Showroom 2015


Third international festival Showroom of Contemporary Sound will take place from May 6 until 9, at the venues of the Student Centre in Zagreb. During the four festival days, 80 participants from 10 countries will present around 30 programs: concerts, lectures, audiovisual projects, artistic acoustic experiments and researches, residencies and artist talks.

The programme line of the Showroom aims to follow contemporary tendencies and, depending on these, to shift its focus, insisting on open approach to the contemporary musics of today, exploring and discovering the new, encouraging collaboration and dialogue. One of the main goals is to present interesting artists and poetics of the contemporary music scene, unencumbered with genre limits and formal frames. Another very important characteristic of the Showroom is the ‘initializing’ element, as well as the connecting one, bearing in mind that it is precisely the experiment and research space that are of crucial importance for the development and progress of the musical idea, along with an exchange of knowledge and ideas, constant openness, but also a critical approach to the contemporary art and society. This year’s short, but intensive journey in sound begins with a concert of a saxophone quartet Papandopulo that has become one of the most active and dedicated national ensembles largely focused on contemporary music.

Along with the familiar festival venues – Theatre &TD, MM Centre and SC Gallery – this year’s Showroom presents programme in the newly renovated French Pavilion, whose specific acoustics has proven to be very inspirational and perfect for the site-specific music projects that take it as a starting point and/or an important constitutive element of their artwork. One of the key pieces of the experimental music, I am sitting in a room by Alvin Lucier, will be performed in the French Pavilion, the piece that marked the beginning of Lucier’s acoustic research of the resonant frequencies in space and their use in a musical piece.

The composer and sound artist Gerriet K. Sharma will perform his composition for the IEM icosahedral speaker, a new musical instrument he designed with the help of Franz Zotter and other sound engineers at the Institute for Electronic Music and Acoustics in Graz. Continuing the artistic experiments in acoustics from December 2014, organized during the festival Fair of Culture, the Showroom will open French Pavilion’s doors in the afternoons for acoustic experimenting in short improvisations of the guitarist and electronic musician Miodrag Gladović and the vocal ensemble Antiphonus.

The third Showroom continues and broadens international collaboration, so this year’s Experimental Ensemble of the Music Showroom under the artistic leadership of Hilary Jeffery presents musicians from Croatia, Japan, Australia and Hungary. Apart from the Zagreb Music Academy students, the students of the art academies from Split and Novi Sad, as well as the Ljubljana Music Academy students and those from the Musikhochschule in Stuttgart will take part. With the support of the Austrian Cultural Forum, that celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, and the Austrian Music Information Centre, we will welcome the composer, audiovisual artist and researcher Marko Ciciliani, an exceptional violinist Barbara Lüneburg, Russian composer and improviser with an Austrian address Alexander Chernyshkov and the cellist Katharina Gross.

From our neighbouring Serbia, we will welcome the Studio 6 Ensemble together with the members of Improve2 Collective – musicians who are very active on the Serbian contemporary music scene, not only as authors and performers, but as initiators and organizers. Through their Improve2 Collective concert series they have created an important platform for presenting national and international improvisers and experimenters and the platform today holds the key place at the non-formal Belgrade music scene.

We are continuing collaborations on national level: together with the Multimedia Institute MAMA we will present the pianist Reinhold Friedl, founder of one of the most influential contemporary music groups Zeitkratzer; collaboration with the Croatian Radiotelevision this year, along with recordings and coverage of the festival programme, features a special edition of the radio show Paths of Croatian Music that will air live from the Theatre &TD.

Apart from the projects that take place in the French Pavilion, other concert venues’ acoustics will also be questioned artistically, exploring and finding new sounds using the already existing materials, objects and parts of the venues as instruments: avoiding the classical positioning of the scene, the percussionists Kaja Farszky and Josip Konfic together with electronic musician Nenad Sinkauz work with the time, sound and physical space, turning the Theatre &TD hall into a part of the instruments of the project through & out of space. After a 4-day sounding of the Theatre &TD, on the last festival evening, the ‘&TD’ sign will also sound as a new instrument on the atrium’s rooftop in pieces by Arnold Marinissen and Hugo Morales Murguia performed by percussionists Kaja Farszky, Ryoko Imai and Josip Konfic, whose performance on the rooftop of &TD, supported by our friends and partners from Iskon, will close this year’s Showroom.

We hope the programme, energy and atmosphere of the third Showroom of Contemporary Sound will enrich and inspire both audience and the participants, and that it will thus continue to actively take part in the development of the contemporary music scene.

Entrance to all the festival programmes is free. Enjoy the four days of contemporary sound!