With the composition of Ivan Marković, the pupils of “Isidor Bajić”Music School will try to break the Guinness record, on Friday at 9 p.m. at the City Hall. Ivan is a former pupil of the same school, and according to him, it is his pleasure to dedicate the pupils and professors the work called “Dawn”, especially for this occasion. The composition is written for this purpose and all parts are specifically designed and adjusted to the age of twenty three young pianists.
Where does the idea for the name of the composition come from and does it have some symbolic?
The idea for the name of the composition came while working, at the moment when significant part of the music had been written, but when all considered music and non-music ideas unified. In this composition, for me, the dawn means a symbol of re-birth of light, waking-up and hope. Symbolically, this process, which is embedded in the dramaturgical flow of the composition, it follows the energy which each of us have invested in this project and it reflects my intention for the composition to deal with the content which will engage us and connect us through the idea of waking up and purposeful activities. The dawn relies on the variation of music motifs of Bach’s chorales Zion, whose lyrics processes the topics of the “final awakening”, reaching of the goal and sense of spiritual happiness. This music is dedicated to young people.
How difficult it was to write the composition for 230 fingers?
Why is this challenge specific? Never before have I written music with which someone would tried to break the Guinness record, never before have I written music for twenty three performers who play one instrument at the same time. The pupils and professors of Isidor Bajić Music School have never shared a space of one octave on a piano with six more performers. For me, the biggest challenge was the physical organization of the performers, how many of them and at which point will play mutually, how to musically organise the moments in which all performers, twenty three of them, play mutually; then, since that pupils of different ages participate in the project, from the youngest classes of primary school to the senior year of high-school, which type of music content to entrust to which age and music experience, to whom such type of content will be interesting, who will certain content motivate the best – how to make every performer enjoy the content which is intended particularly to him or her. In accordance with these questions, each performer performs the music material entrusted and tailored for him or her.
What is, according to you, the most interesting process of work?
When it comes to composing music, each process is unique and unrepeatable and that is what makes it the most interesting. When it comes to working on music which has been written, the most interesting process of work is the one in which I spend as much time as possible with the performers. That time is usually limited, and composers are eager for it. Luckily, in this project, there was more than enough of that time and I had many opportunities to talk to the pupils and professors of the music school about the different aspects of the compositions: to hear their interpretations of the music content, to feel their different interpretations, to get the information about the impression which music left on them. For me, those moments are precious because that is when the energy and information comes from, that is where the understanding of the composer and performer comes from, and then that understanding is offered to public.
Were there some changes on the way?
The work on mastering the music sheet included certain expected changes in the sheet itself. It is not before the performers, this numerous, are set on the piano, that the insight in the best technical and music solutions is possible. That is another challenge and specific of this project, that what we do, we all do for the first time. The pupils and professors skilfully found solutions and their insights and individual experiences significantly formed the interpretation of the work. They worked with focus and devotion. Pursuant to that, the sense of satisfaction and results on practices were there. One of the goals we have set to ourselves initially, the breaking of the Guinness record, is still before all of us and we will try to make that come true on Friday at 9 p.m.at the City Hall.
What does it mean to you that your composition will be played on the breaking of the Guinness record?
It is my honour that I have got the chance to write music which will gather a lot of young people for one unique occasion, through a unique event, unique theme and music content, which will motivate them and engage to move to the mutual and personal goals with faith and enthusiasm. It is by accident that the opportunity came in the form the attempt to break a Guinness record. The primary significance for me is brought by the idea of unique and rare togetherness offered by this project.
What is it necessary for composers to promote themselves and how do they do that?
Young composers honestly want to committedly do their job, to cooperate, to share experience, visions and ideas, with both performers and audience. Even though they have become obviously more numerous in the last couple of years, there are still just a few opportunities for that. Each is precious to us and we will gladly use it. We cooperate with all performers who are interested in our music and we often respond to all orders because that offers us a rare chance to deal with what we do through cooperation. “Isidor Bajić” Music School is, in that sense, an example of an educational institution which wanted and created conditions to cooperate with a young composer in order to make a new, original work for a particular occasion. The attempt to break the Guinness record could have been executed by the performance of a previously written composition which would be arranged for this occasion for twenty three performers, which was often the case in the previous attempts to break the Guinness record. However, for the professors of the piano department, it was important that the music by which they would try to break the record was not only an arrangement of a previously written piece of music, but an original music piece, written on purpose, tailored for particular pupils of the school and for this particular occasion, including all challenges we set for ourselves. Creating the conditions for this order to happen, they enabled space for new music to be made, and a young composer to create a new work, to dedicate his time and energy to a special occasion and to dedicate the school, its pupils and professors a written work, in actual sense of that word.
How do you orient when you know that your target group are young people?
For a composer, the “target group” is often just the music work, its laws and characteristics, and the possibility for expression within it. In this case, the work is written for particular people and event. The nature of Dawn includes a large number of participants, a large number of young people, their different profiles, ages, interests and musical preferences. All these characteristics are special and unique, and I wanted to embrace them, to cherish them and to find the richness of the music content and space for expression within them. My wish to comply all these parameters and to harmonize them, and to communicate by them through music was dominant while creating Dawn.
The breaking of the Guinness record is preceded by a public lesson. “Open piano lesson” will be organized before the breaking of the Guinness record at four locations: City Library, Porta, in front of “Trčika” and in front of the Serbian National Theatre.