Wednesday 28 January 2015

Alen Ilijic - I Have No CoordiNATION

Courtesy of
Normally when writing about the art that adorns album covers we have to consider both the artist who created the artwork and those responsible for the music. Here we have an album and artist who is responsible for the whole process. Alen Ilijic is the man, I Have No CoordiNATION released on Ninety and Nine records in May 2014 is the album. He breaks the linear relationship between Music and Art too, neither one inspired the other, the cart doesn't come before the horse because both are one and the same.

Alen Ilijic
Alen Ilijic was born in the Macedonian 'Las Vegas' Gevgelija in 1975 and is both an avant-garde composer and multimedia artist. Formative years were spent in England studying film music at City of Westminster College but home is now Serbia where he completed his education in composition, orchestration, electronic music and sound engineering at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade.

Zelot by Alen Ilijic
Although the album, I Have No CoordiNATION, is a retrospective of Ilijic's talents over more than a decade (1999-2013) it is the album's art that represents a slap in the face of time itself. It signifies the moment that Ilijic woke from surgery, and before his eyes appeared a bright red cross as the nurse cojouled him. I am no doctor but this album asks that you awaken your senses too. This artwork was shown at the ’NOISYGENES’ exhibition (Belgrade 2014),which included abstract-expressionist painting and performance to help both viewer and artist examine the concept of noise.

Alen Ilijic told me about some of his inspirations, including a photo of a Victorian ’Penny sit-up’ that appears on the back of the CD.

Penny sit-up
"The story about homeless shelter was very unusual, and I immediately equated to it personally. What made this shelter unique was that in exchange for a penny, clients would be allowed to sit on a bench in a reasonably warm room all night long. Moreover, they were not allowed to lie down and sleep on the bench. At the same time, I imagined the sound of their talk and the shelter in general, ranging trough various dynamic levels and other musical parameters which can be found in my compositions."

Alen Ilijic - Gavrilov put
A favourite from the album is My Suspicious Look which holds the tension and drama from Ilijic's film score training. The listener occupies a space where the other inhabitants actions are amplified. Casual steps take on an unknown significance, as does that of fumbling fingers in a pocket or the stirring of a cup. A magnetic field keeps the protagonists apart so that deepening shadows and hate are also exaggerated. An escape is needed, a crashing of incidental delights as we run to a space where our thoughts are our own once again.

Listen to the title track of Alen Ilijic's I Have No CoordiNATION below and keep and eye out for a new book about his work by art historian, curator and Alen's wife, Milica Ilijic.



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