Đuro Živković (Srbija) comes from a non-musical family, however his parents inspired in him a love for art. His early interest in folklore, the Orthodox Church tradition and Byzantine music has led him to develop a variety of compositional techniques such as polyrhythmic, improvisation, special harmony-based scales, microtones, layer-polyphony (multiphony) and heterophony. His interest in the harmonic organization (after the year 2002) has resulted in a new approach to his composition process. Živković finds importance in the so-called harmonic field, the way that chords exist in coherence or in symbiosis with themselves, thus creating the harmonic path. His music is commissioned, performed, recorded and broadcast across Europe, Japan and North America, by leading soloists and ensembles. His music holds the Swedish Grammy Award 2010 with Sonanza for the piece Le Cimetière Marin. He is also active as a teacher at The Royal College of Music in Stockholm.
On the Guarding of the Heart is directly inspired by my two previous pieces I Shall Contemplate… and Le Cimetière Marin. All of them are religious music, which I freely call cantata, the name I borrow from and refer to Bach’s masterpieces. On the Guarding of the Heart is an instrumental cantata, and it derives many of the compositional ideas from I Shall Contemplate…. Both pieces could be performed attacca, in such a way that the latter ends the pieces. The main theme of “On the Guarding of the Heart” is the need to return into oneself, to descent with the intellect in to the depths of the heart, to guard it and to seek there the hidden treasure of the inner kingdom. The music is very stimulated by reading of the Philokalia; it is about a hard-achieved detachment, stillness and watchfulness, it is about solitude and exile.