By Christos T. Panagopoulos –
The 15th Slowind Festival, dedicated to Slovenian-born avant-garde composer Vinko Globokar (79), will start on Wednesday in Ljubljana. The festival dubbed “Selling the Wind” after one of Globokar’s works will feature over 200 Slovenian and foreign musicians performing six concerts in Ljubljana until 15 October.
Globokar was born in Anderny, France on July 7th, 1937 . In 1947 he moved to Yugoslavia, where he played jazz trombone until 1955, at which point he relocated to Paris in order to study at the Conservatoire de Paris. At the Conservatoire, he studied composition with René Leibowitz (a noted student of Arnold Schoenberg) and trombone with Andre Lafosse. In 1965, he moved to Berlin and began composition lessons with Luciano Berio, whose Sequenza V he later performed.
In the later 1960s he worked with Karlheinz Stockhausen on some of his compositions from the cycle Aus den sieben Tagen, and co-founded the free improvisation group New Phonic Art. From 1967 to 1976 he taught composition at the Musikhochschule in Cologne. In 1974, he joined IRCAM as the director of instrumental and vocal research, a post which he occupied until 1980.
After leaving IRCAM, he conducted a number of high profile orchestral groups, including the Warsaw Philharmonic, the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Westdeutscher Symphonie, and the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, among others. From 1980 until 2000, he directed 20th century music performance at Scuola di Musica di Fiesole near Florence.
In 2002, Globokar was bestowed with the Prešeren Award for his life-time work.
Globokar’s music is notable for its spontaneity, energy, and innovative use of unorthodox instrumental and compositional techniques. His works often feature indeterminacy and improvisation, reflecting his own background in Jazz and free improvisation. His pieces employ a variety of extended techniques. For example, in his solo percussion piece Toucher, the performer narrates a story while simultaneously playing the syllabic patterns on a percussion array.