BELGRADE – Saturn is sextiling my Sun and ascendant from my tenth house, if you know what that means. What it means is, I’m kind of difficult to escape at the moment. The always impressive Frank Oteri has a wonderful interview up with me today on New Music Box, in honor of my new book and two recent CDs. I always knew Frank was sort of ridiculously brilliant, but I didn’t realize how brilliant until he started digging into my music and making me see it from a different angle than I’d ever seen it before. In addition there’s another interview with me by John Ruscher on BOMB magazine about my Cage book. There’s also a nice review of my Cage book by Robert Birnbaum at The Morning News. I’m all over the internet today. This, too, shall pass.
Meanwhile, after my lecture about my music at the University of the Arts, the leading lights of musical Belgrade and I relaxed over traditional Serbian food. Here are Marija Masnikosa, author of a book on Serbian minimalism and perhaps the first scholar to write her doctoral dissertation on postminimalism; Vladimir Tosic, Serbian composer of wonderful postminimalist music who was born and lives within 200 meters of the University of the Arts; Dragana Stojanovic-Novicic, Nancarrow scholar extraordinaire and head of musicology; myself letting what’s left of my hair down; and Nada Kolundzija, new-music pianist with several fine recordings under her belt, whom the locals describe as a visionary:
Here are two of the best tracks from Nada’s latest CD:
It’s a small but rich and vibrant music scene, pretty much hidden away from the rest of the world due to unfortunate political developments of the last 20 years. One told me that their devotion to this exciting little scene is what keeps them going from day to day. My growing affection for the Serbian music world has taken me by surprise. I’ve tried my darndest to learn some Serbian, which they don’t expect any Westerner to do; their startled delight when I answer “Drago mi je” (“Glad t’ meet you”) is touching. And they found it hilarious that I thought Radno Vreme must be the Donald Trump of Serbia, because his name is on practically every downtown building. “Radno vreme,” it turns out, means “Hours of operation.” (Sava River in the evening, under a full moon:)