ex·ten·sion

/ˌikˈsten(t)SH(ə)n/

 

noun

 

1 a part that is added to something to enlarge or prolong it; a continuation.

2 the action or process of becoming or making something larger.

3 an application of an existing system or activity to a new area.

4 the action of moving a limb from a bent to a straight position.

 

The music for EXTENSION stems from dance, physical and abstract. It highlights several commissions I have received in the last five years from three extraordinary contemporary dance companies in the United States: Jeanette Stoner and Dancers, Carolyn Dorfman Dance, and Janis Brenner & Dancers. In these works, I focused on gestures and patterns culled from the tension of cultural interdependence in societies in erosion and re-imagined them in sound. These motions I then gave back to dancers to embody and unlock. We all realized that, tossed back and forth, these ideas opened up a powerful tool for lifting trauma stored in bodies and for elevating spirit. These collaborations still deepen my sense of space, structure, and history in my own work as they continue to be performed and re-staged in the United States and abroad.

 

The title of the album is three-fold: it reflects on my experience of the cyclical nature of working with technology in movement and sound, and of working in multiple mediums. I extend myself by allowing the body movement and sound to be stored and handled in languages created with numbers. Similarly, those “frozen” gestures become free time and time again, showing up in my present and making it new. I also like adjusting connections between fields not necessarily apparent at first, and embracing their extensions. I found that by doing so new spaces open up, like vines intertwining, branching out… And ultimately, a sense of extending is present every time a person steps into another person’s shoes. The choices are to feel and learn, or shut down. I’d like to believe that this album helps the former, and that it creates a modicum of empathy in a reverse engineering kind of way.

 

The experimental nature of society in Yugoslavia (the “melting-pot”), where I grew up, coupled with the solid education I received there in classical music and in general education, gave me a sense of curiosity about the world and the tools with which to explore it. My thirst for looking at things from different angles was intensified with my pursuit of electronic music and media in the United States. I also lived in Scotland and Ethiopia in my formative years. On EXTENSION, I deconstruct, rebuild, repurpose, imagine, and re-imagine. Musicians from different backgrounds and with expertise in different genres share in the intimate space of a composition. To me, what they are sharing ultimately is an understanding of and a bending of time, which in turn bends the understanding of history. The hybridization of musical languages such as American minimalism, art and progressive rock, German classicism, Italian polyphony, Russian romanticism, jazz, and ethnic idioms in this recording makes it a comforting space for me personally. I'd like to think that it offers structures that point toward a no-genre-borderless-flow, a place where human existence free of tribalism and doctrine is possible. The way new space can be created is by imploding models that don't work. Music is probably one of the fastest highways that can teach us that.­

 

—Svjetlana Bukvich

 

 

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