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Benjamin Ribić - Violin Is Much More Than Romance and Melody

Photo: Darko Kovačević

As a starting point, could you tell us about your academic background and education? Did it all lead to composition, and your work "Three pieces for solo violin"? Curently now, I study violin at Music Academy - University of East Sarajevo in class of serbian violinist Jovan Bogosavljević, and I prepare myself for studies of Composition next year at the same Faculty. Primarly, I would describe myself as violinist, but violin encouraged me to push and explore my musicality since I was child. I think that working as a composer really opened my mind and I started to look and analyze music more deeply. I would say that performing is, in a lot of situations, just a small percent of musicality that I own. Composing gives me a chance to express myself and my inner voice which sometimes, as a violinist, I need to pull back in order for the other composer to come the fore.

On your website, opening quote is "..purity and beauty born of simplicity.." by David Unger. Why is this quote important to you? That quote is part of my first professional music critic which I get on my music, and was written after publishing my piece Threnody : For Melisa for violin and piano, by Swedish composer, musicologist and music critic David Unger. I think that these words beautifuly and very precisley describesmy music and my philosophy of music, where sometimes "less is more". I realized that minimalism gives me a chance to put my ego under feets, so I think that my music represents essential me.

Photo: Darko Kovačević

You invented MPS (Mutant;PlugSystem), contemporary functional system for preparation of Violin. Could you tell us the journey that led to this invention? MPS or Mutant: PlugSystem is my invention for functional preparation of violin which basically, as title describes, is system for applying special designed synthetic plugs like a "mutants" on violin strings. With preparation, you can get a completly new palette of colours and sounds, percussive effects and also you can imitate other instruments, for example ; bells. What is special about it is that you can prepare violin in a few seconds on stage without technical problems, like detuning, etc. I tried to convince and show people that violin is much more than "romantic and melodic instrument". Presentation about MPS will be published this year, with complete manual about using that in contemporary music.

What would be a turning point in your career, which made you think differently about your future? I think that was happened when I publish my first score of Three pieces for solo violin and after few premieres of my first works, when I saw how people reacts on my music, I realized that I found something new in myself, like inner voice or some strange energy that I lost many years ago, as a child. I found that my vision, something like a personal philosophy of music, was changed since then and through working on myself in one period, I realized that violin and violinism puts my artistic voice in something like a limited room. After I found my music in my spirit, I found key to open up door and run away immediately.

Photo: Darko Kovačević

Any plans you'd like to share with readers of Balkan Art Scene? Curently now, I work on some projects for 2022. I have a three comissions that I need to finish in a few months, and also there is lot of concerts and three recital programs which I'm prepairing right now. I will return to some projects from last year which are unfinished, like my debut CD with my music.

Author: Hana Tiro

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