Picture: Maja Bosnic by Gor Gevorgyan

Maja Bosnić

Maja Bosnić is a composer and performer from Belgrade. She is drawn to impossible missions, absurd solutions, limited material, playfulness, uncertain outcomes, audience participation, treating instruments as “ready-made” objects, and treating everyday objects as musical instruments.

She obtained a Ph.D. degree in music composition at Goldsmiths University in London and is currently working as an Assistant Professor at the Department of Composition at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade. She writes music for various ensembles, orchestras, electronics, and multimedia projects. Bosnić’s works have been performed in festivals, such as Heroines of Sound, UpToThree, CTM Festival, Darmstädter Ferienkurse, musikprotokoll, Impuls, Warsaw Autumn, Spazio Musica, Delian New Music Academy, Tzlil Meudcan Festival, Distat Terra, Sites + Subjects in Plovdiv, Timsonia new music festival in Timisoara, International Review of Composers in Belgrade and many more.


1. I want to learn to dance like @boxerdancedancedance (instagram profile).

2. For the first two days with us, my dog was called Joe Zawinul, until few days later our friends told us she had female body parts and should be renamed to Amy Winehouse, since she was a black puppy, found and adopted in Belgrade, the place Amy had (attempted to have) her last concert.

3. I cry in every Disney movie that is about family affairs. I think I never wanted to grow up, so now Disney hurts.

1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?

Modern art in general, trivial every-day sounds, pop music on the radio, whatever happens to visit my world of fantasies.

2. How and when did you get into making music?

My parents fed us with music of all genres, all the time, and I always imagined being the author myself and performing my favourite songs, as a little kid.
I started music school at 8 years and wrote a silly short piece for piano called “Frogies”.
When I was 13 I formed a girl band with my school friends and wrote 14 songs, of which 12 were recorded in a studio for a demo CD that my parents still hold on to, today.
At 15 I was addicted to computer game The Sims and wrote pastoral instrumental pieces, probably influenced by the music in the building or shopping mode of the game, where you build your house and pick furniture with caliming music in the background.
Of course, I didn’t pass the entry exam for composition studies with that style, but at the same time I learned how little I know of music and its possibilities.
Then I started to research and listen to the 20th century which slowly inhabited my materials, but then I got addicted to researching and uncovering new possibilities of sounds for myself, and, ever since, I try to never completely stop doing that.

3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?

Out of 1000 favourite pieces, I will list 5 that pop to my mind right now, the quickest (so there’s many, many more):
Mirela Ivičević – Case Black (it’s my phone’s ringtone, as well :D)
Ashley Fure – something to hunt
Jennifer Walshe – The Total Mountain
Malin Bang – Splinters of ebullient rebellion
Eva Reiter – Konter

4. What do you associate with Berlin?

Fantastic musicians, great performances and dear friends.

5. What’s your favourite place in your town?

I don’t usually get attached to places, just people. So it depends.
Perhaps my balcony, where I have coffee with 34 various trees taller than my building.
My flat with my dearest creatures inside. And, also Museum of contemporary art in Belgrade.
I guess I’m somehow always happy there.
My heart always feels special in Museums of contemporary art anywhere. Especially if I go there by myself, alone.
Then I feel free to stay there forever and the time stops and my fantasies can breathe.

6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?

Impossible. No. Sorry, can’t imagine that.

7. What was the last record/music you bought or listen?

It seems like I don’t do that anymore, because of all the music apps.
Actually, that’s not true. I purchased “Breathing – Remembering – Dissolving” by Kukuruz Quartet this year and it’s a fantastic cd.

8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?

I occasionally create works for audience participation, so naturally, everyone and anyone with open mind and playful heart, who are interested in taking part.

9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?

As a performer: International Review of Composers in Belgrade 2019.
As a spectator: too, too many! Too many!

10. How important is technology to your creative process?

Extremely, but it’s rarely a leading entity.
Living humans who operate devices and objects are my main thing, so technology is there as their extension, just like in real life.

11. What can we expect from your performance in Berlin?

Ensemble mosaik is going to play four works that involve instruments, videos, electronics, smartphones and ear-protecting headphones.

So I hope that it will be another new and interesting experience in your life.

You May Also Like