians with phones and mobile applications were performed at new music festivals in Darmstadt and Graz, as well as an interactive performance for the smartphone audience, premiered at the CTM festival in Berlin earlier this year, what were the reactions?
The reactions were very interesting. First of all, the musicians were very intrigued by these completely new ways of working, and the audience was always full of questions and positive comments after the performance. Personally, I enjoy the excitement that always prevails during the preparation, the performance, and the conversation afterwards, because everyone feels that something completely new is being created, happening and experiencing.
Is the audience invited to participate in the concert in any way, is it interactive? Interestingly, mobile has long since replaced lighters at concerts, but is also an integral part of the concert experience, as everyone is recording more than they are enjoying. How do you look at it?
Cell phones have changed the behavior and response of people, not only at concerts, but everywhere and in every moment of modern life. I do not think at all that anything should be criticized or changed, but simply accepted. That’s it. We are now people with cell phones. We’re not moving anywhere without them, so we always carry: extra memory, a reminder, an encyclopedia, a banker, a coordinator, important documents and files, music, entertainment, games, news, books, movies, etc. So why not take those benefits to the maximum ?! That’s why in the last two compositions at PHONES: ON concert, the audience participates using their phones and following the instructions from the stage. It will be very interesting!
The PHONES: ON concert has been announced as a pilot project, it is free of charge and features top musicians. How excited are you, and are you excited to host the first concert of its kind in Belgrade, and what would you like the audience to know before you meet on June 27?
That’s right. The project has been in the pipeline for a long time and its first performance will be credited with great professional musicians with years of experience in contemporary music. These include: Jelena Vujnovic (flute), Jovan Savic (trumpet), Branko Djinovic (accordion), Tamara Marinkovic Tomic (viola), Boban Stosic (double bass), Arsenije Savic (audio and video support) and myself, at the piano. In addition to my two compositions, we will also perform compositions by Jennifer Walsh (Ireland), David Helbich (Germany / Belgium), Johannes Chrysler (Germany), Andrei Andric (Serbia / Denmark) and 4 / Phones collectives. The entire concert will be accompanied by video screenings through which the audience will clearly be able to follow all the instructions and explanations, so there is no need to prepare extra, except for everyone to charge their phones before arriving!