Sunday, 10. October 2010, 23:03 - 23:45, Ö1



„not by note“ 

live from the musikprotokoll at the steirischer herbst festival in Graz


„not by note“ is an on-site on-air on-line radio performance by musicians from various countries in former Yugoslavia and the Middle East. During a one-week workshop in the Bosnian city Banja Luka the artists, following an invitation by Sebastian Meissner and Serhat Karakayali, have developed a psychogeographical score, that critically circumsribes the complex relationships between these two regions and Western Europe. Tonight’s performance, broadcast live on Ö1, is the finale of the project, a commission by the musikprotokoll at steirischer herbst.

With Boikutt (PAL), Dror Feiler (S), Amir Husak (USA/BA),  Sebastian Meissner (DE), Manja Ristić (SER), Asmir Sabić (BiH), Cynthia Zavan (LB).
Live stream by


Why of all places a workshop in this ethnically cleansed ghost city? This was the first question discussed by the “Not by Note” workshop participants, musicians from former Yugoslavia on the one hand and from the “Middle East” on the other. The idea for this workshop originated in the “Lost Spaces” project (commissioned by musikprotokoll 2008). It focused on the history of the destruction and reconstruction of the Ferhadija mosque in Banja Luka. At that time the project was the reaction to a widespread curatorial practice, namely to invite musicians from the so-called Near East to participate as peace ambassadors at European festivals – a practice that ignores the role Europe plays in this conflict. “Not by Note” is a continuation of that project insofar as musicians from this region were invited to reverse the perspective and look at a part of Europe that as “Balkan” is at times itself expatriated from Western civilisation.
Both the actions of the Nationalists and the reaction of the minorities treat the social and geographic space like a whiteboard, on which the markings can be erased and replaced at will. The workshop was about regarding the city as a palimpsest, like those ancient papyrus manuscripts on which the traces of the former writings can still be seen in spite of the fact that they had been overwritten several times. The ca. one million land mines that are today spread throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina show that the past cannot simply be scraped away and thus became the starting point for the musicians when they worked on the politics of transference.
Besides revolving around these social and political technologies of power, the workshop “Not by Note” also focussed on the question of how to translate such themes in a musical language, for instance whether or not it can be achieved with the methods of mapping and psychogeography. The public interventions that took place during the course of the workshop in Banja Luka – city walks, discussions, concerts, and encounters with the city’s inhabitants – were also an attempt to offer a response to the organised denial. The installation “Not by Note” is a kind of metamap of this spatio-political practice. Based on five free improvised and rearranged audio tracks it was produced by the workshop participants as the outcome of their collaboration: a “blind palimpsest”.
Thanks to the following people for their support, assistance, suggestions, conversations, and much more: Amir Husak, Irfan Pozderac, Ismet Pozderac, Tanja Topic, Sanja Topic, Erduan Katana, Muharem Insanic, BUKA & Elvir Padalović & Aleksandar Trifunović, the Simić family, Muhamed Hamidović, Nihad Hasanovic, Kasim Mujcic, Fahrudin Prlja, the Hajdarpasi family @SLAP.