Pomen II – the seductive dance of the world of living and the world of dead

Last week tonight was THE night – had the outmost chance of listening live performance of Milica Djordjevic’s “Pomen II” for solo viola, played by Paul Beckett (ensemble recherche) at Ultraschall Berlin.
And boy oh boy what a performance it was!

Milica Djordjevic leads us into the intriguing coquetry of life and death. Celebration and grief. And as music unfolds, so does the story…

Pomen“, a Serbian word for “commemoration/memorial” that can also stand for “meaning/mention”. And for some reason, this latter was subconsciously present in the mind of this speckle. And this meaning will come back. But first…

Milica Djordjevic skilfully and directly pokes our ears ajar with the pizzicato burst. At first this might have seemed delicate. But one swiftly realises the charge of immense energy that has been released, and that is going to continue to grow. Inside this confined space, which itself will seem to expand on the inside. This energy is going to introduce us to the a different meaning to stillness and timbre of brilliance: stillness that moves and the harmonic brilliance that does not shine but freezes.

The absolute control of Paul Beckett birthing the sound from nothing, from muted movement to coherent intensely silent presence brought the first winds of chill to the bones. Enter the intricate use of harmonics, and the air started to freeze in front of our eyes.
The world of the dead has opened.
To welcome the exchange.
The burst of energy and sound seems to still be celebrating the life. Yet the unexpected rhythmical structures that come alive from combining overpressure+ponticello/tasto+harmonic pressure evoke the voices of narikača (moirologists in Serbian culture), clearly bringing the profound sadness… and a hit of anger over lose…

In the same time refined and raw, this piece is another aural story gem of Milica Djordjevic magnificently understood and played to finest detail by Paul Beckett. “Pomen II” is both a literal lament, and a meaningful mention that calls for reflection.

The stream of the piece starts at 102:40! Don’t miss a chance to hear it!

This text is a reflection on performance that took place on Friday, January 18th at Radialsystem V, during the Ultraschall Berlin – Festival für neue Musik

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