Davor Branimir Vincze

rarescale's Artistic Director, Carla Rees, talks to Davor Branimir Vincze ahead of their premiere of a new work for bass flute and electronics on 30th September 2015

What is it that appeals to you about writing for the bass flute?
The specific dusky timbre of bass flute, but also the fact that, even though the instrument sounds related to the standard flute, it functions completely different and it is a challenge to write for this instrument.

What attracts you to rarescale as an ensemble?
There is a lot of innovation and hard committment in the work of rarescale. This is why I am very honoured to be able to collaborate.

Tell us a little about your experience of working with rarescale
So far I have only worked with Carla Rees, but my experience has been wonderful. She is very open about ideas, proposals, she's very good at explaining the techniques of the bass flute and she has already made multiple recordings which enabled me to go deeper into researching the electronics.

What is your musical aesthetic?
Always a hard question, first of all because it's hard to be objective and second of all because I don't like to classify myself. Today I'm more prone to do one thing, tomorrow another. But if I really had to answer to that, I'd say that I'm attracted by a fragmented, chaotic, fuzzy view of reality, lots of things happening at the same time. This is also easy to notice in the aesthetic of my music.

Who are your main influences?
Even though it's impossible, I try to stay open to all kinds of music. Thus I get my influences from old & contemporary classical music, as well as from popular music, but also natural sounds. If I had to name some names, I'd say Mahler, Berg, Bartok, Stockhausen, Xenakis, Ligeti, Grisey, Bedrossian, Adamek, ...

Who inspires you?
I'd rephrase this question into “what inspires you?” People usually inspire me for a brief moment. First I get enchanted and start awing this person, but very often, soon afterwards I get disillusioned and disappointed by the same person. This is why I prefer to be inspired by social media events as well as the natural phenomena, rather then people.

Tell us about the background of your piece – how did it come to be written and what’s it all about?
It's about memory and how we precept the moments that have passed and that await us, which is related to a Nirvana song which is at the same time a very dear memory of my teenage years and people who were important to me back then.

How does this work relate to your other compositional output?
I believe this is a continuation of my artistic and electronic research.

What are your plans for the future?
The near future plans involve commissions for chamber and orchestral pieces, which will be performed all around Europe. Long­term plans involve writing an opera, getting artistic residencies and starting a PhD in composition (if possible in the USA).

What have been your career highlights so far?
Working with ensembles such as Klangforum Wien, Secession Orchestra, starting my own new music festival in Croatia, ... there are many, but this would be some of them.

How do you see the role of new music in modern society?
I think that the biggest problem of the new music is that it has lost it's role in our society. We don't dance to it, we don't make funerals, weddings, church ceremonies, etc to it. It's absolutely functionless, and that's what the previous generation wanted and made it to be. They called it the emancipation of contemporary music. Unfortunately, in society nowadays, where all the arts are getting less and less state funding year after year, as well as having to attract private money to be invested in it, I believe that our and upcoming generation of composers will not have the luxury of the current state of l'art pour l'art­ism. If we want to survive along with our music, we'll have to find a way to reinvent various roles for new music to take in society.

What made you become a composer?
It was probably music from Disney movies and a book by Erich Kästner Das doppelte Lottchen in which the father of one of the twins is a composer. For me as a child this vocation had a magical feel to it.

If you could sum your music up in three words, what would they be?

Is classical music dead?
I'm afraid it is to a certain degree, weather we want to admit it or not. The elites that used to support classical music have changed over time, and it seems that there are not so many people outside of our profession that are actively following and/or supporting this kind of music.

If you could choose three pieces of music that have had a big impact on your life or musical development, what would they be and why?

Berg Violin concerto
Grisey Partiel
Romitelli Dr. Bad Trip

Davor's website

View Davor's winning Ars Electronica entry (password IP2015)

rarescale premieres Analogue for Kingma System flute and radio at The Forge in Camden on 30th September 2015