The Ring Ring Association was a partner in a collaborative project in 2023, which, through the European Festivals Fund for Emerging Artists (EFFEA), involved a series of performances by Ivar Roban Križić and his ensemble. The second concert in the series took place at the 27th Ring Ring Festival, held at the Jewish Cultural Center in Belgrade on May 18, 2023.

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The European Festivals Fund for Emerging Artists (EFFEA) is an European Festivals Association’s initiative that aims to support young artists in developing their international careers by providing performance opportunities at festivals. Through this initiative, the Fund also promotes international inter-festival collaboration.

The first open call of the EFFEA Fund was open in 2022. At that time, collaboration between three European festivals of new music was already agreed upon to support the artistic project/concept/ensemble IRK Performing Reflection by the young Croatian artist Ivar Roban Križić (born in Zagreb in 1990).

Thanks to the received support, Ivar Roban Križić and his ensemble (structured differently depending on the occasion) performed a series of three concerts. They first performed on April 17, 2023, at the Zagreb Music Biennale, then on May 18 at the 27th Ring Ring Festival in Belgrade, and finally at the 180° – Laboratory for Innovative Art Festival in Sofia, Bulgaria, on July 24.

In Belgrade, IRK Performing Reflection performed as a quartet of musicians from Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, and Austria: Ivar Roban Križić (double bass), Nikola Vuković (trumpet), Bojan Krhlanko (drums, percussion, electronics), and Thomas Grill (electronics).

ivar roban križić ring ring

Ivan Roban Križić / IRK Performing Reflection, Belgrade, Ring Ring Festival, 2023 (photo: Duško Vukić)


CD “Ring Ring, 25 years – Local artists”

CD “Ring Ring, 25 years – Local artists”

On December 21, 2021, Multimedia Music label, in collaboration with the Ring Ring Association, released a compilation CD titled “Ring Ring, 25 Years – Local Artists”, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Ring Ring festival.

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(liner notes by Bojan Đorđević)

1. Marina Džukljev & Áron Porteleki – Wonder Marks (excerpt)

(Marina Džukljev & Áron Porteleki)

Marina Džukljev – piano

Áron Porteleki – drums, viola

This duo performed together for the first time at the Ring Ring festival in May 2018, at the Students Cultural Center. Both Džukljev from Serbia and Porteleki from Hungary performed several times at the festival with different projects and will be on the festival stage again. They are the future of European improvised music. Marina is a pianist, educator and active performer in the fields of free improvisation, contemporary classical and applied music. She collaborates with a wide range of multimedia artists across Europe. On the other side, bright young face of Hungarian new and improvised music scene Áron is member of half a dozen bands. How many musicians do you know that play drums as well as viola?

We are gratefull to Založba Klopotec and Iztok Zupan for the right to use this excerpt from the CD Wonder Marks on our compilation.

2. Király Ernő / Chris Cutler/ Stevan Kovač Tickmayer – Trigonom

(Király / Cutler / Tickmayer)

Király Ernő – zitherphone

Chris Cutler – drums

Stevan Kovač Tickmayer – piano

This was recorded in May 1996 at the opening concert of the first Ring Ring festival. Király, an outstanding composer and performer, was a unique artist in contemporary music circles in Yugoslavia, but not discovered elsewhere. Tickmayer, on the other hand, already started his international career a decade before as a performer and composer. He introduced Király’s music to Cutler, great drummer and the founder of the Recommended Records. Cutler than asked for more music and ReR released an album of the great composer. Knowing that the festival is the place for old and young artists from Serbia, but also with desire to give respect to all three, the offer was made – Would you meet in Belgrade for the first time as a trio and perform at the festival? No wonder, it was immediate: YES.

We are grateful to Fond B92 for the right to use this excerpt on this compilation. It has been originally released by Radio B92 on the live album Ring Ring 96.

3. Šalter ensemble – The Šalter

(Robert Rozsa)

Robert Rozsa – electronics

Irena Tomažin – voice

Marina Džukljev – piano

Tena Novak Vincek – violin

Srđan Muc – guitar

Jonas Kocher – accordion

Nenad Kovačić – percussion

Tomaž Grom – double bass

Bertrand Denzler – saxophone

Julien Megroz – percussion

Roko Crnić – electric bass

Samo Kutin – hurdy-gurdy

Initiative of Swiss accordion player & composer Jonas Kocher to bring together artists from the Balkans and Switzerland has resulted in many workshops, festivals, collaborations in the period of last 15 years. This one – Šalter ensemble was a joint venture of four associations and festivals in Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia and Switzerland and of 12 artists from five countries. All of them took part in the preparation, performances and the recording. Good news: they are preparing the new program!

We are gratefull to Zavod Sploh for the right to use this composition from an album Štiri dela.

4. Dragon’s Fuel – Turbo Fuelk

(M. Čurčić & L. Kovač)

Vojislav Savkov – tenor & soprano sax

Predrag Okiljević – tenor sax

Marko Čurčić – bass

Lav Kovač – drums

The Novi Sad based quartet (since 2020 they are quintet) was a new name on the local jazz scene when they performed at the festival for the first time, 2018 and most of them were in their twenties at the time. But, their dedication to creative music and live performances brought them to many stages. They released three albums so far, all for their independent label Horz. The song on this CD was taken from their second album Oranges (2019) and we are grateful to Horz for the right to use the song here.

5. Fish in Oil – Odakle ti pravo?

(Bratislav Radovanović)

Bratislav Radovanović – guitar

Branislav Radojković – bass guitar

Dušan Petrović – saxophone

Tom Feđa Franklin – drums

Veljko Nikolić (Papa Nik) – percussion

The only fully Belgrade band on this album, Fish in Oil is the story of creativity, patience and friendship. The band created by painter, composer and guitar player Braca Radovanović has existed for 28 years. The story started in Priština with different line-up, but over the last 10+ years the band has not changed members and the results are evident. They have released 4 albums during that period and played many festivals and club show in the region. THe new album is coming out in March 2022. Is it jazz or rock or downtown NY in Belgrade?

The song Odakle ti pravo? has not been released before.

6. Ana Kravanja & Tijana Stanković – 11-7-12

(Tijana Stanković / Ana Kravanja)

Ana Kravanja – violin, voice

Tijana Stanković – violin, voice, kazoo

These two ladies are the example of many fruitful collaborations between musicians from Slovenia and Serbia. As creative musicians they are individually involved in many separate projects like the band Širom and Kačis (Ana) or Svetlana Spajić Group and Lenhart Tapes (Tijana), but here they stand next to each other, using the same instrument(s) and creating magic, like they did on the festival’s 25th edition in November 2021. They met for the first time at the workshop in Budapest, started to work together, using every opportunity to improvise together. The song is taken from their self-released debut trkam kličem odganjam / kucam dozivam teram with their permission.

7. Mezei Szilárd trio – Elég

(Mezei Szilárd)

Szilárd Mezei – viola

Róbert Benkő – double bass

Tamás Geröly – drums

This recording is from the trio’s performance at the Ring Ring festival in May 2002 and has never been released before. It was the first time that Szilárd performed at the festival and we had great opportunity to host his concerts in different line-ups on several further festival editions. Szilárd Mezei (living in Senta, Serbia) is by far the most fruitful composer and improviser from Serbia. As a leader he has 54 albums released on labels such as FMR, Leo, Klopotec, Odradek, Slam… But, this is not overproduction! To make sure – just check out his music. On this recording he is with the two great improvisers from Hungary who are both very busy playing in many different groups.

8. Svetlana Spajić / Dragana Tomić / Obrad Milić & zeitkratzer – King Peter Song

(music: trad / text: S. Spajić / arr: zeitkratzer & S. Spajić)

Svetlana Spajić – vocal

Dragana Tomić – vocal

Obrad Milić – diple, gusle

Frank Gratkowski – bass clarinet, clarinet

Hild Sofje Tafjord – french horn

Hilary Jeffery – trombone

Reinhold Friedl – piano

Maurice de Martin – drums, percussion

Lisa Marie Landgraf – violin

Burkhard Schlothauer – violin

Nora Krahl – violoncello

Ulrich Phillipp – double bass

When Svetlana Spajić, a traditional artist from Serbia, came up with the idea to perform Serbian songs about the Great War with zeitkratzer, one of the leading ensembles that are performing modern compositions, at the festival, I said: Yes, without hearing a single tune before. The idea to bring together traditional singers and players from Serbia with avant-garde performing group was a challenge for the artists. This carefully arranged / improvised work was a brilliant opening of the festival in 2015. That concert was supported by Goethe-Institut Belgrad. The year later concert in Berlin was recorded and released in 2017 by zeitkratezer records to whom we are grateful for the right to include this song from the album Serbian War Songs.

9. Neuroleptic trio – Furious as the May Wind, boring as the April’s rain

(Neuroleptic trio)

Pásztor Csaba – violin

Levay István – flute

Aleksandar Petrović Mechka – bass, programming

Neuroleptic trio is the band from Subotica, town on the border with Hungary, with more than 20 releases over the period of 15 years. The trio lead by Aleksandar Petrović Mechka had many different line-ups. They have constantly been developing a concept of improvisation by three musicians playing different instruments and using different techniques. Neuroleptic trio performed on the final evening of the festival in 2011.

The song is taken from their self-released EP Desperate Waiting For Spring with their permission. The same song has been released on several compilations.

10. Blank Disc – Good morning spontaneus simplicity

(Srđan Muc / Robert Rozsa)

Srđan Muc – electric guitar, objects

Robert Rozsa – electronics

This duo was formed 1997 in Zrenjanin and since then they have released more than 15 albums, as a duo or in collaboration with other improvisers, from Serbia or Europe. Both of the musicians have been longtime members of alternative rock group Rascep. Srđan and Robert played many times at the festival and as Blank Disc duo, with Rascep or with some foreign artists. Their music and artistic concept have been way ahead of time in Serbia, but for years they were praised by European improvisers. With well known guitarist / improviser Keith Rowe, they played together at the festival’s 14th edition in 2009. Srđan and Robert are also on this compilation as part of the Šalter ensemble (3).

11. Svetlana Maraš – Kamerna muzika: harmonika s elektronikom i violončelom

(Svetlana Maraš)

Performed by: Branko Džinović – accordion / Aleksandar Latković – cello

Svetlana Maraš is surely the most successful new music author from the new generation. She is playing concerts, writing compositions and creating installations. She was an artistic director at Radio Belgrade’s Electronic studio, where she established numerous programs such as artistic residencies, educational courses and most notably, restoration of EMS Synthi 100. She is now the Professor of Creative Music Technology and Co-head of Electronic Studio at Hochschule für Musik FHNW, Basel. This composition written especially for this duo was recorded at Belgrade Philharmonic Concert Hall just before pandemia fully broke out.

12. Metamorphic Orchestra – Through Hills and Valleys

(traditional / arr: Svetlana Spajić)

Svetlana Spajić – vocal

Tijana Stanković – violin, vocal

Isabelle Duthoit – clarinet, vocal

Marina Džukljev – piano

Franz Hautzinger – trumpet

Bogdan Ranković – bass clarinet, saxophone

Ervin Malina – double bass

Lav Kovač – drums

This creation has quite a story: Project Metamorphic Songs, built by Goethe-Institute Belgrad (who also supported this concert at the festival), included a network of artists and researchers and one of the outcomes was a Collection of Metamorphic Songs, presenting different instances of songs, migration through cultures, the history of their travel, the changes in their features and functions… For the festival in 2019 Svetlana Spajić, the singer and traditional artist, formed the international Metamorphic Orchestra in an attempt to add local examples of this extraordinary collection.




The international project EU.T.ER.PE (2014 – 2016), in which the Ring Ring Association was one of the partners, was primarily aimed at promoting traditional instruments and music.

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The goal of the “EUropean Traditions in cultural hERitage and Performances – EU.T.ER.PE” project was closely aligned with the objectives and priorities of the European Union related to empowering cultural sectors through international collaborations. Emphasis was placed on promoting traditional instruments from participating countries. Thus, Italy presented the accordion, Greece – the lute and mandolin, Croatiabagpipes and lirica, and Serbia – the tambura and frula.

In addition to promoting traditional instruments and music from partner countries as the main goal of the EU.T.ER.PE project, important aspects included the international presentation of musicians and local traditional music, support for the development of international careers, strengthening collaboration among cultural practitioners from partner countries, and enhancing the capacity of the cultural sector for transnational engagement. This also involved enabling cultural and creative professionals to collaborate at the international level.

In each country represented by one of the partner organizations, a concert was held featuring a local band, well-known and respected within the country, along with guest soloists representing the appropriate traditional instrumental practices of other partner countries. These soloists were pre-selected based on voting by all organizations involved in the EU.T.ER.PE project.

Additionally, each partner organization also conducted thematic workshops or master courses in local music schools.

The Ring Ring Association held a concert as part of one of the festivals it organizes. This concert took place at the Todo Mundo World Music Festival, during its 4th edition. The esteemed local group, Belo platno, performed with soloists from Serbia, Croatia, and Greece: Dragana Tomić (kaval, vocals), Marko First (Slavonian bagpipes, violin, lyre), Giorgios Kontagiannis (lyre), and Dimitrios Varelopoulos (lute). The concert took place on April 24, 2015, in a packed hall at the Belgrade Youth Center.

The musicians gathered in Belgrade three days before the performance. It was the first time all the soloists met in person, and the international guests collaborated with the Belo platno group for the first time. Their communication online had already been established several weeks earlier for exchanging music, ideas, and plans. As a result, the rehearsals in Belgrade were well-planned, and everything flowed more smoothly.

Several days before this concert, as part of the EU.T.ER.PE project, the Ring Ring Association organized a master class with the Italian artist Mario Stefano Pietrodarchi for young accordionists at the “Kosta Manojlović” Music School in Zemun on April 21, 2015.

Musicians from Serbia were also selected through the project and its associated competitions to collaborate as guest instrumental soloists with groups from Croatia, Italy, and Greece. Dragana Tomić (kaval) performed as a guest soloist in Mykonos, Zoran Bugarski Brica (tambura) collaborated with the band Cinkuši in Zagreb at the Scena Amadeo Festival, and Milan Savić (saxophone) performed at the Adriatico Mediterraneo Festival in Ancona, collaborating with the group Orchestrina Adriatica.

The concluding activity of the project was a three-day conference held in Ancona, attended by professionals from the cultural sector as well as representatives from the public and private sectors of each partner country. From Serbia, upon the recommendation of the Ring Ring Association, the following individuals attended the conference: Boško Radojković, Dragana Mitrović, and Bora Dimitrijević.

The EU.T.ER.PE project had a significant impact on our organization, providing us with another valuable experience in working on international cultural projects. Additionally, the network established through the project has already resulted in collaborations beyond EU.T.ER.PE and promises to continue in the future. Furthermore, a very important outcome of the project has been the increased visibility and interest in Serbia’s traditional musical heritage, particularly its instruments. Local musicians involved in the project have expressed great joy and gratitude for the networking opportunities and further professional development, as well as for the potential new collaborations in the future.

The leading partner in the project was the Italian association Associazione Adriatico Mediterraneo, and alongside the Ring Ring Association from Serbia, the partners also included the associations Amadeo-art kabinet d.o.o. from Croatia and Day After from Greece.

The project lasted from September 1, 2014, to April 30, 2016, and was co-funded by the European Union through the Creative Europe program.

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