Gagi Petrovic

composer, performer, producer and teacher of music

Press

Interviews

  • 15 Questions | Gagi Petrovic talks Sound

    Full questions and answers, interwoven with music to illustrate the answers.

    “My sonic preferences in making music lie in capturing what doesn’t yet exist, music that departs from its style-defining characteristics. I think it’s important to question dogmas of music making practices, so that music as a whole can keep developing into new shapes of artistic expression.

    (…)

    Ultimately I think all my music is a form of emotional expression. Concepts, both within and outside of music, often carry a function of creating an artistic framework, a theme, musical variations, generating inspiration for finding new ways of making and sharing music.

    (…)

    In general I use my own recordings as samples and source materials. Whether I sample a heating, heavy rain, a broken speaker or an acoustic guitar with voices, I enjoy capturing them with my field recorder Zoom H2n. This results in ‘flawed’ recordings, filled with background noise, surroundings and spatial information. For me, the richer the source is spectrally the more interesting it is to work with. Especially when zooming in on minuscule details while processing a sample, it often generates unexpected digital artefacts. This kind of material inspires me to keep going.

    (…)

    I think ears give us a primal connection to the world around us, both natural and cultural. A lurking predator, a cry for help, a soothing breeze, children laughing…

    Hearing enables us to distinguish imminent danger from safety. Additionally ears are a primary tool for receiving verbal communication with other people. Conveying ideas, concepts, feelings, desires … before most people were able to read and write, hearing already played a significant role in understanding the intentions of friends and enemies. Because it’s such an old and experienced sense, I believe hearing is far more intuitive and intimate than sight. I think smell and touch are even more intimate than hearing, because they require the source to be physically closer.”

  • Gonzo (circus) | Maya & Gagi: Constellations

    Full interview in GC #146, by Peter Bruyn.

    “Een celliste die ook arrangeert en improviseert en een onderzoekend componist die elektronica als instrument heeft. Plus hun beider stemmen. Maya Fridman en Gagi Petrovic experimenteren op het grensvlak tussen klank en lied en laten daarbij vooral hun intuïtie het werk doen. Het resultaat is pure muzikale expressie, zonder concept, en zonder tekst.”

     

Reviews

  • DARKMATTER by Cherish Menzo (music for dance)

    Full review on e-tcetera.be, by Tessa Vannieuwenhuyze

    “Na een eind is niet alleen de geluidsband en de daarbijhorende bewegingstaal doordrongen van verwrongen dimensies, maar moet ook mijn eigen associatieve brein zich uiteindelijk overleveren aan de distortion.”

    • ENGLISH: “After a while, not only the soundtrack and the accompanying movement language are permeated with twisted dimensions, but my own associative brain also eventually has to surrender to the distortion.”
  • Vital Weekly | Choosing Freedom

    Full review on Vital Weekly 1297, by Sven Schlijper-Karrsenberg.

    “Choosing Freedom as per the title itself invokes a political act, however personal or societal. Therewith the work fits neatly into the conceptual realm Petrovic has been mining with previous works, consisting of themes like isolation and destruction, oppression or the diametrical opposite which can be found in freedom. And not only that: but also: what that is, what freedom, being free entails, as in freedom of expression or, closer to this release: in autonomous composition. (That twiddling with the volume knob. The sense of uneasy quiet or too quiet. Was that just my set of arbitrary expectations? And was that a display of unfreedom perhaps, bound by what I expected, bound to fail?)

    (…)

    First and foremost, this is a collection of forward-moving and boundary-smashing presentations which defy categorization or determination. These are no butterflies pinned in a viewing cabinet: this is the total bright and breezy and carefree population of a huge butterfly garden, the humid air therein, the plants, the greenhouse itself, yes even the hortus as a whole – a biotope of uncharted possible musical species.”

  • Nieuwe Noten | Choosing Freedom & Recalcitrance

    Full review by Ben Taffijn.

    “Wat we op ‘Choosing Freedom’ horen is bijzonder gruizige elektronica, het soort geluiden dat je krijgt als de muziek gaat rondzingen. Aan alles hoor je dat het bewegen van de hand over die GEST precair is, het gaat, zo leert het ritmische ‘Scattered Perception’ ons bijvoorbeeld, om nauwkeurig doseren. Wat het album ook bijzonder maakt, is dat Petrovic, door de donkere klankwolken, het effectief inzetten van stilte en die gruizige structuur, spanning in zijn muziek weet te brengen. Vooral in ‘Emotional Manipulation’ is dat het geval, een titel die hij ongetwijfeld nog heeft overgehouden van  zijn studie psychologie. Daarnaast heeft dat kale, gruizige ook iets industrieels, alsof je je in een werkplaats bevindt.”

    • ENGLISH: “What we hear on ‘Choosing Freedom’ is very gritty electronics, the kind of sounds you get when the music starts to sing around. You can hear from everything that moving the hand over that GEST is precarious to dose accurately, something the rhythmic ” Scattered Perception’ teaches us for example. What also makes the album special is that Petrovic manages to bring tension to his music by the effective use of silence and gritty structures through the dark sound clouds. Especially in ‘Emotional Manipulation’ that’s the case , a title that undoubtedly emerged from his psychology studies. In addition, that bare grittiness also has something industrial, like being in a workshop.”
  • Vital Weekly | Ob-literate

    Full review on Vital Weekly 1166, by DM.

    “Instead we are confronted with a static and massive presence of sound; a radical and dark work with a sometimes-frightening effect. The solo voices move in a distance, what gives a strong impression of an enormous room or space. There is something static in this work. Long linear moving abstract electronic sounds, or long sustained organ sound, are interspersed with other sounds and cracks. The five voices dwell around as lost lonesome souls in this enormous spatial emptiness. This is music with an enormous emotional and disorientating impact.”

     

  • Musik An Sich | Ob-literate

    Full review by Wolfgang Kabsch.

    “Das hier ist ganz harter Tobak. Musikfreunde, die schon mal mit Scott Walker und Ähnlichem in Kontakt gekommen sind, sollten mal ein Ohr wagen. Für einen Einsteiger ist dieses Werk eher nicht geeignet.”

    • ENGLISH: “This is very hard stuff here. Music lovers who have already come into contact with Scott Walker and the like should venture forth. This work is not really suitable for a beginner.”
  • Yeah I Know It Sucks | Ob-literate

    Full review, by Kaino Buko.

    “Odd? Yes, but it is a oddness that is most surreal, music that comes at you like collages of voices and sounds, as if we are hearing multiple speakers in a museum-like environment after the lucid drugs kicked in. The walls have been melting, paintings might transform and the floor is all wobbly; it might make a sane person slightly paranoid, a intellectual stroke his or her chin & crazy people like (I presume) you and me a little bit more sane?”

  • Gonzo (circus) | dp[a] + hsh

    Full review by Maarten Schermer. 

    “Fraai, en het maakt nieuwsgierig naar de dansperformance waar ze voor gemaakt werden, hoewel ook die wel eens zeer beklemmend zou kunnen zijn.”

    • ENGLISH: “Beautiful, and it makes you curious about the dance performance they were made for, although that could also be very oppressive.”