Vladan Radovanović (1932, Serbia) graduated from the composition class of Milenko Živković at the Academy of Music in Belgrade. Radovanović initiated the founding of the Electronic Studio at Radio Belgrade and ran the studio from 1972 to 1999. In 1993, he founded the group SINTUM. In 2010, he initiated the establishment of the Group for Multimedia Art at the University of Arts in Belgrade.
In his creative work, Radovanović is active in a number of fields: vocal-instrumental and electro-acoustic music, painting and computer graphics, literature, tactilism, the recording of dreams, projectism, working with the body, vocovisuel, and synthesis art. Radovanović has authored over 250 theoretical texts on new tendencies in art. He has worked at experimental music studios in Warsaw, Paris, Utrecht, and Budapest. Works by Radovanović represented Yugoslavia at three ISCM festivals. Radovanović has had 27 solo exhibitions and concerts in Yugoslavia and abroad, published 11 books, two maps, six scores, four author LPs, two cassettes, and five author CDs.
Radovanović has won 11 Yugoslav and international awards for his work in music (including three first prizes at the Yugoslav Music on Radio competitions, the October Prize of the City of Belgrade in 1971, second prize for electro-acoustic music in Bourges, Gianfranco Zafrani Award at the 1984 Prix Italia, first prize at the 1998 International Review of Composers in Belgrade, and the Stevan Mokranjac Prize in 2014), three awards for his literary works (most notably the Nolit Award, in 1968), seven for works in the visual arts (including the Ministry of Culture’s award for best multimedia exhibition in 1992, first prize for a video work in São Paulo in 1997, the City of Belgrade award for best achievement in fine arts in 2007, the 2008 Ivan Tabaković Award, and 2012 Mića Popović Award), as well as the 2014 Vuk’s Award for making an outstanding contribution to the development of culture.
Radovanović is a member of the Composers’ Association of Serbia and the Association of Fine Artists of Serbia. From 2001 to 2012 he taught as a visiting professor at the Multimedia Study Group of the University of Arts in Belgrade. In 2005, Columbus University in Ohio made him an honorary doctor of music and in 2007 the University of Arts in Belgrade gave him the same honorary degree in multimedia art.
The title of INSTELLA refers to the blending of the instrumental (INST) and electronic media (EL), as well as to being “in a star” (IN STELLA). It belongs to a series of compositions in which I pursued a synthesis of instrumental and electronic sound worlds, seeking to juxtapose them and bring them closer together. The latter was achieved by having electronics allude, occasionally, to instrumental sound and vice versa. Moreover, in this work, the electronics conjures not only instrumental, but also vocal sounds, which are not really present in the piece.
In addition to the existing classification of music by musical styles, during the 1960s I also introduced a classification of music by “tribes” of sound. This classification of music into the “cosmic”, “sacral”, “geosic”, and other tribes is predicated primarily on my own experience. All of my music, from Devetoglas (Ninepart) of 1958 to the present, belongs to the cosmic tribe of sound. This perception of mine of the effects of music does not rest on any kind of quantifiable formulae or meanings that could be verbalised, but solely on synaesthesia, the intuitive translation of effects on one set of senses into phantasms that arise then in one’s consciousness and are offered to other internal senses.
The piece was commissioned by Pavel Mihelčič and MD7 Contemporary Music Ensemble and is therefore dedicated to them.