The Symphony of the Siege (electroacoustic composition)

Sound trauma and practices of sonic remembering. Artistic production of an electroacoustic composition, exploring the modes of dealing with war trauma through sonic remembering.

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Electroacoustic sound composition is based on academic research and recorded testimonies of fifteen survivors of the siege of Sarajevo. It conceptually brings listeners down to contemplation on silence as an imposed socio-psychological context immanent to the reality of the siege of Sarajevo that further generates specific introspective contemplative processes that evolve in a collectivity but effect the very intimacy of every single individual. The composition is embedding all the noises of war including their physical, aesthetic and semiotic aspects representing suggestive accents that are carrying an unequivocal conceptual message: the danger itself is in the most immediate presence.

Within a context colored by danger, fear, introspection and insecurity, the contrast between noise and silence is amplified to the maximum, that contrast is going to be successively reduced as the composition flows to its conclusion. The composition strives for the aesthetics of a dramatic plot by means of sound illustration of the repetition of daily life cycles under the siege, successively narrowing the space of acoustic territory from very large scale of the city, narrowing down to the scale of the neighborhood, followed by the scale of the interior spaces and finally focusing on an intimate personal moment.

Silence is dominant context of the whole composition that happens between accents of clearly defined sound shapes with precisely determined duration, tonality, dynamics, spatial centers of gravity and positions of sources.

The electro acoustic installation “The Symphony of the Siege” will be accompanying the documentary “Testifying the Siege” which consists of fifteen testimonials, mentioned above, and its composition in reverse sequence so that the two artistic components are an inversion of each other. They will both be premiered at the exhibition at the Historical Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina in April, 2023.


Artistic Concept and Execution Haris Sahačić
Project Concept and Coordinator Lejla Odobašić Novo, International Burch University (IBU)
Lead Academic Research: Lejla Odobašić Novo, International Burch University (IBU)
Research Collaborators: Haris Sahačić and Adnan Novalić (IBU)
Experts: Mirsada Zeco (UNSA), Džemil Hodžić

Based on interviews done by: Lejla Odobašić Novo, International Burch University (IBU),
Based on Interviews done with: Enrico Dagnino, Husein Mahmutović, Adi Sarajlić, Dina Memić, Mirza Ćorić, Enes Zlatar (Bure), Adela Jusić, Paul Lowe, Nermina Zildžo, Nihad Kreševljaković, Zoran Doršner, Džemil Hodžić, Sabina Tanović, Mirsad Tukić, Nihad Čengić
Interview transcripts by: Abdullah Idražić