A Musical Memoir: An Interview with Jugoslav Bošnjak (1954–2018)

  • Zorica Premate
Keywords: Jugoslav Bošnjak, contemporary Serbian music


It was one of those conversations that we both knew would be our last, but that was not mentioned. I was meant to ask the kind of questions one is supposed to ask in such circumstances, so that Bošnjak, in his responses, might say whatever he wanted to be remembered of him forever. That summer, in 2018, we wrote to each other. There was no opportunity to meet up and sit down to talk, and talking over the phone seemed too ephemeral and mundane for the occasion. Our task was to record in writing something important and to send it off into the future. Jugoslav Bošnjak, my university classmate and colleague at Radio Belgrade, was preparing for his voyage into music and light. And his Cosmic Trilogy (Trilogija kosmosa), his last project, which he undertook in his final years, would tell us the most about its author’s inner universe, about his efforts to transcend life, here and now, life symbolized as cosmos, as this pervasive disorder in which the entropy of chaos keeps growing, to transcend such a notion of life by means of a higher order and the rules of artistic creation. To transgress against it through beauty and meaning. That is why his Big Bang (Veliki prasak) and The Universe (Svemir) end with chimes, decaying and evaporating into silence: lest we forget that the basis of the universe is infinite empty space, while that of music is endless silence

Author Biography

Zorica Premate

Musicologist, retired from the post of music editor in Radio Belgrade’s Second Programme. Author of essays, reviews and critiques on contemporary Serbian music, in magazines and daily newspapers. Moderator of the series of rostrums New Music Spaces and editor of the NMS collection of papers.