Ivan Božičević

Ivan Božičević (1961, Serbia/Croatia), composer, organist, pianist, arranger and jazz musician. He studied composition in Belgrade with A. Obradović and the organ in Frankfurt with E. Krapp. He lives in Split, Croatia, as an independent musician. His opus encompasses four symphonic works, as well as numerous chamber, choral, soloistic and electronic compositions. He is interested in a variety of genres (baroque, electronic, jazz, world music) and the possibility of “cross-fertilizations“ between those genres. His works are performed and recorded across all over Europe and the USA. He has published 15 CD-s, through by several American publishers (Walton Music, EC Schirmer, Abundant Silence). Several projects are currently in the closing stage, most notably the printing of his choral composition „Yuku haru ya” by the German publisher Schott.

Along with the recognition at home (Stevan Hristić Award, Silver Medal of the Belgrade University of Arts), Božičević has received numerous composition prizes abroad – ArtsLink Fellowship Award, Garth Newel Composition Award, Third Millenium Ensemble Award, Alienor Harpsichord Composition Award, Asylum Saxophone Quartet Prize, AGO/ECS Publishing Prize, (USA), John Clare Society Award, Invitation to Composers Project (Great Britain), award at the Prague Philharmonic Choir Competition (Czech Republic), „Sofia soloists ensemble” award (Bulgaria).

Shaken from a crane’s bill for violin, clarinet and piano was inspired by the poetry of Dôgen (1200 – 1253), founder of the Japanese soto-zen school. His extensive writings on Buddhist practice and enlightenment (essays, lectures, conversations, koans) require a dedicated and attentive reader. His poetry, however, is much more succinct. The impermanence of things is considered with utmost calm and serenity. It is evident, though, that a great inner drama preceded this realization.

To what shall
I liken the world?
Moonlight, reflected
In dewdrops,
Shaken from a crane’s bill.

– Dôgen (transl. S. Heine)

The nucleus of my composition is a series of 16 five-voiced chords, four each on C, B, B-flat and A. Adjacent chords always have two or three pitches in common, resulting in slow and subtle change of harmony. The chord series never changes, but gets transposed to several different pitches, corresponding to the main sections of the form.