2013: production – the good and the bad

I wanted to write something about 2013 – a year that is passing in couple of days. I really wanted to take a look at what was done, questioning myself, while it feels it was quite an exhausting year, does it show? So I went through everything, mostly work related dates, deadlines, gigs, preparations, etc.

This year I released a first “proper” (for the lack of a better term) album – Pacification. In fact we – Wanda & Nova deViator, we – Emanat, released it. Personally this felt like a big step, a big upgrade. Those few reviews that we managed to call for were extremely positive. I did home-grown research on music industry after the internet revolutions. I became a pessimist. The industry feels as a suffocating factory, killing the potential of the nets to empower musicians. I resurrected my old net-label from 2006 – Kamizdat. We pretty much successfully released three albums (Pacification, Sad Sam Lucky Outtakes and Ontervjabbit’s 414) this year. The PR strategies and their realizations were weak and too scattered, but we managed to gather some hype. Pacification was even featured on The Wire’s blog about notable sleeves.

With Wanda & Nova deViator we played in Ljubljana (Channel Zero, Gala Hala, Menza pri koritu, Klub Gromka), Maribor, Velenje, Cerkno, Belgrade (SR), Linz (AT), Lille (FR) and Basel (CH). We recorded a TV-gig for national station (broadcast in October). I would love to tour more, but this year it would probably be quite hard as so much was going on. I would be happy if more people bought the Kamizdat releases, but I guess not enough was done on the promotional level.

As Nova deViator I played a decent amount of DJ-gigs in order to get back into serious shape after that hiatus between 2007 and 2011. Lesbian club Monokel became a little home. Extremely non-difficult in terms of size, but still difficult in terms of audience targeting – fans of break/bass electronic dance music are not always comfortable in a gay club, while on the other hand gay/lesbian scene seems to have a passion for cheesy disco and more interested in cruising then the music itself. I recorded some sparky sets and published them on mixcloud. I’m looking forward in persisting with my own blend of breaks, bass and electro funk and playing regularly next year. The rust on my dj skills is pretty much gone and I’m excited about new directions, new dance music discoveries – certain doors opened with development around 160/80bpm range.

The drone-y, experimental side of my musical creativity: released an ambiental Sad Sam Lucky Outtakes, which was well received (within that small limit), played one session at MSUM (Radio študent b’day) and another session at MSUM as part of ‘lecture-performance‘ events, which also included a Maribor episode. Plus a Kamizdat promo night together with Ontervjabbit. In this section belongs a visit to Italy where we played a Sublimation Revision A/V performance at F.A.C.K. in Cessena.

June saw quite demanding preparations and work on Transmittance performance at U3 triennial. The day after the opening of the triennial (of contemporary art in Slovenia) a 10-strong team of performers, musicians, media artists and technicians performed a 2.5 hour long improvisational performance for online audience who controlled certain elements of the show and ‘offline’ audience who watched the whole deal. After the event we produced documentation installed and exhibited in the space of MSUM.

Through August and September intense process took place in creation of Maja Delak’s solo performance “What If”. Music for it took form of different influences, genres and atmospheres, but I’m happy about the inclusion of poly-rhythmics, odd time signatures and some (for me) heavy lifting through SuperCollider (also) using SenseStage. Music (and live sound) for the solo received some really positive (private) feedback. Maja and myself where quite happy about it all.

This year we created a ‘technoburlesque’ titled Image Snatchers. The format of ‘simple’ numbers which are grounded in feminist approaches to performance and good amount of pretty smart but very accessible humor proved as a winning combination. After four editions (the last one being a longer club event on the theme of ‘farewell‘) it generated some serious raving among the general, folksy public. Music, dance, performance, lyrics, video, text, sarcasm, critique, sexuality, nudity, gender bending, and jokes, in a specific language resonated with something primal in peoples’ hearts and minds. It seems as a fantastic framework which has a future potential.

Work on an AV-performance ‘Interface Fractures‘ offered me a chance to concretely dig into Processing language. And despite by huge dissatisfaction with the material on the premiere I must say I’m quite happy that I broke the ice with Processing this year.

“We got recognized!” M. and myself received an award Zlata ptica (Golden bird) for our work on theatre, inter-media and music. This is quite an honor. Maja Delak’s Shame piece got an award at the festival Gibanica by an international jury as best piece at the festival. On the same night, and as part of closing of Gibanica, I received a Ksenija Hribar award for my sound work in performing arts/theatre.

All in all from the view of work and production it feels like a hard-working but successful year. I feel I did a lot, received quite some recognition and appreciation. On the other hand I failed too often and was frequently extremely last-minute which brought stress, disappointment and anger. My failures are mainly related to  asynchronicity between planning and execution. Either I plan unrealistically or I fail at execution (procrastination). Perhaps this is a good basis to draft a resolution for next year: my plans should be more realistic, I should focus better on things with biggest priority.

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