Bojana Šaljić Podešva, a composer of electroacoustic music, music for acoustic instruments, contemporary theatre, puppet theatre, film and dance, is not only one of the few female makers in these areas, but also one of the few composers of electroacoustic music following the tradition of musique concrete in general in Slovenia. She is a member of the Society of Slovene Composers – Section for Electroacoustic Music and is, along with Bor Turel, also one of the most visible representatives of this genre in Slovenia. Šaljić studied music in secondary schools in Maribor and Ljubljana and later at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana. Already during her studies, she was the recipient of many awards and scholarships, which brought her, among other places, to the Gaudeamus Music Week in Amsterdam. She completed her postgraduate studies in electroacoustic music in Vienna and later received many scholarships and attended numerous international residencies, for example, in Switzerland, Sweden and France. Her work has been widely presented in international festivals and on home stages. Šaljić readily says about her work in electroacoustic music that it is committed to “allowing a certain Music to be born, music that wants to bring colour to a piece of this world. I find ways to do this by immersing myself into Sound that I form and which forms me, purely physically and with the energy it gives.” This slightly romantic aspect can be identified, for example, in the electroacoustic composition for accordion and magnetic tape “Meditation on Presence”, performed by the young accordionist Luka Juhart. “Meditation on Presence” by Bojana Šaljić Podešva addresses us with a subtle fusion, an intertwinement of live instrumental sound and electroacoustic sounds, which blend into a soft sound language, in itself characterised as a meditation on presence, on that elusively intangible, unnameable tissue that binds us together in the inevitable gap between subjects. This language is full of “unusual” instrumentalist procedures, which pull the accordion away from its historical sound landscape and transform it into a sound object, on and over which sounds and noises are produced using different manoeuvres. Juhart, responsively and susceptibly “tracing the sound”, succeeded in bringring out of this intertwinement a hidden but shimmering emotive layer of the piece, which evasively radiates from the composition. And this quality is scarcely ever to be found in electroacoustic music. This insight can be attached to many of Šaljić’s compositions, for example, to a more recent work, “So Close”, performed by Bojana Šaljić Podešva and the young saxophonist Maja Lisac. In 2006, Šaljić presented nine of her electroacoustic compositions from the period 2000–2005 in the album Welcome to the Dushaland: some are rounded compositions; others originate from sound or multimedia installations. A programme-like writing on the cover of her album reads: “With what can I reach the events which will shake foundations and make the axioms questionable? … There are still a lot of potential combinations. Undoubtedly, information is still coming.” We can understand this as a unique ethos and a wager, which is like a breath of fresh air in the undernourished space of contemporary music in Slovenia. Bojana Šaljić Podešva industriously puts this wager into action by collaborating with younger Slovenian musicians, video artists, dancers, theatre directors and electronic music makers. In the music area, she has collaborated with her colleague, composer Aldo Kumar, on the one hand, and with a member of the duet Random Logic and author of the project Medvedek Robotek (Teddy-Bear Robot) Gregor Zemljič, on the other. In theatre, she has collaborated with Silvan Omerzu in many of his performances, as well as with Janez Pipan; in dance, with Katja Kosi, Ann Adamović and Mojca Klemenčič; and in multimedia, with Boštjan Bugarič and Miloš Bartol. The latter three and Bojana are members of the art collective C3. She has also written music for film and short films by Miran Zupanič, Marko Cafnik, Robi Černelč and Urllich Kaufman. Bojana Šaljič’s wager is evidently big and ambitious, inquisitive and artistically accomplished, yet still open. Open also to those sound practices that are proverbially underrepresented in our prevailingly institutional music milieu.
Bojana Šaljić Podešva was born in 1978 in Maribor, Slovenia. She completed her studies in Composition under Marko Mihevc at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana. She attended a postgraduate study program in Electroacoustic Composition under Dieter Kaufmann at the Vienna Music University, where she also studied with Bruno Liberda and Wolfgang Mitterer. She took further courses with Richard Boulanger as well as with Françoise Barrière at IMEB.
Her basic means of expression is electroacoustic music, in the form of fixed recorded two or more channel compositions, as well as real-time treatment of instrumental or vocal sound and music installations. Another important domain of her work comprises music in relation to contemporary visual and performing arts.
She has won several Slovenian composition prizes for concert works and scene and film music (Vesna award), as well as taking 2nd Prize at the International Gustav Mahler Composition Competition of the City of Klagenfurt (Austria) in 1998 and receiving an honourable mention in the Trivium section of the 32nd International Competition of Electroacoustic Music and Sonic Art in Bourges, France.
She has presented her works at the International Rostrum of Composers (IRC 2004 and 2011), the International Rostrum of Electroacoustic Music (IREM 2004), Synthèse (Bourges 2005 and 2006), the Guarnerius Festival (Belgrade 2009), the Slowind festival (Ljubljana 2010), in the LIEU project (Ljubljana, Paris, Riga 2010) and elsewhere.