Bienale Koper

Dear guests of the Koper Biennale!
We have reached the eighth edition of the festival and this year as well there were doubts about the success of the event: Are we able to do it? Perhaps this is one of the questions that we never ask ourselves so openly in everyday life, but it still floats somewhere within us and re-emerges with every important test of life. I often think of a phrase that I overheard by chance and it always makes me smile: "If a challenge is offered to you, then it means that you are up to this challenge". This year we have been deprived of the support of the Ministry of Culture, which is a big obstacle, but at the same time, it is also an opportunity to rethink our work, improve it, face and discover new sides of our colleagues as well as create new ties and strengthen old ones.
The initiatives of the first two concerts are worthy of praise: a concert of promising young composers and performers with compositions on the theme of colours, inspired by the poetry of Lara Willewladt, and the concert of the students of the Edgar Willems Music Centre (produced by Forum for the New Music). The commitment of young people gives the festival its reason for existence. We are grateful to the colleagues of Zavod Sploh and to the members and the director of the Neofonia ensemble, Steven Loy, who always accept the challenges of our ideas. We are also grateful to the team of the Institute and the .abeceda ensemble, who work on the involvement of young professional musicians in the field of new music. We look forward to the concert of the internationally renowned guitarist Primož Sukič, who encourages composers to expand the repertoire of the acoustic and electric guitar with their works. A new challenge and cooperation are presented by the concert of two united ensembles Neofonia and NeuverBand, with whom, thanks to the support of the Pro Helvetia association, we have extended our musical and friendly ties to Switzerland as well. The video projection of the work, in one act "Ondine Pauina and the Waterman on dry water", will certainly be a novelty for us, as technology allows us to do what otherwise couldn’t be done.
This year's central theme of the biennale is water. I would like to encourage thinking about this simple and at the same time complex element. Climatic conditions are changing and we are witnessing how water is becoming more and more precious, more and more necessary and even more and more dangerous. Water can also become a colour, represent bonds, reflect light, "dance" in the form of a spiral. It has its own "meta" meaning, water is the sea, water has a memory. I tried to describe the individual concerts with these terms and I hope that everything together will encourage us to respect, to tolerate, to be more responsible and to love our environment more as well as our fellow man and all living beings and nature in general. I hope that music and culture can prove that power gained through greed, competition and envy only leads to destruction. I also hope that they teach us about sharing, cooperation and connection.
Every performance at the festival has taught me something new, and I believe it will be the same this year.

Tatjana Jercog