An interview with music composer Sara Brajovic

MEET THE ARTIST

Sara Brajovic is a French composer, pianist, model and writer of Serbian origins. As a classical pianist, she performed at several concerts and released a classical music album “Story of O” under the recording name Sara O. in 2022.

FM42:  You are continuing your career on the move despite the Covid pandemic most affected artists. Whether creating a new album differs in comparison to the previous ones?
This album was really easy to produce as it was a very intimate affair between me and the piano. The secret is just lots of hours in front of the instrument coming up with melodies. I wrote it in 2016 and it just got published this year. Really grateful that it is out and available now. I decided to use a different artist name, SARA O. just to make it more fresh. The cover of the album was done by the great British photographer Greg Williams. I have always admired his work and it was such a pleasure to work with him.

FM42: Nastavljate svoju karijeru u pokretu uprkos tome da su umetnici najviše pogođeni pandemijom Covida. Da li je stvaranje novog albuma razlikuje od prethodnih? 
Ovaj album je bilo veoma lako producirati jer je to bila veoma intimna veza između mene i klavira. Tajna je samo mnogo provedenih sati pred instrumentom koji smišlja melodije. Napisala sam ga 2016. i tek je objavljen ove godine. Zaista sam zahvalna što je sada dostupan. Odlučila sam da koristim drugo ime izvođača, SARA O. samo da bude svežije. Naslovnicu albuma uradio je veliki britanski fotograf Greg Vilijams. Uvek sam se divila njegovom radu i bilo mi je zadovoljstvo raditi sa njim.

FM42:  It seems that each of your works is connected or inspired by certain things. How important is this in your work?
I did write it during a turbulent period of my life and as we all know- when we are broken – the light comes in. Music was this light to me. There were certain melodies that were playing in my head for a while and had to be captured.  Some pieces are more structured and some are more in an improvisation/deconstructed spirit without barriers- the piano freely sings.  Pandora , for example, is a  piece which I later deconstructed in the Fog. Most of the songs are of a free , flowing structure in which I wanted to let the piano sing without any barriers.  They work together, they converse with each other because they have underlying melodies.
There is something so sublime in minor keys in which the album is written.  I use the pedal a lot on this album- a tribute to the Impressionist period of classical music and visually to Impressionist painters. It’s almost like you are in a dream, the images are soft and not defined. The images of Moonlight, Fog, Nymphs, Lotus, Swans, Dawn, Pandora, Kryptonite created by the music create a world which you can temporarily escape to in your mind. Pictures at an Exhibition by Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky which is a suite of 10 pieces was a big inspiration. Mussorgsky based his music material on pictures from an exhibit. One day I would like this album to be an installation.

FM42: Čini se da je svaki vaš rad povezan ili inspirisan određenim stvarima. Koliko je to važno u vašem radu? 
Napisala sam je tokom turbulentnog perioda mog života i kao što svi znamo – kada smo slomljeni – svetlost dolazi. Muzika je bila ovo svetlo za mene. Postojale su određene melodije koje su mi neko vreme svirale u glavi i koje su morale biti uhvaćene. Neki komadi su strukturirani, a neki više u improvizaciji/dekonstruisanom duhu bez barijera – klavir slobodno svira. Pandora, na primer, je komad koji sam kasnije dekonstruisala u magli. Većina pesama su  slobodne, tečne strukture u kojoj sam želela da pustim klavir da svira bez ikakvih prepreka. Oni rade zajedno, razgovaraju jedni s drugima jer imaju melodije u pozadini. Ima nečeg tako uzvišenog u molskim tonovama u kojima je album napisan. Često koristim pedalu na ovom albumu – omaž impresionističkom periodu klasične muzike i vizuelno slikarima impresionista. Skoro kao da ste u snu, slike su meke i nisu definisane. Slike Mesečine, Magle, Nimfe, Lotosa, Labudova, Zore, Pandore, Kriptonita koje stvara muzika stvara svet u koji možete privremeno pobeći u svom umu. Slike na izložbi ruskog kompozitora Modesta Musorgskog, koja je kompletna od 10 komada, bila je velika inspiracija. Musorgski je svoj muzički materijal zasnovao na slikama sa izložbe. Jednog dana bih volela da ovaj album bude instalacija.


FM42: Favorite song from the new album is…
Not sure, they are all very dear to me. Maybe “Lotus” . It’s simple, melancholic and airy.

FM42: Omiljena kompozicija sa novog albuma je…

Nisam sigurna, sve su mi veoma drage. Možda “Lotus”. Jednostavna je, melanholična i prozračna.

FM42: Where can we hear songs from your new album?
All the streaming platforms such as Itunes, Spotify, etc have my album available.

FM42: Gde možemo da čujemo pesme sa vašeg novog albuma?
Sve platforme za striming kao što su Itunes, Spotifi, itd. imaju moj album na raspolaganju.

FM42: What have been the biggest challenges in our career so far?

Staying grounded. Learning that patience is a very important quality to have. Learning when to say NO, learning to let go and not tolerating toxic environments or people. I feel lost without working and creating and it is an essential part of my life. Not working is not an option – it only leads to decadence of the mind.

FM42: Šta su nam do sada bili najveći izazovi u karijeri?
Ostati prizeman. Naučiti da je strpljenje veoma važan kvalitet. Naučiti kada reći NE, naučiti pustiti i ne tolerisati toksična okruženja ili ljude. Osećam se izgubljeno bez rada i stvaranja i to je suštinski deo mog života. Ne raditi nije opcija – to samo vodi u dekadenciju uma.

FM42: Who or what has most influenced your music life and career as a composer?
I did go to the Academy of Music in Paris so my initial contact with classical music was through the piano, of course. But I have been very much into different genres and listening to music takes a large part of my day. The biggest influence to make my own compositions comes from listening to film music. I would find myself watching films and concentrating a lot on the music. I would then find it, buy it and listen to it. As a kid I can vividly remember the song “Chi Man “by Ennio Morricone from the French film “Le Professionnel” being played at the house. I am very nostalgic and these melodies stuck with me all my life. Because they bring back precise moments from the past and memories connected to a place or a person. My biggest influence to write music would come from listening to the Icelandic composer Johann Johannsson. I remember watching the film Sicario and hearing the music. I was mesmerised. Later I really enjoyed his album Orphée. Other composers that deeply influenced me were Debussy, Wojciech Kilar, Arvo Pärt and Urmas Sisask.

FM42: Ko ili šta je najviše uticalo na tvoj muzički život i karijeru kao kompozitora?
Išla sam na Muzičku akademiju u Parizu, tako da je moj prvi kontakt sa klasičnom muzikom bio preko klavira, naravno. Ali ja sam se mnogo bavila različitim žanrovima i slušanje muzike zauzima veliki deo mog dana. Najveći uticaj na stvaranje sopstvenih kompozicija ima slušanje filmske muzike. Zatekla bih sebe kako gledam filmove i mnogo se koncentrišem na muziku. Onda bih pronašla tu filmsku muziku, kupila i preslušavala. Kao dete, živopisno se sećam pesme „Chi Man“ Enija Morikonea iz francuskog filma „Le Professionnel“ koja se puštala u kući. Veoma sam nostalgična i ove melodije su me zadržale ceo život. Zato što vraćaju precizne trenutke iz prošlosti i uspomene vezane za mesto ili osobu. Moj najveći uticaj na pisanje muzike je proizašao iz slušanja islandskog kompozitora Johana Johansona. Sećam se da sam gledala film Sicario i slušala muziku. Bila sam opčinjena. Kasnije sam zaista uživala u njegovom albumu Orphee. Drugi kompozitori koji su duboko uticali na mene su: Debussy, Wojciech Kilar, Arvo Pärt i Urmas Sisask.

FM42: Are you planning something new in the fashion field? What do you think about fashion today?
I take each day as it comes and am always willing to do things that feel right. I am in a phase in my life where certain things have priority over others. I will always love fashion and style as aesthetics are an important part of my being. I think the fashion industry is on steroids at the moment which is not necessarily a good thing.

FM42: Planirate li nešto novo na modnom polju? Šta mislite o modi danas?
Svaki dan shvatam onako kako dođe i uvek sam spremna da uradim stvari koje se po osećaju čine ispravnim. Nalazim se u životnoj fazi u kojoj neke stvari imaju prioritet nad drugima. Uvek ću voleti modu i stil, jer je estetika važan deo mog bića. Mislim da je modna industrija trenutno na steroidima što nije nužno dobra stvar.

FM42: Your message to our readers is…
Be tender and kind, everyone has their own battles to fight.

FM42: Vaša poruka našim čitaocima je…
Budite nežni i ljubazni, svako bije svoje bitke.

Album Cover by photographer Greg Williams

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