Vernissage Inexhaustible Editions: SOUNDING SPOMENIK

Freitag, 1. Dezember 2023 · 19:00 Uhr

Inexhaustible Editions: SOUNDING SPOMENIK

mit Tadeja Žele solo (Violoncello) · Vida Vatovec solo (Altsaxophon) · Anton Iakhontov a.k.a. Patrick K.-H. (Mehrkanal-Klangprojektion, Live-Visuals) · Jernej Babnik Romaniuk (Field Recordings, Gespräch) · Belma Bešlić-Gál (Vortrag, Gespräch) · László Juhász (Projektleitung, Gespräch) (Stimmen)

Eine Koproduktion mit Wien Modern in Kooperation mit KUD Mreža und ON Rizom / Inexhaustible Editions sowie SKICA

While the striking still enigmatic visuality of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s abstract brutalist monuments has been well-documented in recent years, hardly we know anything about their sounding aspects. Most of these spomeniks (original form in plural spomenici, meaning memorials in Serbo-Croatian and Slovenian languages, derived from the root spomen- that means memory) have hollow parts that serve as resonant spaces. The most characteristic materials these historical artefacts were made of are poured concrete and rebar, or steel frame with metallic covering plates. Materials that certainly influence or have audible modifying features to sounds. Curiously, so far, nobody has examined, documented thoroughly and published these enduring landscape objects as acoustic spaces. Besides the spomeniks‘ direct sonic aspects, little we know about their surrounding acoustic environments. Majority of these unique and individual monuments were constructed in remote rural locations, usually far from any urbanization, while some of them were erected in city centres or suburbs, or near villages – all presuming a highly diverse sounding ambiance.

However spomeniks functioned – and some of them still function – as World War II memorials with clear anti-fascist connotation, and from the mid-50s until the late 70s as the groundworks and materialized emblems of Josip Broz Tito’s utopian idea of a strong and united Yugoslavian state with the high-sounding slogan ‚brotherhood and unity‘; we regard these abstract but undisputedly iconic modernist constructions as mere architectural works of art. Peeling off all possible political and ideological layers, it is not our task to judge whether these monuments are useless politicised relics of the former Yugoslavia’s communist past, or significant historical artefacts that still need admiration. As a record label we are merely interested in sounds.

In 2021, Inexhaustible Editions sublabel Edition FriForma started a long-term research, recording and publishing project to explore and reveal the sonic attributes of spomeniks of the former Yugoslavia (those now can be found in Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, and in North Macedonia) by asking local instrumentalists – mainly young but remarkably talented professional musicians working locally or internationally on the fields of free improvised or contemporary composed music – to play sounds on-site, and to find the most responsive or fascinating sounding parts of the monuments. Besides the intentional sounds produced by musical instruments, we intent to document the immediate surroundig’s unintentional sounds as well via environmental recordings. Each year we plan to visit, examine and reflect on at least three or four monuments through field trips, recording sessions and eventually, audio publications. By now, we have gathered more than twenty locations with emblematic spomeniks that are relevant to our Sounding Spomenik project. – László Juhász, April 2021



19:00 Uhr: Exhibition Opening

Photo exhibition „Concrete Lines“ and video installation „Stands Still, the Monument by Janez Lenassi“

„Unheard Stories: Sonic Aspects of Yugoslavia’s Brutalist Monuments“, a lecture by Belma Bešlić-Gál

Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. While their distinctive and somewhat enigmatic appearance has attracted worldwide attention and has been the subject of extensive research in recent years, almost nothing is known about their intrinsic acoustical properties that represent an equally fascinating area for exploration. In the year 2021, Edition FriForma, an offshoot of the record label Inexhaustible Editions, embarked on an enduring endeavor to unearth the aural characteristics of the Spomeniks of former Yugoslavia by uncovering their sonic properties and capturing random ambient sounds through site-specific field recordings.

„From Planning To Execution“, a talk with sound engineer Jernej Babnik Romaniuk and producer László Juhász, moderated by Belma Bešlić-Gál

20:30 Uhr: Performances

„Ilisrka Bistrica“, solo cello performance by Tadeja Žele, multi-channel sound distribution and live visualization by Patrick K.-H.

The improvised solo set is highly inspired by the memory and atmosphere of the performer’s recording session that took place in August 2021 at Janez Lenassi’s iconic monument in Ilirska Bistrica in Slovenia. The solo cello performance is accompanied by a multi-channel sound distribution of the actual and unmanipulated field recordings by Patrick K.-H. that were captured at the location during Žele’s recording for Sounding Spomenik.

„Dražgoše“, solo saxophone performance by Vida Vatovec, multi-channel sound distribution and live visualization by Patrick K.-H.

Vida Vatovec’s alto saxophone solo is also improvised, however, undeniably inspired by her experience of the half-day recording session that happned in August 2021 at architect Boris Kobe and sculptor Stojan Batič’s three-level breathtaking memorial complex in Dražgoše. Again, the performance is complemented by Patrick K.-H.’s multi-channel sound distribution of field recordings captured in and around the architecture where Vatovec recorded for Sounding Spomenik.


Tadeja Žele Slovenian cello player, attended music school in Postojna, and completed her studies with Ksenija Trotovšek Brlek, when she was already a graduate of Pedagogy and Sociology at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Ljubljana. She completed her part-time undergraduate studies of cello with Igor Škerjanc. She recently completed her Master’s degree in cello at the Academy of Music, University of Ljubljana in the class of Igor Škerjanc. Since 2010, she has been teaching cello at several music schools. As a section leader she participates in the Vrhnika Symphony Orchestra, with which she has appeared as a soloist on several prestigious occasions. She also works with the Cantabile, Crescendo and Kranj Grammar School Orchestras. In 2018, she performed with cellist Katarina Kozjek at the International Biennial of Contemporary Music in Koper, playing TRÍPTIHON by Slovenian composer Tilen Lebar, which he wrote especially for the cello duo. Tadeja Žele recorded for Sounding Spomenik in August 2021, dealing with the spaces of Janez Lenassi’s iconic monument in Ilirska Bistrica.

Vida Vatovec is a Slovenian saxophonist who began her musical career with Betka Bizjak Kotnik, under whose guidance she also graduated from high school, and continued her saxophone studies at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana in the class of Matjaž Drevenšek. During her studies, she has achieved distinguished awards in national and international competitions, and she has also participated in several ensembles, such as the KGBL Dance Department, Ave Chamber Choir, and the Ljubljana Symphony Orchestra of the Slovenian National Opera and Ballet Orchestra. She also participates in various chamber groups, such as the AG Saxophone Ensemble, KUG Sax Ensemble, and Sippia. She regularly studies with renowned professors and musicians from Slovenia and abroad and collaborates with young Slovenian composers such as Gašper Muženič or Tilen Lebar. Currently she studies in Graz. Vida Vatovec recorded for Sounding Spomenik in August 2021, creating intentional saxophone sounds at architect Boris Kobe and sculptor Stojan Batič’s three-level breathtaking memorial complex in Dražgoše.

Patrick K.-H. Anton Iakhontov, aka Patrick K.-H. (1980) is a Vienna-based Russian composer, video and media artist, navigating through graphical sounds, animations, interactive performances, and tangible and spatial sounds. He has been participating in multivarious collaborations with contemporary and butoh dancers, creating visual collages and acousmatic compositions. Along with his creations as director, he is the author of music and/or video for over 40 opera, drama and postdramatic theatre plays and performances. He has had his music, video and performances presented in more than 200 festivals and event series around the world. Beyond his own artworks, he has developed an important activity regarding experimental media-art, particularly spatial sound-art education and gallerism. Since 2008, he is the founder and curator of the Floating Sound Gallery (currently based in Vienna) for spatial sound. Since 2018, he has conducted the Acousmonium international festival. Since 2013, he lives in Vienna and works internationally. He received composition support from SKE / Austro Mechana, BMKÖS and Stadt Wien Kultur. /,

Belma Bešlić-Gál Composer, pianist, curator and artist Belma Bešlić-Gál (1978) was born in the industrial city of Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia; and now resides in Vienna, Austria. Drawing on various forms of contemporary music with an emphasis on avant-garde concepts of intermedia music theater, her compositions range from orchestral, chamber, and solo works to installation art, media art, and literature. The conceptual basis of her work is an intensive preoccupation with the phenomenon of time. Combining instruments, light and objects, as well as architectural concepts and audiovisual projections, she focuses on exploring ways to manipulate audiences‘ sensory perceptions. Other important areas of her transdisciplinary approach to various representations of contemporary composition include the integration of existentialist and futurist ideas and concepts, the influence of microgravity and space science on the hypothetical art of tomorrow, and the destructive effects of reactionism and nationalism on (post-Yugoslavian) art, culture, and society in general. /

Jernej Babnik Romaniuk Ljubljana-based recordist and master sound engineer Jernej Babnik Romaniuk (1975) has been devoted to creative work since his early age; soon adding graphic design to his devotion for unusual music and unusual sounding spaces, and everything that revolves around music and sounds. He combines both audio and visual disciplines in sound processing, which has been his main interest in the last decade. His main focus has been on site-specific recording and post-production of small groups dealing with free improvisation, unconventional brass bands, and documentary-like field recordings, where he has found an inexhaustible source that constantly inspires and pushes him to discover fresh and unheard approaches to sound recording and processing. With his own association, Zavod Murmur, he is producing his release series Spaces, materials recorded at World War II bunkers, nature-formed caves, built concrete halls, old village stables etc. Since the very beginning, he is the recording expert of the Sounding Spomenik sessions, with all the post-productional tasks, such as editing, mixing and mastering. /

László Juhász Journalist, curator, producer and publisher László Juhász (1980) was born in Szeged, Hungary; studied English Studies, American Studies,, and Communication And Media Studies at the University Of Szeged, Hungary. Founder and editor-in-chief of Hungarian online music magazine since 2002 until 2022, event organizer in Szeged (Improv Est) since 2007, occasional event co-organizer in Budapest (No Wave Est) since 2015, and co-curator and co-organizer of event serieses in Ljubljana: KUD Mreža’s FriForma with Nataša Serec since 2016 and Zavod Sploh’s Confine aperto since 2018 until 2020. Founder and executive producer of recording label Inexhaustible Editions and its sublabels Edition FriForma (with Nataša Serec) and SonoLiminl (with Robertina Šebjanič) since 2015, former co-organizer of the annual workshop festival „Improcon – Congress Of Free Improvised Music, Arts & Thoughts“ in Croatia, and president of Slovenian institution ON Rizom. He had been living in London, UK for three years where he researched and was tightly connected to the contemporary British improvised music scene. In the recent years he is more interested in the intersection of sound, space and architecture.



Eine Koproduktion mit Wien Modern in Kooperation mit KUD Mreža und ON Rizom / Inexhaustible Editions sowie SKICA