Pursuing its mission to promote contemporary music creation through broadcasting for over sixty years, the annual Rostrum has this year again strengthened its role as one of the most important “rendez-vous” for professional exchange between radio producers. Its overall objective remains to foster the exchange of performances of contemporary music between broadcasting organisations. For example, works chosen at the preceding Rostrum (2018) were given some 700 broadcasts by participating networks as well as affiliates of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).
The 2019 Rostrum gathered representatives from 27 national radio networks from four continents, which presented 50 works composed within the five years preceding the Rostrum. 19 of these works were by composers under the age of 30 and 17 by female composers. Evert van Berkel, recording producer and coordinator for P2 live at the Swedish Radio, chaired the sessions. After the listening sessions, the assembly of delegates selected and recommended the most distinctive works in two categories: general and “young composers under 30”.
These and other works will be presented in concerts and broadcast after the Rostrum by the participating and other interested radio stations.
In the general category, Prana (2018) for symphony orchestra by Slovenian composer Petra Strahovnik (born 1986) was selected by the delegates as most outstanding. The work was presented by RTV – Radio Slovenija.
The inspiration for this work stems from the idea of creating and capturing the atmosphere of attraction between two contrasting poles (e.g., magnetic resonance). The concept of capturing Prana as inspiration; in Hinduism, it represents the breath of the life force. Prana is understood as a universal energy that flows in currents in and around the body.
The RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra was prepared to experiment with new techniques and the use of preparations such as magnets on strings, polystyrene in the piano and harp, etc. The sound sculpture resulting from the basic use of these preparations is interesting and fresh, and the musicians were willing to keep up with the times and prepare their instruments.
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