Balkanada: open call to composers and improvisers in the Balkan area for residency in Canada   

Balkanada: open call for composers / improvisers

Tour de Bras is a Canadian organization dedicated to improvised music. Each year it welcomes artists from all over the world. During recent tours, Tour de Bras got to know many dedicated organizations and artists, and discovered the dynamism of the scene of the Balkan countries. It is therefore in partnership with KUD Mreža and within Tour de Bras contacts with musicians from different countries, they wish to launch the Balkanada project which aims to create a meeting space between composers and improvising musicians from different cultural backgrounds.

The selected composer / improviser (one artist per year) must be interested in exploring the concept of “composition for improvisers”. The composer / improviser will spend a week in residence at Salon58, in the rural community of Marsoui, in Gaspésie, Québec, before working three days in Rimouski in the company of improvising musicians and presenting a public concert. The following year, the composer / improviser will have the opportunity to work again with one of the Quebec musicians in the Balkan region.

Tour de Bras is an improvised music presenter organization and an active record label for more than fifteen years and enjoys an international reputation.

The call is open from 1 February 2021 until 30 April 2021.

What to send:

· Short text describing your project;
· Your CV;
· Two or three examples of previous works as a composer / improviser.

Please send your info to Éric Normand at until 30 April 2021 midnight with the subject: Balkanada call.

Composition constraints:

· Composition for improvisational orchestra, from 5 to 11 musicians;
· The composer may or may not perform with the ensemble;
· Extensive instrumentation: electric and classical guitars, bass, bowed strings of all sizes, wind instruments (baritone saxophone, bass clarinet, trombone, trumpet, oboe), harp, accordion, percussion, among others;
· The piece must take into account that the number of players and the instrumentation will vary from one interpretation to another (ensure sustainability);
· All types of musical score are possible but not exclusive: conventional writing, graphic, concept game etc.,
· Duration of the work: 20 to 40 minutes.


· The composer must reside in Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia or North Macedonia;
· Be able to be present in person in Rimouski and Marsoui, Quebec, Canada from 22 October to 2 November 2021;
· $1,500 CAN fee for composition + $300 CAN for a show = 1,800 $ CAN total fee;
· Tour de Bras will provide official invitation letter in May 2021;
· The composer must cover the costs for his flight ticket to Montreal, or to have it financed by governmental organizations or NGOs in his/her own country (examples: Ministry Of Culture, embassy, consulate, travel program for artists, international influence programs, or others, depending on your country);
· Accommodation and travel costs in Quebec are covered by Tour de Bras.

Mentorship+: Nika Erjavec’s exhibition Interference at Alkatraz Gallery   

“The exhibition entitled Interference was produced within the framework of the newer Alkatraz Gallery project Mentorship+, which supports the establishment of connections between artists and enables their continuous work over longer periods of time. It is not about mentorship per se, but rather about intergenerational collaboration on a non-hierarchical basis, a kind of mutual mentorship, so to say, where both parties can assume roles of an advisor, mentor, (co-)curator and creator in any given moment. In the context of the project, two persons, holding different positions inside the artistic system, are thus given the opportunity for collaborative partnership, in which their approaches meet in dialogue through the intertwinement of visions, perspectives, experiences, and artistic procedures. The project encourages a creative transfer of ideas among individuals outside of established channels, and is conceptualised with the purpose of encouraging intergenerational networking and cooperation. The exhibition presents a visual, physically tangible result of an annual work and a consequence of the establishment of a new platform for mutual learning and collaboration. Although the project asks numerous questions, it is up to the artists themselves to answer the questions of authorship, to design contents of a common project, and to find a way to confront the challenges of collective collaboration, encouraged by the gallery.

This time, we invited Maja Smrekar and Nika Erjavec to participate. During the working process, they decided to be dialogic partners in the process of the realisation of Nika Erjavec’s solo exhibition. The artists, though, already know one another, as Maja Smrekar was Nika Erjavec’s supervisor at The Academy of Fine Arts and Design, University of Ljubljana. Their artistic works research and treat similar topics referring to the contemporarity, whereas in their artistic practices, the stress is on the in-depth exploration of theory, observation of social processes, agile adaptation to the circumstances, and processuality as a strategy. This is the reason why we found it meaningful to encourage them to further connect by participating in the project Mentorship+.” –

Intermedia artist Nika Erjavec (1994) graduated in applied arts in 2017 and is currently finishing her MA study in sculpture at Academy of Fine Art and Design in Ljubljana whit thesis titled Sensory perceptions in the intersection of art and science / (in)visible transformations of the environment (mentorship: Maja Smrekar, Alen Ožbolt and Uršula Berlot.) Her practice is a hybrid of experimental studio practice and wide interdisciplinary research. Since 2014 she participated in many intermedia projects, local and internationally curated exhibitions and festivals. She is also working as photographer, scenography and costume designer in national theatres and independent performative scene in Slovenia. She held different workshops addressing the themes of cultural accessibility and received several grants (MOL student grant, Urban Glass (New York)) and awards for her work (ALUO Prešern award, bronze medal from Photo association of Serbia).

You are kindly invited to the exhibition Interference by Nika Erjavec on 25 January from 11.00 am. The exhibition was created in collaboration with Maja Smrekar, as part of the Mentoring + project. The duration of the exhibition depends on government measures taken against the covid-19 epidemic.

On display: 25 January 2021 – 29 January 2021

Noid and Andrej Fon record project Sympathy for cello, clarinet and 12 hanging tuned snare drums   

On 11 October, Sunday at 20.00 Austrian sound artist and cellist Noid is recording with Slovenian clarinetist Andrej Fon at Cirkulacija2 in Ljubljana. The recording session’s result is coming out at Edition FriForma in the first half of 2021.

Sympathy is a research project on snare drums as resonant objects that Noid conceptualised during a one month residency at q-02 in Brussels in May 2019, where he started to research the possibilities of using 12 chromatically tuned snare drums as an extension of the cello. The outcome so far is a version for cello and one resonant snare drum, premiered at the festival Zentrale in Vienna last year. A sound installation for 12 chromatically tuned snare drums and amplified ambience shall be premiered at Cirkulacija2.

Constellations – sound installations by Christine Schörkhuber and Noid   

Sound artist, video artist and musician Christine Schörkhuber and Arnold Haberl aka Noid, cellist, composer, sound artist and improviser, designed and upgraded the sound installations during a working visit to the Studio Asylum, Metelkova mesto, between 12 September and 14 October 2020.  These  will be presented at a 3-day event in Cirkulacija 2, Underpass Ajdovščina 2, Ljubljana.

– 8/10/2020 at 8pm opening
– 9/10/2020 viewing from 6pm to 9pm
– 10/10/2020 at 8pm closing event
Four sound installations, which the artists from Vienna named Constellations, bring a selection of their creative work and research from the past two years. Christine shall present a sound installation entitled Noise Carpet, first featured at the festival Klangstärke in Hildesheim, Germany. Walking slowly on ‘the noise carpet’ triggers sounds that refer to an immediate spatial context. At the interface between inside and outside, the “noise carpet” leads the visitors on a soundwalk into a different setting that picks up the expectable and speculates with the unexpected. The carpet can also be understood as a collective instrument that can be played by visitors and passers-by. The recording of spoken words, which is a part of the installation in Cirkulacija 2, is undersigned by Anja Golob, a Slovene poet, editor, critic, dramaturge, and translator.
Christine shall also present an installation entitled Structure, an amorphous structure of metal mesh that manifests a momentary social constellation, but also follows its own, pulsating logic. It is a series of kinetic objects, where sensor data, based on human presence or communication movements, is transferred to the control of motors. The hanging object thus becomes the analogy of a net that arises in a social space between people in the dynamics of ephemeral encounters and interactions both physically and virtually.
Sympathy is a research project on snare drums as resonant objects that Noid conceptualised during a one month residency at q-02 in Brussels in May 2019, where he started to research the possibilities of using 12 chromatically tuned snare drums as an extension of the cello. The outcome so far is a version for cello and one resonant snare drum, premiered at the festival Zentrale in Vienna last year. A sound installation for 12 chromatically tuned snare drums and amplified ambience shall be premiered at Cirkulacija2. Moreover, Disposable Instruments is a selection of found objects and items, which the artist shall process and use as musical instruments.
Production: KUD Mreža / FriFormA\V, in collaboration with Cirkulacija2.
Special thanks: Uroš Weber (Zavod Atol) and Tomaž Grom.
Financial support: Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, City of Ljubljana – Department of Culture and Austrian Cultural Forum Ljubljana.
The events will be held in accordance with the recommendations of the NIJZ. 

Album recording with Tilen Lebar and Szilárd Benes at Rotunda in Selo   

Between 23 and 25 August Slovenian saxophonist Tilen Lebar and Hungarian clarinetist Szilár Benes are having a 3-day recording session for Edition FriForma at Rotunda in Selo.

Romanic rotunda of St. Nikolaj is located about two kilometres to the west from the Slovenian – Hungarian border. It was built in the 13th century in the valley of Kobilje brook by the medieval traffic road from the Alps to the Panonska lowland. In the 19th century they added a rotunda bell tower, covered dome with tinplate and gave the Gothic wing altar to Budapest. The circular sanctuary is architecturally excellent remnant of the presumptively larger medieval post. The interior was first time probably painted around the year 1300. Today’s partly reconstructed appearance was given after the extensive conservator and renovate work in the year 1956. The painting in the cupola was restored in the year 1980. The rotunda of Saint Nikolaj lies in the rising ground under the valley, which protects the church before the flood. The church is built from the brick. They got clay in the nearness of the church. Northwest from the rotunda is the cemetery with the tombstone of the aristocratic family Matzenau from Prosenjakovec. By rotunda is also the energetic point in which are united energies of cosmos and earth.

In this inspiring and historical location the two musicians, Tilen Lebar and Szilárd Benes are working on an album that we expect out in the first half of 2021 on Edition FriForma.