Play of Signs in Antennae by Aleksandra Vrebalov

  • Nataša Crnjanski University of Novi Sad, Academy of Arts
Keywords: Byzantine chant, Virgin Eleousa, sign, ison, quotation, bells, organs, trumpets, Morse code


During a Creative Fusion residency at the Cleveland Museum of Art in 2018, composer Aleksandra Vrebalov was inspired by the Byzantine icon the Virgin Eleousa and shortly after composed the piece Antennae. This paper presents the semantic relationship between the icon and various signs which are selected and combined to structure the musical piece. It is argued the composer uses signs based on their acoustic qualities and communicational potential, and embraces the postmodern technique of quotation to depict the religious doctrine of Love and Suffering, Life and
Death, or more generally speaking, Connection and Disconnection as the title itself suggests.

Author Biography

Nataša Crnjanski, University of Novi Sad, Academy of Arts

Natasa Crnjanski Ph.D. Music Theorist, Academy of Arts, University of Novi Sad, Serbia. During her studies, she has won a Special Award for her results from the University of Novi Sad, as well as a scholarship from the Norwegian Government. She finished her postgraduate (2008) and doctoral studies (2014) in Music Theory with Music Semiotics as her main field of research. Since 2016 she has served as Editor-in-Chief of the scientific journal Zbornik radova Akademije umetnosti (Collection of papers of Academy of Arts). She is a member of the International Musicological Society (IMS), International Association for Semiotic Studies (IASS) and Serbian Society for Music Theory (SDMT). Her main field of research is Music Semiotics. Nataša Crnjanski also has extensive experience as a choral conductor, manager and singer.