From Bach to Piazzolla, most of the composers who are of deliberate authenticity based their creative process on improvisation. Improvisation is an archetypal shape of the creative impulse in music (and in art in general). It is the basis of the creative experience, the elementary shape of creative potential expression, the foundation of musical vigilance and sensitivity. It rises from creative intuition and cognitively represents the irreducible, untranslatable part of the creative process. It is the source of playing and composing, their organic bond. Improvisation, in its authentic expression, is the organic compound of composing and performing. Composing in real time of the exact performance and composition is, as seen, nothing else but improved, craftsman shaped and elaborated ie. arranged improvisation, which is fixed by memorizing or by notation.
Composers and instrumentalists Boris Kovač and Stevan Kovač Tickmayer have been engaging themselves for at least 3 decades in improvised music and researching the relations between improvisation and composition. In their common project, called ULTIMA ARMONIA, with the participation of Miloš Matić, double bass player and middle-generation composer, and Lav Kovač, who is one of the most talentedSerbian/local/domestic young musicians, drummer and percussionist; in the phase of their creative maturity they decided to create collaborative musical act, with an open shape, starting from improvisation.
In the poetical sense, they find an ontological “background” in the traditional music and culture of Pannonian-Carpathian-Balkan area, which represents their common spiritual, cultural and historical context. The music of this quartet is a collective attempt to redefine and reaffirm the idea of equal improvisational music based on the dialogue among the musicians: a dialogue, whose language is deeply rooted in the musical tradition of the listed areas. One of the usual prejudices concerning the term “improvisation” is the immediate connection of this musical practice with jazz music. Even though the musicians who are taking part into this project do not dissociate from some jazz influence while developing their musical expression – ULTIMA ARMONIA can not be identified as jazz, under any circumstances. This music does not represent a typical credo of notational reproduction/overlapping of musical or ethnical forms and heritages of the above listed regions. This quartet tries to offer to its listeners a deeper archaeological-anthropological content, based on the rich archaic musical “treasure” from the Pannonian-Carpathian-Balkan area. With their musical hermeneutics, the musicians are adding to the tradition new directions and guidelines, taking from the tradition only what is vivid and inspirational for them. At the same time their aim is to “revive” this tradition using the contemporary course of musical thinking: the language of structural improvisation enriched with positive experience of musical modernism and post-modernism as with some elements of the heritage of older musical periods, especially Middle Age, Renaissance and early Baroque, as improvisational approach to musical creation was still taking in account, and which later was, in accordance with Western specialization and labour division on composers and performers, inevitably atrophied. In this sense this project also represents a contribution to redefine the very basis of Western musical practice.
ULTIMA ARMONIA is:
Boris Kovač – soprano and alto saxophone, bass clarinet
Stevan Kovač Tickmayer – piano
Miloš Matić – double bass
Lav Kovač – drums